Teacher’s Anecdote June 09

In this issue, we have included an article that talks about the reasons behind using an anecdote for language teaching purposes.

This article was published originally in English Teaching Forum (2008). Abstract Anecdotes are stories, usually from personal experience, that people tell to make a point or entertain others during a conversation. These personal stories have a considerablerole in everyday human interaction (Jones 2001), and according to Wright (1995, 16), “the whole world is full of storytellers.” Anecdotes often have an emotional component, such as happiness or sadness, excitement or embarrassment, or amusement or disappointment. Therefore, when we share an anecdote, we share a compelling story with other people. While it is not possible to remember all of the anecdotes we know, we do remember the content of noteworthy ones, and often we pass them on to others. It is well known that inserting anecdotes in essays and oral presentations is a good strategy to attract and hold audience attention (Benson 2000; Lukey-Coutsocostas and Tanner-Bogia 1998). This also applies to the second language classroom; using anecdotes is a good technique to arouse student interest and establish a meaningful and memorable context for learning. This article aims to describe types of anecdotes, explain why anecdotes are useful in language teaching, and suggest how to use them in the classroom. Read the full article…

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