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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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Storytelling Basics: Going Even Slower Than You Think You Should

It’s easy to get in such a groove with storytelling that we leave people behind. It’s less of an issue than with legacy methods of language instruction, but going too fast for learners remains a distinct possibility. Going slower than we think we need to helps keep the language we use comprehensible, which in turn …

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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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