What is the difference between Story-Listening and Story reading?
Story-Listening (SL) teachers speak at a slower rate for the beginning level students, providing them with more time to process the input. Stories told to beginners are told at a slow speed compared to the speech rates of the regular audio tapes or speeches.
Beginners, those who are less proficient, need more time to process when they hear a story, and read in a foreign language.
When beginning level students read, they…
- look at the illustrations in the book to help them understand,
- sometimes reread the same sentence a few times,
- need more time to take advantage of surrounding context,
- need time to guess the meaning of an unknown word, and
- lookup unknown words in a dictionary.
With SL lessons, the teacher helps students go through similar steps as described above. The SL teacher…
- draws pictures,
- repeats words, phrases, and sentences,
- rephrases words, phrases, and sentences,
- picks up/restarts parts of a story where students become lost,
- writes words on the board,
- explains and comments on a new word, and
- sometimes provides an L1 translation.
This is why it takes 15 to 20 minutes to tell a short text of a story that is only 184 words in length (e.g., The Golden Key). Simply reading such a text aloud takes only about three minutes.