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Bi-lingual storytelling for Mother Tongue week celebrations

This week coming up is Mother Tongue week at my son's school (Australian International in Singapore). I've teamed up with a Japanese parent who conducts MT lessons there to tell The Three Magic Charms, which is a very popular tale (Noriko knew it the moment I suggested it, and has her own book version of it, which was fascinating to see). i'm also working with the Mandarin Dept which has provided three Grade 4 kids who are helping me to tell a story fromn Taiwan about a clever carp which outwits a dragon ... to become a dragon.

Those who celebrate World Storytelling Day will know that this year's theme is Dragons and Monsters, and originally I'd hoped to present tese stories in March as part of my ceelbration of WSD - the theme is very much in line with G K Chesterton's observation that 'fairytlaes are improtant, not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.'

I hope to post a video of the tellings sometime soon - we have three slots between the 17-21st, and for those of you knowledgeable in Mandarin or Japanese will see that it is not direct translation, but my interaction Noriko or Sophia (my Chinese co-narrator) which clarifies the MT dialogue.  

I also want to get the kids speaking some Japanese - when the paper charm turns into a river, we'll encourage them to make the sound effect by chanting japanese onomatopoeia (gabu-gabu, gobu-gobu!) instead of whoosh or gurgle-gurgle!

At one point, when I am the yamanba monster trying to grow bigger, I say the magic spell - but it doesn't work. Noriko respectfully points out it's because I'msaying it in English! The magic only works ... in Japanese. and so I start chanting in Japanese (!) - and sure enough, I am transformed.

I'd lobve to hear other experiences of bi-lingual telling.

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