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.

Whenever you're ready, here are the ways we can help you:

  1. Jump Into Story-Listening: A course to gain the practical knowledge and tools to deliver a Story-Listening experience.

  2. Story-Listening Kits: Ready-to-use package including the video, story, Prompter, and additional materials

  3. Theoretical Foundations and Supporting EvidenceGain insights directly from Dr. Stephen Krashen, the renowned creator of the Theory of Second Language Acquisition, whose influential hypotheses are revered among linguists and language educators worldwide.

  4. Free Minicourse: Gain an overview of Story-Listening from its creator and co-developer, Professor Beniko Mason.

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