While teaching foreign languages to learners in their early years is rapidly increasing, the age line at which they begin to learn foreign languages is decreasing.
There are many different approaches to teaching second languages. One of them is a story-based methodology. Children enjoy listening to stories in their mother tongue and are familiar with narrative conventions. That is the reason why stories provide an ideal introduction to the foreign language as they present the language in a repetitive and memorable context. The reading process creates a relaxed atmosphere that eases and improves the learners memory. One type of a picturebook is a cloth book. It offers the reader not only the eastetic value, but also the value of experience and includes him actively in the reading process.
In the theoretical part of the master's thesis, I presented the learning of a foreign language in childhood and a story-based methodology of teaching. I presented picturebooks as one of the most used books types in children's literature and the use of them in foreign language learning. Moreover, I introduced a wordless picturebook and a cloth book.
In the empirical part of the thesis, the aim was to make and test the use of a cloth book and a typical picturebook. I taught and analysed four lessons. 54 children, who had been learning English as their first foreign language for a year, and their English teacher participated in the study. With the help of questionnaires, interviews and by observing the students I learned and analysed the potencial differences in student's motivation for working with picturebooks with different elements. I presented some pre-, while- and post-reading activities and the teacher's view on using story-based methodology in foreign language learning, especially her view on using cloth books.
The conducted research with its findings shows that the main goal was achieved. The use of story-based methodology promoted more active participation of pupils in class, especially while working with a cloth book. Also, the teachers were thrilled with using different picturebooks (not only different by topic, but also by visual characteristics) in foreign language teaching in the first three years of school.