Using Stories to Improve Pupils’ Listening Skills Among Kindergartens Two Pupils

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to see if using stories may help students improve their listening skills in kindergarten two (K G 2) at Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana. The study’s overall population is 126 staff members from various elementary schools in Bawku, Ghana. The data gathering instrument utilized by the researcher was questionnaires. This study used a descriptive survey research approach. The survey included a total of 100 respondents, including headmasters, headmistresses, teachers, and junior employees. The acquired information was organized into tables and examined with simple percentages and frequencies.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Storytelling is the oldest form of education. People around the world have always told tales as a way of passing down their cultural beliefs, traditions, and history to future generations. Why? Stories are at the core of all that makes us human.

Storytelling is still largely featured in both entertainment and communication, with a firm footing in every human institution: churches of all kinds, schools and universities, businesses and families Abrahamson, C. (1998). All kinds of stories are to be found on television, film, email, magazines, books and in the press amongst others. People communicate with one another by telling stories about their day to day existence, giving advice or telling children what will happen if they misbehave. In addition, researchers have found that storytelling is coming back as a teaching and learning tool in both education and businesses.

Denning (2005 Denning, S. (2005). The leaders guide to storytelling. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, thinks that storytelling could easily be that sixth discipline. The features Peter Senge (2006 Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Currency. imagined are all new and refer to broader patterns of thinking and a way of sharing hopes throughout the ongoing learning process.

Moreover, both national and international storytelling guilds are increasing in number so that oral storytelling is gradually expanded to cover additional areas, including both political and cultural fields.

Children who are active listeners can incorporate the things they hear faster in their framework of knowledge than a more passive counterpart. In his own view, Tramel (2011) observed that Children can also exhibit better concentration and memory when they develop good listening skill. Listening is very important because of all the language skills that young children develop, listening is the one that develops earliest and is practiced most frequently (Roskos, Christie and Richgels, 2003). Studies conducted on children’s listening, both in and outside school, estimated that between 50 and 90 percent of children’s communication time is devoted to listening (Wolvin and Coakely 2000; Gilbert, 2005). Listening is central to a child’s development of other skills, including survival, social and intellectual skills. (Wolvin and Coakley, 2000). Listening comprehension is considered one of the skills most predictive of overall, long-term school success (Brigman, Lane and Switzer, 2001). In their studies, Isbell, Sobol, Lindauer and Lowrance ( 2004), Gallets (2005) and Philips (2000) revealed that storytelling improves the listening skills of children.

In spite of the many advantages embedded in teaching listening to children, an observation of the teaching and learning activities in our primary schools revealed that is not given adequate attention. This supports the report of Smith (2003) that despite the fact that listening is the language skill that is used the most, it is the one that is taught the least in the classroom. The fact that listening has been neglected or poorly taught may have stemmed from the belief that it is a passive skill and that merely exposing learners to the spoken language provides adequate instruction in listening comprehension (Call, 1985). What may not be realized however is that stories which employ the use of illustrations are vital in teaching listening skills to children. Tales and stories are effective and useful listening materials for children to develop listening comprehension and literacy both in their first and second language (Zevenbergenn and Whitehurst, 2003). Storytelling is one of the oldest methods of communicating ideas and images (Mello, 2001). In the traditional African societies, young children were told stories by their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. According to Omoleye (1977), folktales played a very important role in the community life of Nigerians. Although the stories were unwritten, they have been passed down from generations without losing their originality. As important as storytelling is to the education of young children, it is not accorded adequate attention in primary schools (Mello, 2001 and Philip 2000). It has been observed that children spend more time with the electronic media and lesser time listening to stories because parents lead such busy lives that they no longer have time to read bedtime stories to their children (TalkTalk Group, 2011) instead they prefer their children to fill their evenings watching the television and playing games (Paton, 2012).

1.2 Statement of the problem

One of the oldest means of transmitting ideas and visuals is via storytelling (Mello, 2001). Parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts used to tell stories to young children in ancient African civilizations. Children’s stories and tales are powerful and valuable listening materials for developing listening comprehension and literacy in both their primary and second languages (Zevenbergenn and Whitehurst, 2003). Folktales, according to Omoleye (1977), played a significant part in Nigerian communal life. Despite the fact that the stories were never written, they have been passed down through the centuries without losing their uniqueness. Although storytelling is vital to the education of young children, it receives little emphasis in elementary schools (Mello, 2001 and Philip 2000). Children are spending more time with electronic media and less time listening to stories because their parents are so busy that they no longer have time to read bedtime stories to their children (TalkTalk Group, 2011). Instead, they prefer their children to spend their evenings watching television and playing video games. As a result, the researcher wishes to look into using tales to help students improve their listening abilities in kindergarten two (K G 2) at an Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana.

1.3 Objective of the study

the main objective of this study is to examine the use of Stories To Improve Pupils’ Listening Skills Among Kindergartens Two Pupils At Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana. Specifically, The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain whether stories improve pupils’ listening skills among kindergartens two (K G 2) pupils at Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana.
  2. To examine the effect of gender on the listening skills of kindergartens two (K G 2) pupils at Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana.

iii. To ascertain the impact of stories on pupil and their academic performance

1.4 Significance of the study

Students and the Ghanaian Ministry of Education will benefit much from this research. The study will provide a clear picture of how tales may be used to improve listening skills in kindergarten two (KG 2) students at an Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana. The study will be used as a guide for other academics who are working on a similar problem.

1.5 Research question

The following research questions will be answered in order to achieve the objectives of the study

  1. Does stories improve pupils’ listening skills among kindergartens two (K G 2) pupils at Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana ?
  2. Does gender have effect on the listening skills of kindergartens two (K G 2) pupils at Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana ?

iii. Does stories have impact on pupil and their academic performance ?

1.6 Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study covers Using stories to improve pupils’ listening skills among kindergartens two (KG 2) pupils at Zawse Basic School, Bawku, Ghana. The researcher encounters some constraints which limit the scope of the study namely:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

1.7 Definition of terms

Story tale: A fairy tale, fairytale, wonder tale, magic tale, fairy story or Märchen is an instance of a folklore genre that takes the form of a short story

Listening: Listening is the active process of receiving and responding to spoken (and sometimes unspoken) messages. Listening is not just hearing what the other party in the conversation has to say.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW AND PREVIOUS STUDIES

2.1 What is a story?

Most dictionaries define a story as a narrative account of a real or imagine deventor events within the storytelling community, a story is more generally agreed to be specific structure of narrative with specific style and set of characters and which includes a sense of completeness. Through this sharing of experience we use stories to pass on accumulated wisdom, beliefs, and values. Through stories we explain how things are, why they are and our role and purpose.

Stories are building blocks of knowledge, the foundation of memory and learning. Stories connect us with our humanness and link past, present and future by teaching us to anticipate the possible consequences of our actions.

2.1.1 Storytelling

Storytelling is a mystical and magical art form with a powerful communicative ability. It is an ancient legacy that dates back ever since humans existed (Atta-Alla, 2012). It is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. It is a useful communication tool that provides a method to transfer knowledge/rituals and cultural folklore and practices (Sorensen, 2004). Storytelling is an art and a strategy for teaching foreign languages if it is utilized wisely. According to Roney (1996) storytelling is co-creative and interactive. It is one of the most magnificent forms of art/communication known to humans. It holds the potential of being a highly effective educational tool. According to Miller and Pennycuff (2008), using storytelling in the classroom is a way of addressing literacy deficiency by developing oral language, reading comprehension and writing. Owing to the fact of the interconnected nature of the processes involved in reading and writing, storytelling is a primary pedagogical strategy that can be woven into instruction to increase students‟ competencies in all areas. Besides developing the academic performance of the students in the areas of reading and writing, storytelling also has the ability to introduce arts in education and motivate students to relate it to learning. As Roney (1996) claims, storytelling should not be seen as a cure–all solution for what deforms literacy programs in school. Indeed, it is only one of many strategies that can be utilized to help students become proficient and confident readers and writers. Yet it is an incredibly powerful tool. Its impact emerges from its deep-rooted nature as an interactive, instant, co- creative, personal and a whole means of communication. Storytelling has stood the test of time and up to this date stories still charm and inspire humanity. All that and more inspired the researcher to carry on with this enriching experiment.

Definitions of Storytelling

Storytelling or “oral literature” is artlessly defined as a story narration which means “the act or the process of telling or writing a story.” (Oxford advanced Learner‟s Dictionary,2016). It is also defined as telling a story publicly without the help of a written text, exclusively from the memory (Sorensen, 2004). In the opinion of Dujmovic, (2006) storytelling is the art of narrating a story from memory rather than reading it. As Gallets (2005) believes, storytelling is the oral presentation of a story from memory by an individual to a person or group of people. Sound effects, motions and props can also be used to enhance the delivery of the oral story presentation.

Roney (1996) defines storytelling as the process when people use speech, story structure and mental imagery to communicate with the audience who also use mental imagery to communicate back with the teller mainly through body language and facial expression in a continuous communication cycle. Storytelling also defined as an oral activity where language and gestures are used colorfully to extemporize scenes in a sequence.

Storytelling can be described as a process of connecting a chain of events and present them in the form of a story (Jupit et al., 2012). Usually, storytelling is an interactive art performance in which teller and audience can directly interact with each other. Storytelling can be personal and interpretive. Storytelling is defined as a humanistic model of communication where people break down complex knowledge into narratives that are shared amongst all cultures, particularly ancient cultures. However technology has impacted upon this tradition. In the current study, storytelling is simply defined as telling and writing stories.

 

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