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‘Once upon a time…' and beyond

R. Vimal Kumar
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art of speaking:Geetha Ramanujam, speaking in Tirupur on Thursday. –Photo: M. Balaji
art of speaking:Geetha Ramanujam, speaking in Tirupur on Thursday. –Photo: M. Balaji

For the gathering of students, teachers and parents, a tete-tete with the internationally acclaimed storyteller and educator Geeta Ramanujam, founder of Kathalaya Trust in Bangalore, here on Thursday, turned out to be a different experience of sorts.

The interactive session with Ms. Ramanujam, organised by White Clouds Public School, Tirupur, has given an opportunity for the audience to understand the inherent values of storytelling beyond the traditional ‘Once upon a time there was…' mode of narration and what makes a person an effective storyteller.

“Storytelling is an effective educational and cultural tool as proven at many educational institutions both in India and abroad,” Ms. Geeta Ramanujam told The Hindu on the sidelines of the event.

She went on to point out that United Kingdom considers storytelling as a ‘curriculum for excellence' and in Norway, the school curriculum is based on spoken words.

According to her, the storytelling helps the students with their language skills and life skills apart from learning more about history and a whole lot of subjects.

Whether the storytelling could destroy reading habits?

“Never. Storytelling is like a prelude to the reading and hence, listening to any story, be it a fairy tale, a real life story or an epic, will only help a real enthusiast to go in search of the books related to it for knowing more on the respective topics,” she pointed out.

Reiterating that storytelling has no age bar either for narration or for listening, Ms. Geeta is of the opinion that a good vocabulary, voice modulation, body language and knack of holding audience's attention could make anyone a good storyteller.

She feels that a good chunk of today's teachers were not effective storytellers as they are not able to convey messages effectively.

Parents, teachers, and students get to know of the science behind the art of telling stories

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