Orality

Author: Ellen Errington (2016)

The experience of going to church is largely an oral one in any culture. This is perfectly acceptable and appropriate, but there are ways that the experience of participating in church activities can be complementary to developing literacy skills and literate practice for daily life.

In this paper, Ellen Errington applies the concept of scaffolding to the task of teaching people from oral cultures the skills of reading and writing. By supporting the learner through these means, literate practice may seem less foreign and new avenues of communication may be opened up. Scaffolding techniques are really just good teaching practices, but for learners from oral cultures, literacy teachers need to use them more often and more intentionally to build success.

The church, though primarily an oral setting, can also be a setting for supporting literate practice, including Bible ‘literacy,’ for all church members. The inclusion of scaffolding techniques for oral literacy learners in the church setting can bring excitement and deeper understanding to all who participate.  [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...]

Author: Gilbert Ansre
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (12.2 Apr-Jun 1995)

Oral-Scripture in Africa is the highest potential medium of outreach for the salvation message on the continent today and into the 21st century. This is because it is capable of reaching both the literate and the teeming millions of non-literate people.

Dr. Gilbert Ansre (who served for 15 years as a UBS translation consultant) examines the literacy rates in countries in Africa, observing that:

1. Not all people who claim they can read actually can do so.
2. Not all who can read actually do read.
3. Not all who actually read do read well.
4. Not all who read well do actually read Scripture.
5. Not all who read the Scripture do so regularly.

Faced with these realities, Ansre outlines some of the responses made by the Bible Societies in Africa in the 1990s, including:

9. They confess that they have hitherto failed to emphasize Scripture use and call on all concerned to promote it vigorously.
10. Aware of the great potential in audio-media, they prayerfully dedicate themselves to support its promotion.

  [more...]
How to Communicate Velcro Truth in a Teflon World
Authors: Avery T Willis Jr, Mark Snowden
Published by: NavPress (2010)

"It thrills me to use Bible stories because I am actually telling people the Bible. I don't tell them some scholar's viewpoint or describe an ivory-tower argument. I let the Bible speak directly to them instead of depending on others' interpretations. The Holy Spirit interprets and applies the Bible to people's lives when we engage them with questions."

This book encourages us to "make truth stick like Velcro in a Teflon world" by using Bible stories, dialogue, drama, and songs to make disciples like Jesus did.

The focus is on the North American context, to reach the digital generation and the millions of Americans who can't, won't, or don't read.  [more...]

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...]