The Multilingual Project


Osun Arts and Delta Maria, two organisations with a wealth of experience of delivering authentic African arts and culture education have joined forces to collaborate on a new project we believe will help schools deliver on a number of learning outcomes particularly those on the PSHE curriculum.

The project is multi-faceted and is unique in its approach to communicate the very important message of ‘Stranger Danger’ in a highly creative, engaging, entertaining, memorable and educational style.

In Africa, particularly areas such as Nigeria and Ghana, storytelling is a very important way of teaching children socially responsible messages such as teaching them never to talk to strangers through African Fables. At the end of each day, all the children would gather around the storyteller who would be a village elder or ‘wise one’ and listen intently as the story teller would tell the fable in such a way as to invoke the children’s own imagination and bring the animals of Africa to life to teach the children an important message about safety, values and becoming a valuable member of the community. Our story tellers are highly skilled, authentic African Artists with many years of experience of visiting schools and know what it takes to hold the children’s attention by using their own unique style of storytelling to tell the story of the Tortoise and Sardines, an African cautionary tale about the dangers of talking to strangers.

Osun Arts creative approach to performing this fable will have pupils spellbound, the story telling will be accompanied by live music and authentic African dancing. As part of the performance the pupils and teachers will be taught African Dance moves to join in at the end. Quite often parents are invited in to the school to watch a whole school performance that will long be etched in memory of all those involved. Putting together the theatrical storytelling, the music, dancing and participation helps to strengthen the message of being cautious when talking to strangers. It is our sincere hope that our work helps to safeguard children for years to come.

To encourage the pupils to keep learning about African dance and keep them more active we will hold a competition at each school we attend for the best African dance routine. We will supply all the necessary tools to carry on the fun!

Fables and metaphors such as the Tortoise and the Sardines have proven hugely successful throughout the ages to communicate valuable life lessons to children. The fable of the Tortoise and Sardines has been written by Stella Osammor and describes a dialogue between a Tortoise and a shoal of sardines and how it all could have spelt disaster for the sardines had they not learned the valuable lesson of not talking to strangers. As part of this project each school will be supplied with a number of the Tortoise and Sardines books. The books themselves have been beautiful illustrated and have also been translated into Spanish and French, the two universal languages. The translations have been specifically designed for the Key stage 2 level, there are questions and answers at the end of the book. Alongside the books and to ensure continued learning takes place we will also be providing a professionally produced video recording of the story being told in English along with the Spanish and French pronunciations for children to practice long after our visit.

The aims of the project are:

  • To safeguard children and teach them the valuable life lesson of being cautious when talking to strangers using African performing arts as a delivery vehicle
  • To start or strengthen children’s knowledge of languages through the translation of the tortoise and sardines story
  • To encourage children to become more active by learning and practicing new African Dance steps
  • To encourage children to become interested in cultures other than their own
  • To encourage cultural cohesion
  • To practice listening skills
  • To encourage racial harmony
  • To learn about how African literature differs from western literature

 

For more information or to book Osun Arts for your school please, email: neilfoster@osunarts.co.uk or telephone on 0151 922 2911

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