IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Oral storytelling and literacy

11 December 2018, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Teacher and primary class reading corner

In this seminar, Dr Alastair Daniel will lead a discussion on the role of oral storytelling in the cooperative shaping of ideas and language.

Event Information

Open to



Sam Duncan


Committee Room 2
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

In 'The Meaning Makers', Dr Daniel's seminal study of how language and literacy develop, Gordon Wells suggests that children’s literacy development is supported most in homes in which stories are shared. His view that storying is a fundamental way in which we make sense of the world aligns both with Gottschall’s suggestion in 'The Storytelling Animal' that humans are homo fictus or ‘the great ape with the storytelling mind’, and also with perspectives that see storytelling as, by nature, a social activity.

Dr Daniel will ask the group to consider their own experiences of storytelling practices, and the way in which those practices relate to broader dimensions of literacy, both in spoken language and written text. He will highlight research into the effects of storytelling on literacy development, and explore some of the storytelling activities that are used in schools to support literacy teaching and learning, including teacher-led story making and Kamishibai (Japanese ‘paper theatre’).

This seminar is organised in conjunction with the British Association for Literacy in Development (BALID). It is free and open to all.



  • Woodleywonderworks via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

About the Speaker

Dr Alastair Daniel

Dr Alastair K. Daniel currently works at the University of Roehampton as the Principal Lecturer in Primary English Education. Before entering full-time academia in 2010, he spent twelve years dividing his time between university lecturing and educational storytelling in schools in the UK and Belgium. He is an active researcher into storytelling performance and associated pedagogies, and (in particular) focuses on the contribution of environmental context to story creation and telling.

More about Dr Alastair Daniel