Wednesday 21 August 2013

Story Circles, Preserving Language and Promoting Literacy

One indigenous language dies every two weeks. Not only do the words die but a whole way of thinking and being. In a world bereft of solutions we need diversity. We need ways of looking at the world that challenge our thinking, to keep us fresh and revitalised.

Story Circles addresses this problem. We work with children, teachers and community groups to gather their stories, songs, dances and artwork. We then work with this rich material and publish it on  We publish this material in the language of the group we are working with e.g. Somalian, Tokelauan, but we also publish alongside, the English version.

Parents, teachers, children and community groups can then use these resources, for free, to listen and read in their language. Together they can retain their words and their world. At the same time they can learn English together. The songs, stories, artwork and ideas come from within the group and make a deep connection.

Learning to be literate is more than learning the alphabet and its sounds or sight words and sentence structures. Literacy is about connecting to the words and stories in a deep way. Learning with meaningful depth that has strong connections to the world of the learner. This is the essence of the Story Circle's process.