University of Delaware, English Language Institute
English through Stories
A new listening/speaking class entitled "English through
Stories" was introduced this year by Walt Babich. In this
class, students listen to stories told by various gifted North
American tale spinners, such as Garrison Keillor and Bill Cosby.
Students also create their own stories and share them with their
classmates. The main objectives of the class, said Babich, are
for students to improve their vocabulary and understanding of
idiomatic expressions, and for them to hear a variety of voices from
different regions and ethnic backgrounds as they attempt to understand
American English as it is spoken by ordinary Americans.
Read it! Watch it!
Leslie Criston's "Read It! Watch It!" is a new
reading/writing course in which students read a poem, short story or
novel and then watch its film version. Afterwards, students
compare the two versions and analyze the differences. Students
also read and write about the lives of the authors, the impact of
their work on the American public and American cultural values.
Books by Dr. Seuss, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee and Stephen King have
proved the most popular, and often the students reported liking the
book better than the movie version. What's more, said Criston,
students claim they've grown to love reading through this experience.