This paper describes an educational programme aiming to develop young foreign language learners’ persuasive strategies, through their familiarization with aspects of culture from the South-Eastern European countries. More specifically, we designed a topic-based mini-syllabus of eight units on intercultural folktales coming from South-Eastern European countries. The project lasted for six school months (School Year: 2018-2019), and two two-hour sessions were carried out every week. The project was implemented with 30 nine-year-old students learning English as a foreign language. The implementation of each thematic unit moved through three phases. In the pre-phase, students were introduced to each country that the folktale belonged to while they familiarized themselves with the specific vocabulary related to each topic. In the main-phase, they were introduced to the target persuasive strategies through multimodal materials demonstrating the use of persuasive strategies and discussing their use and the interlocutors’ actions. In the post-phase, the students were involved in communicative activities based on the plot of the folktales. To investigate the impact of the project, we used of three research tools: a) Pre/post-investigatory assessment, b) the teachers’ journal, and c) students’ portfolios throughout the intervention. Analysis of multiple data sources showed an increase in both quantity and quality of persuasive strategies used as well as increased multicultural awareness.
Key words: persuasion, folktales, young learners, foreign language, Greek education