miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016

Talking point: Stories

This week's talking point is stories. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

Choose a folktale or fairy story you know well and tell the story.
What would be the modern version of that folktale or fairy story?
What makes a good story?
What makes a good storyteller?
Do you know anyone who's a particularly good storyteller?
What kind of stories does he or she tell?
When did you last hear a good story? What was it about?
Do you prefer reading stories or listening to them?
How important are folktales and fairy stories in forming someone's cultural background?
Are folktales and fairy stories taught in schools?
Certain groups of people criticise myths and fairy tales for communicating an undesirable set of values. How do you feel about this?

Personal story: A change in plans
You are going to tell your partner about a time when you had to change your plans.
  • What had you planned? A holiday? A party? A career change? A new home? Something else?
  • Were you responsible for making the plans or did someone else do the planning?
  • How far ahead were the plans made? Was there a lot of planning involved?
  • What exactly was the original plan? Were you looking forward to it?
  • What happened to force you to change your plans?
  • Did the change happen at the very last minute or did you have time to make new plans?
  • How did you react when your plans fell through?
  • Did you do something else instead? Do you think it turned out for the best in the end?
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?
To illustrate the topic you can watch the story of Little Red Riding Hood, included in Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.

As soon as Wolf began to feel That he would like a decent meal, 
He went and knocked on Grandma's door. 
When Grandma opened it, she saw 
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin, 
And Wolfie said, "May I come in?" 
Poor Grandmamma was terrified, 
"He's going to eat me up!" she cried. 
And she was absolutely right. 
He ate her up in one big bite. 
But Grandmamma was small and tough, 
And Wolfie wailed, 
"That's not enough! 
I haven't yet begun to feel 
That I have had a decent meal!" 
He ran around the kitchen yelping, 
"I've got to have a second helping!"
Then added with a frightful leer, 
"I'm therefore going to wait right here 
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood 
Comes home from walking in the wood."
He quickly put on Grandma's clothes, 
(Of course he hadn't eaten those). 
He dressed himself in coat and hat. 
He put on shoes, and after that, 
He even brushed and curled his hair, 
Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.
In came the little girl in red. 
She stopped. She stared. And then she said, 
"What great big ears you have, Grandma." 
"All the better to hear you with," the Wolf replied. 
"What great big eyes you have, Grandma." said Little Red Riding Hood. "All the better to see you with," the Wolf replied.
He sat there watching her and smiled. 
He thought, I'm going to eat this child. 
Compared with her old Grandmamma, 
She's going to taste like caviar.
Then Little Red Riding Hood said, 
“But Grandma, what a lovely great big furry coat you have on." 
"That's wrong!" cried Wolf. 
"Have you forgot 
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got? 
Ah well, no matter what you say,
 I'm going to eat you anyway." 
The small girl smiles. 
One eyelid flickers. 
She whips a pistol from her knickers. 
She aims it at the creature's head, 
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood, 
I came across Miss Riding Hood. 
But what a change! 
No cloak of red, 
No silly hood upon her head. 
She said, "Hello, and do please note 
My lovely furry WOLFSKIN COAT."