Sunday, February 15, 2015

Meet our Plenary Speakers - Andrew Wright


Andrew Wright is an author, illustrator, teacher trainer and storyteller. As an author he has published many books including, ‘Creating Stories with Children’ and ‘Storytelling with Children’, Oxford University Press, ‘Games for Language Learning’ and ‘Five Minute Activities’, Cambridge University Press, ‘1000 Pictures for Teachers to Copy’, Longman Pearson; ‘Writing Stories’, Helbling Languages. 

He has recently published his first collection of very short stories, ‘Beggar in Bogota’, and also recently published, ‘Creativity in the Classroom: 176 practical ideas’. Both books are published by: ILI International Languages Institute, Hungary. Write to him for more information:

As a teacher trainer he has worked in 48 countries during the last 50 years, as a storyteller and storymaker he estimates that he has worked with over 50,000 students in the last 20 years

Andrew lives in Hungary where he is managing director together with his wife, Julia Dudas of the International Languages Institute in Godollo. Andrew and Julia have two young daughters, Timea and Alexandra.

More about Andrew and his work at

Plenary: Storying is central in our daily life. What about the classroom?

It has recently been estimated that about 9 million bits of information assail our senses every second!

To cope with this onslaught of infinite complexity we humans are driven to select, name and narrate. Our narrations contain the values, perceptions and behaviours which guide our daily lives. The food we eat makes our bodies and the stories we hear and tell make our minds.

Stories are often told through words. Surely stories which are so central to our daily lives should be a highroad in the language classroom?

In this plenary and in the accompanying workshop my plan is to demonstrate the ubiquity and influence of stories in our daily lives. Then, I want to make practical suggestions for how we can use stories in the classroom, much more than is normally the case. 

Workshop: Your stories for them

Stories are based on fact and on fiction and are constantly manifested on the stage of our daily life. ‘All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players.’ 

You and the students are the first source of stories always available in the language class.

In this workshop I will focus on ways of recognizing stories in your daily life. A piece of grit in an oyster may lead to a pearl. A single difficulty in your life can lead to a story. 

Then, I will focus on the craft of you telling your stories more effectively.

In passing, I will refer to the various roles that your storying can have in language teaching: fluency in the four skills, introduction and re-cycling of grammatical items, spring-board activities.

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