Stories about you: Making reading personal
Blackpool literacy learners talk about reading stories written about themselves.
Click on the picture above to hear how a Blackpool literacy tutor writes stories based on her students' lives.
I'm Dawn Connolly Finn. I'm a reading and literacy tutor in Blackpool.
The adult learners that come to the classes, they've got their own little interests, so I look at their hobbies and create my own stories from the words that they use. They love to hear their own names.
[Speaking to Alfred] It's about you, this bit.
[Reading from a story] "Alfred had asked…"
When I see my name in the stories, it gives me a buzz. It helps me to read the words more carefully. Quite proud of myself.
[Reading from a story] "Do you fancy coming down the pub? Everyone is going, even Trevor."
She tries to understand the way you are, your humour, your personality, and she puts all this into some of the stories to keep your mind on it.
[Reading from a story] "I didn't think she would fancy your big red nose." [Laughter]
The laughter helps you to learn more and the laughter helps you to calm down.
[Reading from a story] "Then he cleaned Peter's car."
Oh, he cleaned my Aston Martin then.
Yeah, he's cleaning his Aston Martin.
Thank you very much.
I think I've done pretty well. One time, I couldn’t read some of them words, you know what I mean? You just got to keep at it and keep battling on.
Other people said I'm reading better than what I was when I first started. So I must be getting better.
I enjoy it immensely. I look forward to it every Tuesday. I wish we could do it a couple of days more. The confidence level in everyone is a hundred per cent.
Quick tips for tutors
- Short film about a Blackpool literacy tutor who writes her students into the stories she produces for them to read in class.
- The students discuss this novel approach to reading and how it feels to be the subject of the stories they read.
- May be used to introduce the topic in class and stimulate discussion around the featured story.