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Orality - a reliance on spoken, rather than written, language for communication

  • Primary orality - describes those who have no written language and no little or nothing about reading and writing. This is increasingly rare in our world.
  • Secondary orality - also called post-literacy. Refers to people who may have the ability to read and write, but prefer not to. These people primarily rely on electronically delivered media (audio and visual technologies) for learning and entertainment..
  • Traditional orality - describes those who are familiar with reading and writing, and may have learned to read and write in school, but use oral communication for daily living.

The extent of orality in the world

  • 5.7 million people (80% of the world's population) are oral learners either because they are illiterate or their reading comprehension is inadequate. See Grant Lovejoy's report on The Extent of Orality.: 2012 Update
  • The majority of the unreached peoples of the world are oral learners
  • The National Assesment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) survey, done by the US government in 1992 and again in 2003, lists the USA as 14% Illiterate, 29% functionally illiterate, 44% preferred oral learner and 13% highly literate.

Why story-telling?

  • 75% of the Bible is narrative
  • Jesus primarily taught by telling stories
  • Stories are memorable and can easily be learned and repeated by those who do not have written notes. Thus this strategy is foundational to multiplication among oral learners.
  • Stories address the heart and lead to life change.

Organizations providing training in story-telling

  • Simply the Story - Dr. Larry Dinkins who facilitated the story-telling training at the 2012 Directors' Council, believes that Simply the Story is the most effective training available.

Books about orality and storytelling

Bible Storying Websites

Resources shared by Larry Dinkins (Story-telling Trainer at DC'12)

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