“Through the gathering of these stories, we hope to support the preservation of the language and culture of these communities"
Storytelling is a wonderful pathway to imagination, creativity and language learning. Students and teachers from six Orang Asli (indigenous peoples of Malaysia) schools and communities in Selangor are now enjoying traditional stories from their tribe, in English, with a new, beautifully illustrated storybook.
Community events were organised bringing parents, children, teachers and other community members together to enjoy English storytelling sessions. A highlight of the events involved parents and elders from the tribe sharing traditional stories in their first language. Teachers, with the support of the British Council, translated these stories into simple English and brought them together in one storybook beautifully illustrated by Shaq Koyok, a local artist. Local teachers from the six schools were also given training in teaching reading and storytelling, ensuring the benefits of the project continue.
The project was run by the British Council in Malaysia with the support of the Selangor State Education Department (JPN Selangor), funded by Hong Leong Foundation and Magicbird Publishing. A total of 16 project teachers, approximately 200 parents and pupils directly participated in the Orang Asli storybook project, with approximately 500 books being donated to the school libraries.