Other characteristics of these brief educational stories related to language are:
In the stories in English as well as in Spanish and other languages, the grammatical structure is very simple and the vocabulary is very basic because of their addressees, limiting themselves to describe very basic aspects or elements.
Often they are natural elements, like relations between the Sun, the clouds, the rain and the stars.
Also, the repetition of words reinforces the vocabulary used and the time sequence insists in the idea of the persistence of time like one of the central axes of our life.
Tale speed of stories in Spanish, English and other languages
The tale speed is important when the children are very little or it is a short story in Spanish or another language that is not their maternal language, because the comprehension depends a lot on the speed.
With style, analysis is similar, on occasions the brief story has to be very simple, so simple that the majority of the times they are short sentences connected with the word “and” and with comas or full stops. A clear example is the use of the symbol “~” in the fairy story The Doctor (in English in its original version) which means a longer than normal pause, because if the children are very little they need time to understand the words and sentences.
Games with vocabulary and words
The use of very similar words shows how the language, be it in Spanish or any other language, sometimes uses similar structures for words with related concepts. An example of this characteristic would be the words “arañar, arrastrar, agarrar, amarrar, agachar, etc.” in the story for kids in Spanish The Lake of Monsters.
Also, the use of words formed with the root and a lot of derivatives teach the configuration of a language in a fun way. In the original short stories in English the root has a more phonetic than graphic personality.
A characteristic of some spoken tales is the employment of a translation of common names like names of characters. Obviously with two words one doesn’t learn Spanish or any other language but it is handy for inventing names. In addition, it is possible that in the future, when the child hears those words in Spanish, they will ring a bell, that association of ideas would be and important step in itself.
We must not forget that relaxed learning is much more powerful and persistent. What’s more, the principal objective of a short story in Spanish or any other language must never be learning, but the relaxation and happiness of the child.
© 2007, All rights are reserved
María José T. Molina
Nocturnities for kids
FAIRY TALES FOR CHILDREN