Storytelling is not only a wonderful childhood memory, it is also one of the most enjoyable and effective techniques to teach new languages to children. When reading and telling stories to children, you immerse them in rich language context, which leads to higher levels of speech, literacy and comprehension.
It is best to start learning a new language with storytelling. One common method is TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). TPRS is a method for teaching foreign languages that was invented by Blaine Ray, a Spanish teacher in Bakersfield, California, in 1990. Concerned that his students were disinterested in the unexciting process of learning a language from a textbook, he began to use James Asher’s Total Physical Response to teach Spanish. As the technique was developed over the years, it became an all-encompassing method and methodology. The method combines Dr. James Asher’s Total Physical Response (TPR) with Dr. Stephen Krashen’s language acquisition strategies, allowing teachers to teach grammar, reading and writing along with vocabulary.
Our primeros pasos program uses TPRS to engage elementary aged children and it has proved to be very fun and effective!
Choose a fun and popular story, movie, or poem and personalize it! This can create an instant connection to the language. Studies have shown that language learners do better when they develop conversational skills along with literary skills. Making the narration shorter and descriptive with lots of action/ dialogue among characters make stories effective as language learning tools. Adding theatrical features and twists is also fun and engaging for children!
Storytelling is a great activity for children and parents to do at home with e-books and our free online audio to see the powers behind storytelling and language learning!