Benefits of Storytelling in Learning a Second Language

What is storytelling in learning the language

Have you ever wondered how you learned your mother tongue? You haven’t taken classes, right? So how did you become so proficient by the age of three or so? Well, the answer is simple: by listening to it! You were exposed to it all the time, and your parents probably read some bedtime stories to you every night before you went to sleep.

Now, you moved to California and you started learning English as a second language in a reputable school in your neighborhood, and you’re wondering how you can master it. Will you ever be able to speak it fluently? 

Well, one teaching method can do wonders for you. And it is the same method your mom and dad used when you were a little kid learning your native language. It’s storytelling!

Let’s see what storytelling is and how it can help you perfect your English language skills! Read on!

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What is storytelling in learning the language?

Language learning begins with listening and speaking, so storytelling is a fabulous tool for teaching any language. Storytelling in classes is not just talking and listening to the basic narrative. It also provides students with a lot of opportunities to practice their skills by completing various student-centered tasks. 

Storytelling may be the focal point in language classes, and teachers can build wonderful extensions around it. There are numerous engaging pre-storytelling activities, such as describing pictures and making predictions and personal connections in which students get intrigued and motivated to participate. There are various post-storytelling tasks too, including role-plays, answering questions, making alternative endings of the story, etc. This could be a perfect moment for students to harmonize and filter everything they have heard and learned and give their final touch. 

How does storytelling promote language development?

Using stories in classes is not only going to entertain students, but it is also a powerful asset that can assist them in developing their language skills. Let’s see how.

  • Stories are great tools for memorizing new words and phrases because they rely on important memory mechanisms such as visualization, emotion, exaggeration, movement, and personal connections. As you listen to a story, you get immersed into it, and absorb new information more efficiently. 
  • Stories give us context. If you tried memorizing words out of context, you have probably hit the wall, as long lists of unknown vocabulary make no sense to your brain. Stories always give you some vivid context which is key for learning new words. It helps you create connections and associations which facilitate the entire language acquisition process. 
  • Stories teach us grammar and syntax in the most natural way. When you listen to a story, you can acquire grammar intuitively, understanding and adopting the patterns you notice. It’s a bit similar to how children learn grammar rules. They don’t memorize them one by one from a textbook. Instead, they pick them up from the context, repetition, and constant exposure and try to reproduce them.
  • Stories enable linguistic and cultural immersion. You will not only get a better grasp of the language, but also understand the culture, customs, and tradition, which is crucial when moving to another country.

Wondering where in California you can learn English as a second language? We welcome you to our school!

Whether you need to work on your spelling, improve your speaking skills and fluency, or hone your writing skills, you have come to the right place. The College of English Language offers various online and offline courses specially designed to meet your needs! 

Learning English at CEL isn’t only about attending classes and learning the present-day lingua franca. You’ll also get an amazing opportunity to experience rich American culture, get in touch with students from all over the world, and cultivate an international perspective. Visit our schools in San Diego in the vicinity of Broadway, Santa Monica, and Pacific Beach, and experience the vibrant life of Southern California with us! We can’t wait to meet you! 




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