The Sheherazade experience – PARIS

Sheherazade workshop has been a forward looking project of cultural action for the purpose of learning a foreign language. The action took place between 16 and 30 of March 2013, in Paris. It has been a rewarding experience for the participants/learners, the socio-artistic instructors and the professional storyteller involved.


Public: group of migrants from various origins (Koreans, Americans, Italians, Mexicans, Colombians, Algerians, French, etc.)

Our goals :

  • Exploiting the role of narration as an educational tool for immigrants in a disadvantaged situation, in adults’ formal and informal education.
  • Great potential of the narration for entertain and motivate with regards to the learning lessons for adults.
  • Promoting the exchange intergenerational and intercultural
  • Increasing self-esteem of elders with risks of isolation and exclusion.
  • employing imagination
  • Increasing notions of European identity and citizenship through informal education.

For more information on the project, click HERE. Below, we will explain how to set up workshops around the narration, in order to acquire the language and the French culture and also to create intercultural and intergenerational links.

Module 1: warm-up

The first 2 or 3 hours should be devoted to the creation of a group dynamics which promotes individual expression of the participants/learners. The main goal of this positive dynamic is to create an atmosphere of trust so that everyone can speak freely, without any fear to be judge and/or contradicted and then it will facilitate the social insertion.

Start by quickly presenting the project team, the storyteller and the objectives of Scheherazade’s ATELIER. A first exercise of warm-up is proposed by clicking HERE.

Module 2: The tale and the insertion in a different social context

For generations, the tale plays an important role as heritage support, communicating values and essential elements of artistic and socio-cultural process. However, most of western European countries —subsumed into modern media — have lost their storytelling tradition. A revitalization of this tradition could help western cultures to find its way back to its own cultural identity and heritage and inspire an interest for other cultural traditions, giving to migrants and minority cultures a sense of belonging and an occasion to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding they are facing. HERE, some ideas to convey the development of tales!

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Module 3 promoting creativity and employing imagination

The workshop can improve significantly the level of spoken language of any person in linguistic insecurity. Mother language for some, language of the host country for the migrants, the workshop permitted to highlight how much language is a fundamental instrument for social cohesion. By clicking HERE, you will find the last module where we work with creativity to enhance the cognitive possibilities for mastering another language.

The ability to speak well a language and to express his/her own ideas and feelings is an essential component: she is the fundamental lever of integration! Therefore Sheherazade workshop enable to promote integration for every people who his/her insecurity linguistic (most of the time, cultural) is a pain. Whether it concerns developing spoken abilities and/or promoting the building of solids links between isolated persons, the practice of storytelling provides an efficient lever for action to encourage the use of community’s language.

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