Si·La·Bul Videocasting Network: Tell me a tale
Updated: Jan 24
Just wanted to present you all to the new “Si·La·Bul Videocasting Network”, aka: SVN. That’s just our fancy name for our new YouTube project where you can tune into our first series called Tell me a tale.
Tell me a tale is a twenty-week broadcast series of short videos, each of which tell you some kind of story. We began with three creators who tell us stories about everyday experience, from learning to communicate with the natives in a new country, to renting flats, to experiencing the local food. Each of these stories is really quick and is based on the real-life experiences of each of our creators.
How does it work?
Each Monday morning, at 8am EST, we upload a new episode of Tell me a tale to YouTube for you to enjoy. These videos are stories, told naturally by native speakers. We don’t slow down our speaking, we don’t focus on one grammar point: we just tell the story.
In the description of each episode you’ll find a link that takes you to the Tell me a tale blog. There you will find the transcript of the video with useful links to dictionaries and other types of sources that will expand on your knowledge of the language and the culture behind it.
If you subscribe to the blog episode, we’ll send you a link to a quick, interactive mini-lesson that is lifted from the content of the video. Here you can practice and review some of the episode language used in telling the story.
You can also upload your own story. Anyone who uploads a story will get a return: one of our creators or tutors will comment on your story, telling you how you may improve or letting you know just how well you already tell stories.
It’s all about the narrative
For the first few years you study a language, you get a lot of information thrown at you in a kind of gradual, piece-by-piece fashion. Yeah, you’ll learn how to say “hello” and tell us your age; you’ll learn how to tell us what you do every day and what you’re doing right now. You’ll struggle with verb tenses and modes and you’ll accumulate vocabulary. And you’ll probably do all of this for many years, even once you’ve begun speaking the language.
Yet you may feel that you can’t really say what’s on your mind. There’s not a lot of time for individual practice in a language classroom or even in a private class. You feel stuck in the grammar and structure and formulas. And no one has bothered to teach you how to improvise in that language.
With Tell me a tale, we at Si·La·Bul are offering you a way to jump into that improvisation. Once a conversation has begun, after we’ve said “hello” and “how are you”, we often ask something like “What’s new?” This question invites you to use non-standard language, to tell a story, to share an anecdote. And that’s not always easy.
Watching and studying our short videos will give you the opportunity to see how natives tell those stories. Uploading your own story for evaluation gives you the chance to be able to study and improve your own storytelling skills.
Give the program a try. It’s not an app, it’s not automatic, you’ll have to do a lot of the work yourself, but then, it’s your language skills that you want to improve. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have more than enough to watch, study, learn and practice:
Watch the new, weekly episode of Tell me a tale
Check out the blog and follow the links
Do the mini-lesson and upload a video
As we load new episodes, watch this space to see how you can take advantage of each of those three simple steps, taking real control of your language skills with the help of our creators and tutors.
Check out Tell me a tale on YouTube. Subscribe and follow us. Leave comments to us and others. Enjoy the show!