Storytelling is an excellent teaching strategy because stories ignite student interest, help students create vivid mental images and stories activate the thinking process. Stories form a framework for connecting events and concepts. This helps students better understand and later recall information. Stories provide depth to a concept going beyond a fact, a definition, or an outline of textbook material. Stories take information out of isolation, placing the information in a context that makes the information meaningful and memorable. Whether you use a story as a way of meeting an instructional objective or to illustrate a point, students will listen to a good, relevant story and will stay with you wanting to know what happens.

Opening a lesson with a story may put the students at ease and allow them to understand something concrete before going on to the related abstract concept. Depending on the age of the students, storytelling can be used in almost any subject area. English and History spring to mind as storytelling subjects, but storytelling can extend to the social sciences, science, health, music, art, and just about every subject being taught.

You can be the storyteller or you can use technology to tell a story. Multimedia presentations can be used to create an interactive element to the storytelling. Digital storytelling is also becoming popular for classroom use. Many textbooks come with supplementary materials for teachers and this can be a good source for stories. Teaching Web sites can also be tapped for stories that can either be used as written or can be adapted to align with a particular teaching objective.

Here are some tips to help with story selection and implementation:

1)      Choose the best stories for your classroom and objectives –
Select stories that are a good match for your storytelling skills or for the multimedia techniques you may use. Choose stories that have an interactive element to engage and hold student interest.

2)      Set the scent rather than diving right into your story. Time, place, and background are important to a story’s success

3)      Bring the characters to life. – Characterization is very important. Use dialog and expression to make it seem as though they are right there with you and your audience

4)      Use transitions to reveal the story. – Accentuate the plot so that your audience can experience the rise and fall pattern of the story. Present it so they are right there with you through your sequence of events.

5)      Be aware of your students who are your audience. – Engage your audience in your story and keep them in view so that you can gauge their comprehension and enjoyment of your audience. Pick up on cues from them to check for understanding and interest.

6)      Practice your story before telling it to your class.- If you are using a multimedia presentation or digital storytelling, become very familiar with the equipment and program, so that problems don’t steal time from your lesson.

Storytelling is magical and storytelling is a very effective instructional strategy for introducing new material, reteaching, or review. Students can get involved and can even participate in class stories. Storytelling definitely has a place in education today.


o  Total Physical Response (TPR) is a language teaching method built around the coordination of speech hand action; it attempts to teach language through physical (motor) activity.

o  TPR is linked to the “trace theory” of memory in psychology, which holds that the more often or the more intensively a memory connection is traced, the stronger the memory association will be and the more likely it will be recalled.

Comprehension Approach in Language Teaching

  1. Comprehension abilities precede productive skills in a learning a language;
  2. The teaching of speaking should be delayed until comprehension skills are established;
  3. Skills  acquired through listening transfer to other skills;
  4. Teaching should emphasize meaning rather than form; and
  5. Teaching should minimize learner stress.

The Principles of Language Teaching in TPR

1)       Meaning In the target language can often be conveyed through actions.

2)       Memory is activated through learner’s response.

3)       Language should be presented in chunks, not just word by word.

4)       The students’ understanding of the target language should be developed before speaking.

5)       Language learning is more effective when it is fun.

6)       Spoken language should be emphasized over written language.

7)       Students are expected to make errors when they first begin speaking.

Conducting Total physical Response

  1. Procedure

Teacher says and exemplifies action

Teacher says and exemplifies action // students do the action

Teacher says // students do the action

Volunteer students say actions// other students do the action

Introduce ‘paper and pen’ tasks

Introduce more complex TPR activities (combine with songs, stories, etc)

Review activities from time to time, each time in a more complex way

  1. Do

Use verbs in the infinitive

Use simple sentences, make them complex little by little

Say name of student once you have said the order

Use taped material from time to time

Use mime, gestures or visual material whenever you can

  1. Don’t do

Do not translate

Do not ask your students to translate

Do not use written language

Do not explain grammar

Do not spend more than 15 minutes with each activity (unless drawing is involved)

Do not ask your students to repeat, only do as you say

Do not feel embarrassed

  1. Examples of activities

Listen and point

Listen and do

Listen and match

Listen and draw

Listen, do and sing

Listen and colour

Listen and cut

Example: Color the mouse

  1. Color the mouse’s head brown.
  2. Color his tail brown too.
  3. Color his shirt green too.
  4. Color his trousers red.
  5. Draw flowers on the ends of the sticks in the mouse’s hand. Color them yellow, orange, red, blue, and pink.
  6. Draw the sun in the sky. Color it yellow.

  1. Cut out the picture and stick it on the front of your card.