The stories and lesson plans were actually written for my young ESL students in Hong Kong and the New Territories. I could find no material to fit my needs and the schools' curriculum. I'd write the stories on the morning ferry to Hong Kong. Sometimes from Hong Kong I'd have to take the subway, a train and a bus to get to my school. I had a lot of time.
I made puppets of the characters in the stories on a battery-operated sewing machine the size of a shoe box, that I'd bought off a street vendor in Kowloon. Sometimes you get lucky.
Even the simplest of all the stories can be used for advanced students; they are stepping stones to more complicated dialogues and improvisations - I finally really grasped the Arabic language when I used a first grade schoolbook lent to me by my neighbour's six year old.
The puppets were a success, even with the teachers.
The theatre is the best possible tool to teach a language because in essence we are repeating the same thing over and over. While we focus on how we say something the language is learned rhythmically with the action.
A word or sentence can take on many different meanings depending on the way it's said. For example, how many ways can one say the word "really". How many meanings can it take on: actually, the real deal, urgent, are you sure, I don't believe you, astonished, self-righteous, it's a lie...
English is my second language, and I remember how hard it was to learn only from a book. Hopefully educators will find some ideas on this site to integrate into their class.
Rabbit catches Fox as
he tries to slip away.