Darning Secrets and other Stories



Darning Secrets and other stories

Stories come from everywhere and anywhere. They can come from personal experience of from an archipelago of a created alter- atmosphere carved out of our imagination. What they hold in common, though, is their ability to bring us together as humans as we reflect on the absurdity of life or the wonder of a shared moment. In short, we seem to like stories. And stories like us!


Stories can be told or written, and can be invented or real. Storytelling can take place in a room full of people or in a virtual reality online. Creating stories can be rewarding but challenging. Starting small by creating something like a #storymosaic can make the experience less daunting, thus encouraging people to share their voice. Encouraging supportive and positive spaces for creative CPD can, I believe, provide a bounteous crop when used by ELT professionals keen to improve their professional practice. More of that in my talk.


These themes are at the heart of both {Seahorse English} Barcelona and of the talk I will be giving at this year´s iELT Conference in Barcelona “The Seahorse and the mermaid: using stories in ELT CPD”. The activities and ideas used in many story activities can also be used with students and taken into the classroom

To finish, I´d like to share this short story, written at a Creative Writing Workshop I ran for {Seahorse English} Barcelona last month. The creative “prompt” was a pair of silver high heels in the middle of the floor.


She clocked out.
It was a Friday. Her week of working at the factory was over. She collected her pay check on the way out. She rushed home. She went through the bills; water, gas, electric. Paid. She made her shopping list ; bread, potatoes, tinned beans, tinned vegetables and a pint of milk. She double checked the lists again. Yes! She thought. She would have just enough this month. Excited, she threw her hair up and caught the 27 bus to the town centre. She walked down the high street chewing furiously on her gum in anticipation. There she reached the shop front, peering in the window, there they were; her new shoes.

Mk Kennedy


Stories are in all of us, I think, and can unlock a myriad of creative processes taking us into unknown territory such as darning secrets. But the knowledge we gain about ourselves and others can, I believe, truly enhance our ELT practice along the way.

Melody Philip  Twitter- Seahorse English BCN @melody_philip


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