I started my students on a journal project last year. In their journals, the learners were to answer a specific STAR behavioural interview questions in a particular way. They needed to use specific and concrete examples.
Who says there is no place for story telling in an adult ESL class? Whoever says that, well, they’re wrong. Stop saying such nonsense. You need to know how to tell a good story, with a clear introduction, details and conclusion (wait, did I just describe an essay?)
Anyhow, the activity was sometimes like pulling teeth. It really required some thought, and skill in recording the experience on paper. I advised the learners that it is much easier to recall these experiences at a job interview when you have previously written them down. And not only that, it is easier to deliver a consistently well-told and well-planned response, without the hmms, and uhs, and round about thinking, not getting to the point, etc.
One day a learner came back to me, excited and flushed. She had just had a panel interview, and they had asked her not one but two of the questions I had had her write about in class. She nailed the interview and was super excited. She had been interviewed previously, but felt it hadn’t gone well, and that she hadn’t been prepared. I believe that entry level job has since led her elsewhere, and I am very proud of that fact.
Lesson learned: you’re never too old to work on your story-telling skills.