Orality in Christian MissionThe Need For Oral StrategiesAmong An Oral Communication People Session One
Rationale for an Oral Strategy in CPMsq Missiology Factorq Literacy Realityq Oral Preference Factorq Resistance to Gospel Factorq Hostility to Gospel Factorq Oral Bible Factor
Orality Classification Definitionsq “Oral Communicators” — Those who depend mostly on verbal, nonprint means to learn, to communicate with others, to express themselves, to celebrate their culture and for entertainment.
Orality Classification Definitionsq “Primary Oral Communicators” — Those who have not become literate, or at least do not read and write. They are totally dependent upon oral methods and visual signals for their learning and communicating with others.
Orality Classification Definitionsq “Residual Oral Communicators” — Those who may be able to read, but do not depend on it much. They retain the characteristics of an oral culture. Have learned survival literacy to sign one’s name, read simple signs and even comics.
Orality Classification Definitionsq “Secondary Oral Communicators” — Those who depend upon electronic audio and visual communication for information and learning. They may be highly literate, but prefer media programs for communication and learning.
Range of LiteracyRectangle 16 Competency Levels q Cannot read or write Oral q Words are sound Communicator pictures of events q Words have no exact Nonliterate meaning except in context q Story is the dominant communication style
Range of Literacy Competency Levels q Can read simple things Oral q Do not reproduce ideas Communicator through literate means Functional q Values not shared via Nonliterate literate means q Makes use of story communication
Range of Literacy Competency Levels q Read and write, can function as a literate Oral/Print q Comfortable with Communicator information presented in Semi- literate format Literate q Learns and handles concepts and principles presented literately q May learn best through oral communication
Range of Literacy Competency Levels q Can summarize what they read and list Print important points Communicator q More dependent on recorded notes and information Literate q Retain ability to appreciate oral communication
Range of Literacy Competency Levels q Spends time daily using reading and writing Print skills Communicator q Thoroughly word-culture Highly q Have surrendered oral Literate communication skills in process of becoming literate q Can still respond to oral communication
Characteristics of an Oral Cultureq How they process information: – Learn by hearing – Learn by observing and imitating, by hearing and repeating – Talk about events and people, not abstract ideas – Use stories of human action to store information – Memorize past information, value tradition
Characteristics of an Oral Cultureq How they relate events and information: – Wholistic, viewing matters in totality of their context – Learn and retain knowledge in relation to real or imagined events in life – Recite genealogies, but make few lists – Identify with and relate to people and events they know about – Think and talk about people and events
Characteristics of an Oral Cultureq Types and manner of their discourse: – Reason from experience and association – Organize content by mentioning events associated with points made – Tend to communicate in groups – Learn mostly by interaction with others – Don’t think a long time without dialog
Characteristics of an Oral Cultureq Place Emphasis upon the sound of the communication: – Deeply affected by sound of what they hear – Emphasize style of speech and vocal emotion – Enjoy hearing reading aloud or recitation – Participate by responding to speakers – Can produce beautiful oral art forms
Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Teaching & Learningq People learn best when information is presented in a familiar way that suits their learning style.q Messages are more appealing and memorable if presented in narrative format such as stories.q People are encouraged to listen to messages that relate to their lives, experiences & felt needs
Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Teaching & Learningq People are more likely to repeat messages appropriately presented, relating to their lives and worldview.q Most of the Bible is already oriented toward oral communicatorsq Presentation of biblical information in a clear chronological order enables acquiring a worldview to understand the Gospel.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Teaching & Learningq Reliance on stories and dialog by story characters can be a primary communication of truth, assisted by appropriate teaching/learning activities.q New stories from outside sources may parallel local oral traditions and be confused and mixed with them.q Embed necessary explanation, exposition and exhortation within framework of a narrative event or real life situation.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Teaching & Learningq Provide for listeners’ participation in storytelling events and teaching activities.q Frequent repetition of stories is mandatory for oral communicators to learn.q Modeling is important as oral communicators learn by imitating the manner information is presented to them.q Periodic refreshing of stories and teaching is needed to maintain accuracy of stories as they tend to fade in time.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Oral Teaching & Learningq Storytelling event and the storyteller may be as important as the story being told.q Bible stories and other memorized passages become tools for oral communicators to use in evangelizing, discipling, and ministering.q Abstract visual representations are not generally helpful to oral cultures who are more likely to understand and accept images reasonably complete, familiar and realistic.
Some Potential Problems in Using Stories to Teachq Individual stories are subject to free interpretation unless locked into a setting of other stories to fix their meaning.q Local oral traditions may interfere with a new story that negates or supercedes teaching in existing oral traditions.q Only certain storytellers may be acceptable to listeners.
Some Potential Problems in Using Stories to Teachq There may be certain time and place where telling of true stories is acceptable.q Failure to carefully observe cultural norms may negate the message of the story or obscure its message.q Failure to properly prepare listeners for a story may leave them unprepared to receive the message or precipitate a hostile reaction breaking the relationship with the storyteller.
Some Potential Problems in Using Stories to Teachq Stories leading to a difficult truth or conclusion may be best told in a continuum without interruption to preserve emotional content of the stories.q Interruptions to the storytelling cycle may necessitate extensive review of previously told stories, or beginning the cycle anew.