Can You Tell Me the Story?


In this section, you will learn how to:
• make suggestions, requests and give instructions;
• perform a monologue of a narrative text.

Activity 1

Answer the following questions.

1. Your friend has an assignment to write a book review. She intends to review a novel. She asks for a suggestion. What do you say to her?
2. Your friend is reading a good novel. You intend to borrow it. What expression do you use?
3. What do you say when accepting a request?
4. What do you say when denying a request?

Activity 2

Read the dialogue. Pay attention to the expressions
for making requests in the italicised sentences.

Dani : Hi, Adi. How’s it going today?
Adi : Oh, hi, Dani. Oh, so-so. I’m a little tired.
Dani : Really. Why? Didn’t you sleep very well last
Adi : I slept well, but not enough. I read a book last
night and I just couldn’t put it down.
Dani : What book was that?
Adi : Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
Dani : You’re fond of Steinbeck, aren’t you? I’ve read some of his novels. I like The Grapes of Wrath.
Have you read it?
Adi : Not yet. Is it interesting?
Dani : It’s a depressing tale, actually. I suggest you read the book.
Adi : Can you lend me the book until next week?
Dani : No. I’m afraid I can’t. I don’t have it now. Nadia is reading it.
Adi : Will you let me know when she has 􀃀 nished it?
Dani : Sure, I will

Activity 3

Here is a dialogue between a son and his mother. Identify
the expressions which are used to give instructions.

Son : Mom. I’m thinking of travelling around Java
this holiday alone. What do you think?
Mother : Travelling? Alone? That sounds dangerous!
You shouldn’t go by yourself. You ought to
go with your friends.
Son : Yes. That’s true.
Mother : And you’d better talk to your father 􀃀 rst.
Son : I did. He thought it was a great idea, but he
also said that I had to go with a friend

Activity 4

Here are some more examples of the expressions for
making suggestions, requests and instructions. Repeat
after your teacher.

Making Suggestions
• You could (might) join the speech contest.
• If I were you, I would take care of this dog.
• Why don’t you go to the doctor?
• Why don’t you come to my house and borrow my
• What/How about going to the veterinarian?
• Would you mind passing me the salt, please?
• Could you please take me to the dentist?
• Can you tell me what happened?
• Will/Would you come to my birthday party?
• Please tell me the story.
Giving Instructions
• You should keep it out of the children’s reach.
• Whatever you do, don’t be nervous.
• Bring that magazine to me.
• Read the text loudly.

Activity 6

Read the following story aloud. Pay attention to your
intonation and pronounciations

The Magic Headcloth

Many, many years ago, the
kingdom of Medangkamulan was
ruled by a much feared and ferocious
king named Dewata-chengkar. This
king had a strange and frightening
habit–he liked to eat human beings!
At 􀃀 rst, the advisers took people
from the countries they had conquered,
but eventually they had to look for
victims from among their own people.
The people of Medangkamulan were
terri􀃀 ed of the king and his army.
One day, a young traveler arrived
in the kingdom. He was kind and
clever and was well–received by the
villagers. He was called Ajisaka.
Ajisaka took shelter in the house
of a widow who quickly came to look
upon the young man as her own son.
Ajisaka began to teach the villagers. He
also listened to the villagers’ problems
and often helped them 􀃀 nd solutions.
When he heard of the king’s strange
appetite, Ajisaka sympathized with their
plight and immediately volunteered to
become the king’s next meal.
Ajisaka went directly to the king’s
palace. He boldly announced to the king
that he was willing to sacri􀃀 ce himself.
“I am willing to be your next meal.
Your Highnees. However, I have a

“Whatever you please, young man,
I will grant your request,“ the king
“Before you eat me, grant me some
land. Just enough for my own grave.“
“Ha ha ha! Your own grave? I
will give you enough land for many
“Oh no, Your Majesty. I just need
land that is the length of my own
“This you shall have. Come, let us
measure your headcloth so that I can have
my meal and you can have your grave!“
With this, Ajisaka began to unwrap
the cloth tied around his head. The king
got down from his throne and took
hold of one end. He stepped backward,
thingking that the cloth would unravel
to the usual length of one meter. What
he didn’t know was that this headcloth
was much longer than usual!
The king kept going backward, step
by step, as the cloth kept unraveling. He
stepped backward through the palace
square, backward across the village
marketplace, backward down the length
of the village and backward through the
countryside.People gathered, amazed at
the sight of their king walking backward
through the kingdom, holding the end
of Ajisaka’s headcloth. He kept stepping

backward the length of his kingdom until
􀃀 nally he reached the sea cliftts of the
Southern Seas.
By now, a great crowd had gathered.
They held their breath as their king
took his 􀃀 nal step backward over the
cliff’s edge and plunged into the waves
crashing againts the rocks at the foot of
the sea wall. A victorious roar rose up as

they watched their greedy king disappear
under the waves.
The crowd returned to the palace
with Ajisaka and thanked him for his
courage, cunning, and magical powers.
They made him their new king. To this
day, Ajisaka is remembered as the wise
ruler who later brought the knowledge
of letters to the Javanese.
Taken from Indonesian Children’s Favorite Stories, 2005

Activity 7

Now retell the text in Activity 6 with your own words.
Some instructions below will help you.

1. Think where the story happened.
2. Mention the character’s names.
3. Think of the main ideas, supporting ideas and concluding ideas of the story.
4. Mention its moral values.



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