The vast majority of people who have ever lived are considered oral communicators because they were unable to read a single word. Today, over two billion people are considered oral communicators. In fact, 70% of these adult have no desire to read.
A West African man once said, “When we hear something we put it in our hearts. Our hearts are our books.”
Oral or non-reading peoples learn by hearing, understanding, believing and internalizing information that comes as a narration of an actual event. They teach by example. Their learning style is to repeat or retell what they have seen and heard. Stories, drama and music are perfect communication tools because they can become events.
The differing learning patterns between literate and oral people can create a communication barrier. Matching the learning style of the learner helps promote better understanding.
The Bible is 75% stories. Jesus taught his disciples by telling stories. Storytelling the Bible is simple, effective and powerful.
The San Bushmen are a completely oral people group. They sit around small fires and tell stories to pass on their culture and history.
Currently, we are both reading a book titled Building Bridges to Oral Cultures: Journeys among the Least Reached. Jeremy will be attending the Oral Bible Translation Conference October 1-4 in Richmond, VA. Claudia is unable to attend the conference but she is working through 10 lessons online by Scripture in Use about making disciples of oral learners.
Please keep us in your prayers. We are traveling and are recovering from a 24hr stomach bugs that caused all 3 of us to vomit with diarrhea.