ESL Storytelling

8 Reasons Storytelling is Such a Powerful Tool for English Learners

Storytelling can help your students learn English more effectively and efficiently. It’s a powerful tool to improve English vocabulary, listening, reading, grammar, and speaking.

Stories are effective educational tools because they are believable, memorable and entertaining. 

Listening to, reading and telling stories have been the core of humanity for thousands of years. 

There are countless reasons why storytelling is such a powerful tool to help students learn English.

Storytelling for English learners

Here are eight reasons storytelling is such a powerful tool to learn English.

1. Storytelling is simple. Without breaking stories down into their components and grammatical structures, stories are simple. 

2. The art of storytelling is timeless. We’ve been doing it for thousands of years! 

3. Stories are demographic proof – regardless of age, race or gender, everyone likes to listen to stories. Every generation and culture tell stories. 

4. Stories are contagious – they can spread like wildfire. People tell and retell stories. Social media is making this even more so. 

5. Easier to remember –  we are much more likely to remember something that is told in context than a random fact or piece of information. 

Gerome Brooner  – facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they are part of a story.

Peg Newhouser – learning derived from a story is remembered far more accurately and for far longer than other learning. 

6. Stories inspire – Have you ever heard a student say, “wow, you’ll never believe the wonderful new grammatical structure I just learned today!” Probably NOT!

But you have heard people say that about stories. 

7. Stories appeal to all types of learners – in any group roughly 40% will be predominantly visual learners who learn best through videos, diagrams or illustrations. Another 40% will be auditory learning best through lectures, listening exercises and discussions. 

The remaining 20% are kinesthetic who learn best by doing, experiencing or feeling.

8. Storytelling has aspects for all 3 types of learners:

Visual learners appreciate the mental pictures that storytelling evokes

Auditory learners focus on the words and the storytellers voice

Kinesthetic learners remember the feelings and emotions attached to the story.

Storytelling creates curiosity – we are more receptive and curious about the information that we are given

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