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Language teaching is storytelling

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

It may not look like it, but storytelling is an integral part of language learning.

When a student tells me about his/her favourite holiday, or even about their weekend, juggling past tenses, they're not only practising conjugations, but they're telling a story. And because it is based on their own experience and lives, they're more likely to remember each sentence.

Every single language point I teach, big or small, comes with a story and/or a metaphor. Busy as they are understanding the newest language point, my students don't realise that I'm using any storytelling trick available in my book - pun intended! - to help them achieve just that.

I use stories to help them see their own learning curve through my eyes, rather than through their own severe prism. Without ever naming any student, without ever comparing anyone, I show them, through storytelling, that they're not alone in experiencing doubts and frustration from time to time, and that their progress is more solid and consistent than they think.

And time and time again, I use stories to make it clear that making a mistake is an integral part of language learning. In fact, I use stories about the mistakes I made myself, pointing out the humour in it, because making a mistake when speaking a language you're learning is invariably funny, and not humiliating, contrary to what most people think.

Stories are everywhere, not just in books or films, and they not only make learning more efficient, but also more fun!

Don't hesitate to send me your questions.

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