Friday, October 5, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

To view the video, click here.

This 2-minute long, animated version of the classic folk story is delivered via the British Council website. It tells the story of the girl who goes to visit her grandmother in her house in the woods and the danger she faces when she encounters the wolf. The story is told mostly using the past simple tense, except for the few snippets of direct speech during the girl's conversation with the wolf.  This shows an interesting contrast between the story told in the past and the spoken language of the present. For lower level students at beginner level, the focus on past simple forms would be sufficient, but for more advanced students at pre-intermediate level, direct speech could be the focus.  

For more advanced learners, and even teachers, the features of the fairy story genre could be investigated.  For example, language patterns and repetition of those patterns are common features of fairy / folk tales which stem from the spoken medium in which they originated. In this story Red Riding Hood repeats the phrase "What big eyes/ears/teeth you have." The wolf replies with the pattern "All the better to see/hear/eat you with."  Such patterns and repetition enabled memorization by listeners in a time when recording devices did not exist so that the story could be retold successfully to future audiences .   Other features of the genre include opposing pairs of adjectives as main themes of the story, for example, good vs evil, ugly vs beautiful, rich vs poor, etc.  

To view the video, click here.

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