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Oral storytelling is a word of mouth communicated to a group of children. It involves face-to-face communication with your audience as you give them a narration of a certain scene. It has been one of the ancient and intimate traditions between a storyteller and his/her audience.
The audience or listeners are often seated together and listening to the story plot as being narrated. Let’s look at the pros and cons of oral storytelling.
1. Enhance learning experience: Storytelling enhances the learning experience for young children especially those in primary education. They can easily relate to the characters in the story and develop their critical thinking.
2. Tailor the story based on audience: Oral storytelling allows you to adjust the style of the story based on the type of audience you have which is not possible with written stories.
3. Make it simple: You can narrate the story in a simple manner, eliminate some racy aspects of the story as well as use simple vocabulary to make sure everyone understands. Sometimes you can shorten it.
4. Connect with the audience: It gives you physical intimacy and an immediate connection with the audience as you create a dialogue with them. That social connection helps build trust and rapport with them.
5. Evanescent of oral storytelling: Oral storytelling can soon fade away from our memory or disappear as compared to written form which can last thousands of years and even travel across the world.
6. Less expensive: Compared to other forms of passing historical information like books and museums, oral storytelling is cheap.
7. Communicated anytime: Adult who has facts on any historical information can pass the information from one generation to another at any time.
8. Anybody can listen: You don’t need to know how to read or write to listen or give out a story.
9. Ask a question: In oral storytelling, you can ask questions concerning the story and get any clarification of the story.
10. Engage audience: Oral storytelling allows you to engage the audience, by getting their opinions on the subject story or by asking them questions to know whether they’re attentive.
1. Biased: Oral storytelling can be biased due to the nature of its transmission. The narrator can exaggerate the story, change the storyline or talk only about the good things.
2. No value for oral history: It does not maintain the value of oral history, the story keeps on changing as time goes.
3. Destruction and lack of focus: Sometimes you may lose focus when listening to a story or be destructed. You may also miss some words or misunderstand others when they’re communicated to you.
4. Transmission of oral traditions: A story based on oral traditions does not go far in the past. The transmission of the information only depends on powerful memories of various successive generations.
5. The danger of simplifying the story: In storytelling, you can simplify the story by making it short or changing some words and this can affect the overall message of the story.
6. Miss connection: Storytelling is about teaching children about certain historic events thus they may miss the connection between the storyline and something which happened in ancient times.
7. Inadequate skills: The storyteller may not have the required skills to deliver the story to the audience.
8. Passive listeners: Based on the method used to tell the story, it can produce passive listeners who only receive information without paying much attention or ask questions to understand the story better.
9. Limit the opportunity to learn by doing: Poor listening and lack of participation in the story limit the listeners the opportunity to learn by doing.
10. Require you to build a rapport: To easily give out the story, you have to build a good relationship with the audience for them to understand the story.