Short version - EAL Nexus

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Teaching notes and ideas
Name of resource:
Story writing
Age group(s)
Subject(s)
8 to 11, 12 to 14
English
Topic
Language Level
Story writing (fiction)
Beginner/Intermediate
EAL Nexus
Description of resource
Bilingual templates to support the writing of plot and character in short stories:
 Describing characters vocabulary and template
 Planning a plot
Preparation needed
You will need:

Planning a plot (select language) (2 templates)
1. First language only
2. First language with English support

Describing characters (select language) (3 resources)
Bilingual word list
1. First language only
2. First language with English support
You will need to:
 print all the resources in the appropriate language(s) onto A3 paper to give
learners enough space for their own writing.
Curriculum objectives
 To develop plot and character description in fiction story writing
Language/Literacy objectives
Functions
Structures
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
EAL Nexus
Describing
 Present tense: It (she, he) is/has …; They are/
have …; There is/are …
 Adjectives to describe setting and character
Questioning
 What is it like? Where is it? When? Who?
Vocabulary
 Adjectives to describe character and place (see full list in resource)
This resource could be used:
 as differentiation within class
 one to one or small group
 independent learning
Ideas for using the resource
What to do
 These resources should be used in the final stages of a scheme of work on
story writing.
 Print all the resources onto A3. This will give the EAL learner plenty of space to
develop their ideas.
 First, use the Story writing Plot 1 (select language) in the first language only
This gives the following instructions for EAL learners in their first language:
1. Name the characters in the story.
2. Write a brief 'beginning, middle, end' summary of the plot in a few sentences.
3. Write where and when the story takes place.
4. Write down a few words/phrases to describe the setting(s) for the story.
5. Write down the ending of the story (how any problems are resolved).
 Encourage the EAL learner to write down their main ideas in their first
language. They can use a first language thesaurus and dictionary (available
online) to develop descriptive vocabulary in their first language.
 The EAL learner could go on to develop the story further, and write it in their first
language, or the first language draft could be used as a stimulus to help to
develop the story in English using the Story writing plot 2 (select language)
with English support.
 The EAL learner could use this parallel resource to transfer the basic ideas for
their story into English. This could also be done as a collaborative activity with a
peer (a good linguistic role model) or with guidance from a supporting teacher
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
EAL Nexus
 The EAL learner should be encouraged to retell her/his simple story plan idea
orally in English, as well as to develop it further through discussion.
 The EAL learner may also choose to use a bilingual dictionary to find the English
for some of the key descriptive vocabulary they have chosen for the first
language version of the story.
 Developing the main character(s): pre-teach different facial features in English.
For example: Ask learners to use magazines to find interesting faces. They can
either use a whole face or make their own face by cutting up different features
(face, nose, eyes, hair, etc.) . Once they have their features, ask learners to stick
them on a sheet of paper to make a visual of their main character. This can be
done as a shared speaking activity with a pupil who provides a good English
language model.
 Use Story writing character 1 (select language) first. Ask the EAL learner to
write down some ideas about the main character in their first language only, to
support the development of ideas. The EAL learner can then talk these ideas
through with a peer, or a supporting teacher.
 This discussion can be supported with the Bilingual word list (select
language) and a bilingual dictionary.
 Using the Bilingual word list and Story writing character 2 (with English),
learners write down a description of their character in English
Other ideas for making the best use of this resource
This resource could also be used as a barrier game, as follows:
 Learner 1 has a blank face template; Learner 2 has the completed description
of their character’s appearance. Learner 2 describes the character, while
Learner 1 draws it.
 Learner 1 has a blank story plot template. Learner 2 has a completed template.
Learner 1 asks questions to Learner 2 and completes each section of the
jigsaw with their responses. On completion, the pair compares the result with
the original description.
Possible extension activities
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
EAL Nexus
Ask learners to compare the same story written from the perspective of two
different cultures, perhaps in different languages.
For example: Cinderella is available in both French and English.
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
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