Contes en anglais pour déficients visuels… hmmm a worthy challenge.

I thought that I had had a few challenging audiences as a storyteller but today was the most challenging storytelling I have done yet. When Melanie Kays, English teacher at the ERDV in Loos (Lille) asked me to come tell stories to her classes from “6eme to 3eme” I thought ,”Wow, what a great opportunity”.  Then I had a second thought : “How the heck am I gonna do that?!”. (I didn’t actually tell Ms. Kays too much about my fears – I was too afraid I guess). I had told stories in English to French students is ‘College’ before but then I relied heavily on gesture, facial expression and mime. The students at ERDV were French students from 11 to 14 years old who have trouble seeing anything more precise than global movement and several have no sight at all. Well, after some thinking, some playing around with sound and listening to old time radio I decided to enlist my Boss Looper. It was so much fun preparing for this day I hope someone will ask me to do another show again soon. I learned about sound effects such as using crumpled paper to make the sound of a cracking fire. I used sound effects live and the looper allowed me to record and play them instantly “en boucle”. From then on I could talk over top of the background sound, even create dialogue by recording phrases that could repeat and talking with them. I sang and told stories over the singing. I had a ball. Then finally today I went into the beautiful new school and Ms. Kays was very well organized, having prepared the students with special vocabulary I had given her ahead of time. Very soon all my fears were set aside. I had a wonderful time with the students. They were great listeners. They were good English speakers too! I only hope I have the chance to do this again soon. There is so much more I could explore. For right now though, summer is on it’s way and I’m on my way to Ireland to tell more stories there in my native tongue in the land of my dreams. Soon after is Quebec and Contes en Îles (I can’t wait!!) Hopefully Then back to Lille in October where I hope I’ll get a chance to work with these wonderful students again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *