How to tell a story… let me count the ways

Way back in 2007, I was looking for a better way to teach a language. I, myself, had 6 years of language study with very little language ability to show for it. There had to be a better way. I won’t go through my entire journey as a teacher but let me suggest a large chunk of my last 10 years of teaching was about using stories to teach a language. So my ongoing goal as a teacher has been providing comprehensible and compelling stories for my students.

In the last 10 years new methods and ideas have entered into the conversation for providing COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT (theory by Stephen Krashen).

In my opinion, ALL of these methods and ideas are about telling a story. Each method does it a little differently. Each method has great advantages. In the end teachers have to analyze their own teaching style/personality, their students needs, their administrators’ requirements and second language acquisition research.

I made a table to express what I have seen in the last 10 years of my options in telling a story in class. ALL these options are wonderful. I have used or currently use all of them in my school. I have 9 grades which means 9 curriculums so each one of these methods has a place in my class. Click on the image below to get a better look.


Storytelling Comparisons - Mrs. Spanish Class




  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am in my second year of teaching with TPRS and CI. I sometimes feel like I’m trying to do too much. There are just so many great stories, songs, videos etc. and I want to incorporate all of them! It’s great but I should probably pace myself so I don’t burn out and so I can figure out what really works with my personality and teaching style. And of course, what helps my students acquire more. Persona Especial has proven to be the best tool I’ve used so far in 6-8th grade. This chart you made allows me to see that I’m on the right track and I will use it in guiding my yearly goals.
    Thanks, Rosario

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