Orality

Author: Richard Margetts

Help! Hardly anyone can read the translated Scriptures. What can we do?

This is a one-page poster or course handout. It reminds us that if a lack of literacy skills is cited as a barrier to Scripture use, then the solution can be found in both literacy and oral strategies. Good Scripture use promotion strategies will often need to move in both of these directions.

So, if people say "The New Testament is not being used because people can't read it!", the response is not only "OK, we'd better do some literacy so they can read it". It should also be: "OK, we need to explore ways of them getting to hear it as well."  [more...]

Communicating effectively to non-readers
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (21.4 Winter 2004)

In seeking to free ourselves from the biases of a print-oriented culture, we need to consider, not only the kinds of media and discourse genre (e.g. narrative) that are most appropriate for oral cultures, but also the most effective ways to use those genres and media. What do non-readers like to see and hear? What do they enjoy listening to? Their choices will not necessarily be the same as those of print communicators. If the styles of presentation are ones which oral communicators prefer, then they will be more likely to listen, to understand, and to remember what they hear.

In this paper, Rick Brown argues that oral cultures have their own preferences for ways to communicate truth, and that these are often different from what print-oriented people prefer. In order to share the message most effectively, we need to find out what media and methods work best for them. In most cases this will include a multi-media approach with an emphasis on memorizing the Scriptures with the aid of high-quality recordings from skilled actors or voicers.  [more...]

The first foot forward in Scripture selection?
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (18.4 Winter 2001)

Most frontier Bible translators would agree that one of the major goals of their role in the total mission task is that the receptor language community would gain access to adequate Scriptures. Scriptures may be defined as being "adequate" when they include (1) a selection of portions from the Old and New Testaments sufficient to address the basic spiritual needs of that community; (2) in a language that serves them well; and (3) in usable, appropriate media such that motivated members of their community are able to use them for personal growth and church planting.

In this paper, Rick Brown seeks to answer the following questions regarding the adequacy and accessibility of translated Scriptures:  [more...]

Communicating effectively to non-readers
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (21.3 Fall 2004)

It is only natural for us to bring to our work the bias of our own ways of thinking, learning, and communicating. But unless we can adapt our communications to our audience, we will limit our audience to those who think as we do. The people we want to reach, however, include many for whom reading is not an important feature of everyday life. In fact, they prefer oral modes of communication.

Many people are non-readers who are more at home with oral communication methods. Research and experiments over the last two decades have shown that oral communicators learn best when these methods are used. In this paper Rick Brown looks at some of the principles that need to be understood and their implications for communicating God’s Word.  [more...]

Author: Avery Willis (convenor)
Published by: Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization

Discover why orality is a growing phenomenon throughout the world in reaching others for Christ.

Around 70% of the world's population communicates mainly by stories, proverbs, drama, songs, poetry, and chants which all happens in a face-to-face context. Stories play an important role in forming every person's world view. Many times, Christian stories are presented in a culturally relevant way tackling basic worldview assumptions. In many cases, this may be the only way to replace or revise the audience's worldview that was learned by their stories.  [more...]

Published by: Scriptures in Use, 2004

A Scripture-based, narrative approach for grassroots church planters, this DVD provides a brief overview of how members of traditional oral cultures learn and communicate information. This resource introduces strategies that complement traditional communication methods such as storytelling, drama, music, recitation, and oratory. You will observe scripture storytellers and church planting teams in action and walk briefly through 10 bridges of communication to oral cultures that are taught in the BRIDGES training workshops.  [more...]

Published by: StoryRunners

Making Disciples of Oral Learners Audiobook is a 2-hour, 2-disc set that will play in any CD player. This professionally produced audio book is read by radio announcer Earl Schlabach, along with Lebo Pooe, the voice of Trans World Radio-Africa. Hear experts in Orality in their own voices and narratives read by an international cast of voice actors.

Produced by StoryRunners on behalf of the International Orality Network. Disc 2 contains special features that are accessible with a computer.