Hi, I’m Andrew the Storytelling College Language Teacher. I’ve taught Spanish at the university level for the past nine years. Since 2013, I’ve been using storytelling as my primary Comprehensible Input delivery mechanism. The leap away from the textbook was scary at first, but it was the right move. It may seem overwhelming, but I am convinced that you can do it too.  Your students will thank you for it!

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Teaching an Epic Story: The Hero’s Journey

There’s a hero inside each one of us. Telling that story is an essential part of what makes us human. Recently, I’ve been awestruck by Joseph Campbell’s famous work The Hero with 1000 Faces. In this book, Campbell’s love for story shines through every page as he details numerous manifestations of the Hero’s Journey across the globe and …

Storytelling Basics: Asking “Circular” Questions

Circular questions allow leaners to process the language, negotiate meaning, and think of a response. Asking repetitive questions is the key to teaching a language to someone else. Questions allow learners to mentally process the language and to negotiate meaning, and they force learners to think up a response. I see this everyday with my …


Teaching Language Through Storytelling

We are storytelling creatures. It is my deep belief that storytelling is the most natural way to learn any language, even under the time constraints of a university-level language course.

We know that Comprehensible Input (CI)  is the essential ingredient to language acquisition. While there are others, storytelling is my preferred CI delivery mechanism. It’s hard-wired into our brains at a metaphysical level. If you get the story right, you forget about the grammar and focus solely on the message.

We can learn a lot about language teaching from Harry Potter (or Don Quijote, if that’s what you’re in to).

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Taking the Plunge

In the 21st century I’m certain of one thing: student engagement increases as textbook usage decreases. Personally, I was terrified to start get away from my ‘safety net’ at first, but I realized that the textbook would always be there if I needed to fall back on it. Turns out, I rarely need to use it.

If the thought of leaving the language textbook behind sounds horrifying for you, I’d say that means you’re normal. I am convinced that you can do it and your students will excel because of it!

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