Following on from Beth Penfold’s blog on the Ministry of Stories the other day, I was reminded of a post on the Guardian film blog, about a new adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood. The post talked about the role fairytales have traditionally played in teaching lessons of morality (and the fact that this new film is glossing over most of those lessons!). It’s true, though, that fairytales, like fables, myths and legends are used around the world to teach children the important lessons of their own culture.That means, of course, that reading them will help students of English to develop a more in-depth understanding of that same culture, which can only aid their language learning. (Of course many of ‘our’ most famous fairytales are, in fact translations from other languages – Little Red Riding Hood itself was originally a German story, but then again English is a Germanic language, so it’s probably not that surprising.)
I guess the moral of the story is that the old ones are the best (and modern interpretations should perhaps be handled with care!).