The storytelling for contributing to the English Teaching

Mendive. Journal on Education, january-march 2021; 19(1):103-119

Translated from the original in Spanish

The storytelling for contributing to the English Teaching


La narración de cuentos para contribuir a la enseñanza del Inglés


Narração de histórias como contribuição para o ensino da língua inglesa


Ileana Isabel Herrera Arencibia1
Rodolfo Acosta Padrón1
Alexis Pérez Ramírez

1 University of Pinar del Río 'Hermanos Saiz Montes de Oca". Cuba.,


Received: Octuber 13th, 2020
Approved: January 5th, 2020



The article presents an assessment of the method of storytelling in English language teaching in the Foreign Languages Career at the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". The objective is to assess the use of the storytelling method as a methodological resource for improving the learning of English in the students from the first two years, so they can achieve the development of communicative, interactive and intercultural competence. The work is based on the communicative, the interactive, the reflexive approaches, and the sociolinguistic and psychological theories whose roots are found in the historical-cultural approach. The assessment is based on the theoretical analysis and pedagogical practice carried out during the 2017-2020 stage, where the teaching of English through storytelling has been used in an experiential way. Methods of observation, interview, and survey and group discussion were applied. Stories and tasks have been elaborated and implemented with modifications made to the original storytelling method, in order to adjust it to the learning context of Cuban university students. A coherent interpretation of the functionality and the results of the method were achieved in terms of comprehension, interaction, reflection, collaboration, contextualization and meaning. Thus, the validity of the method for the development of the communicative competence in English is shown.

Keywords: storytelling; English teaching; communicative competence.


El artículo presenta consideraciones acerca del comportamiento del método de la narración de cuentos en la enseñanza del inglés en la carrera de Lenguas Extranjeras de la Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". El objetivo es valorar su utilización como recurso metodológico para dinamizar el aprendizaje del inglés en los estudiantes de los dos primeros años, de manera que puedan lograr el desarrollo de la competencia comunicativa, interactiva e intercultural. En el trabajo se fundamenta el método desde los enfoques comunicativo, interactivo y reflexivo y las teorías sociolingüísticas y psicológicas cuyas raíces se encuentran en el enfoque histórico-cultural. La valoración se lleva a cabo desde el análisis teórico y la práctica pedagógica realizada durante la etapa de 2017 a 2020, en la cual se utilizó de forma experimental la narración de cuentos como recurso metodológico. Se utilizaron los métodos de observación, entrevista, encuesta y discusión grupal. Se elaboraron cuentos y tareas que fueron instrumentados con modificaciones hechas al método original de la narración de cuentos, con fin de ajustarlo al contexto de aprendizaje de los estudiantes universitarios cubanos. Se logró una interpretación coherente de la funcionalidad y de los resultados del método para la intensificación del aprendizaje del inglés en términos de comprensión, interacción, reflexión, colaboración, contextualización y significación. Así, se muestra la validez del método para el desarrollo de la competencia comunicativa en la lengua inglesa.

Palabras clave: narración de cuentos; enseñanza del inglés; competencia comunicativa.


O artigo apresenta considerações sobre o comportamento do método de contar histórias no ensino do inglês na carreira de línguas estrangeiras da Universidade de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". O objetivo é avaliar a sua utilização como recurso metodológico para dinamizar a aprendizagem do inglês nos estudantes dos dois primeiros anos, de modo a que possam alcançar o desenvolvimento da competência comunicativa, interativa e intercultural. O método baseia-se nas abordagens comunicativas, interativas e reflexivas e nas teorias sociolinguísticas e psicológicas cujas raízes se encontram na abordagem histórico-cultural. A avaliação é realizada a partir da análise teórica e da prática pedagógica realizada durante a fase de 2017 a 2020, na qual a narração de histórias foi utilizada experimentalmente como um recurso metodológico. Foram utilizados os métodos de observação, entrevista, inquérito e discussão em grupo. Histórias e tarefas foram elaboradas e instrumentadas com modificações feitas ao método original de contar histórias, de modo a ajustá-lo ao contexto de aprendizagem dos estudantes universitários cubanos. Foi alcançada uma interpretação coerente da funcionalidade e dos resultados do método para a intensificação da aprendizagem do inglês em termos de compreensão, interação, reflexão, colaboração, contextualização e significado. Assim, é demonstrada a validade do método para o desenvolvimento da competência comunicativa na língua inglesa.

Palavras-chave: narração de histórias; ensino da língua inglesa; competência comunicativa.



In the project "Creating a new culture of language learning", Acosta & Gómez (2017) explain the need to create in students a new culture of language learning that involves all the necessary resources and conditions. Thus, the need for students to learn the real use of English (and not the English from books as it has traditionally been taught) is focused, outside the classroom, in different settings and with different strategies and technological resources. Connected with the world and themselves, fortifying the psychological factors that influence the knowledge of language and providing opportunities for reflection and social interaction that requires learning the language system and its use in understanding and production of speech. The new culture demands the humanistic character, the role of the social context and new strategies for learning English. Hence, the authors of this article address the use of narrative stories as a methodology resource to meet these requirements.

In the late 1980s, the role of interaction in learning was emphasized thanks to the works of Vygotsky (1978). For their part, Kaskova, Chernova and Ustinova (2019) assume intensification as the use of techniques that activate conscious and subconscious psychic processes, as well as active memorization methods to intensify the foreign language learning process. In this regard, three aspects should be intensified: content, external means and ways to do, and the activity of each pupil (the principle of individualization).

The learning in the classroom still needs to  do methodological changes that stimulate and intensify the learning of oral language, particularly in order to achieve interactive processes, reflective, humanists and significant. It is in this context that the use of the method of storytelling is justified.

Narration is the act of telling stories, of telling anecdotes or events. It is the history or description of a series of events. It is the narration by the participants of the actions that occurred in an event. According to Burgos, J. (2017), as cited in Burgos et al(2020), digital storytelling has now gained space. It is an educational technique that allows students to learn by creating stories supported by the use of Technologies of Information and Communications.  

Teachers can create digital stories to arouse students' interest in a certain topic, or to present the subject in a more engaging format. Students can use digital stories as a powerful learning tool, which will help them develop skills such as digital or linguistics, foster their creativity and work on different cognitive processes, such as comprehension, analysis or synthesis. They will become content creators and not passive consumers.

Storytelling is an original form of teaching and learning in its broad sense. Humanity has historically used this method to transmit knowledge, interact with reality and transform it. This method becomes a cornerstone of the art of teaching. In addition, it is recognized as a living art, like music and dance, which comes alive in the interpretation of the facts of people.

In Cuba it is not recorded in catalogs and documents official papers related with the scientific use of storytelling in the teaching of English, although it appears referenced in books: Professional Tasks for Pedagogical Training (Acosta Perez & Vasconcellos, 2016), New culture of learning English and other languages (Acosta & Gómez, 2017) and Interactive English Use Learning (Acosta & Vigil, 2019). In this last text, several stories created by the authors are used with their corresponding tasks aimed at learning the actual use of English. Similarly, storytelling has been used as content courses after grade language teachers as part of the research project of the new culture of learning English, belonging to the Department of Foreign Languages.

In specialized literature, storytelling is associated with the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) method. TPRS, in Spanish, "Efficient teaching through reading and storytelling", also known in English as "TPR Storytelling" or simply TPRS, is a method for teaching foreign languages created by Blaine Ray in 1990 (Blaine, Ray and Seely, C. 2009), a Spanish teacher in Bakersfield, California, to make foreign language learning a meaningful process in context. Concerned that students were showing disinterest in learning the language from books, Blaine, in 2009, began using Asher's method of Total Physical Response (1986). These authors argue that students acquire second languages just as they acquire first languages; students learn as young children learn; therefore, they cannot be expected to produce the language before they have spent enough time listening to it.

Blaine, Ray and Seely, C. (2009) define the effective teaching by reading and narrating stories as a method to teach teachers in the use of interesting classes, practical repetition and comprehensible information, by understanding of stories by students. The method is an extension of the Total Physical Response (TPR), developed in the 1960s by James J. Asher (1986) which combines the word with the action instructions the teacher with answers of the body movements. Asher and his followers were deeply influenced by the well-known Second Language Acquisition, a theory proposed by Stephen Krashen, cited in Amaya (2019).

Dhority & Jensen (2006) point out that TPR is a highly successful strategy that is easy to master and integrate within a wide variety of teaching approaches. The difference between TPR and TPRS lies in that the former uses commands and actions while the second uses tales and stories. However, both have the same basic idea: the acquisition of the second language happens the same as the acquisition of the first language. Since the beginning of humanity, children have learned how to live and think through the narratives offered by the closest adults.

Storytelling has been the subject of several authors in the international arena, among them the work of Ray & Seely (1998), Slavic & Gross (2008) and Slavic (2015), who have established their bases and their methodology.

Research on TPRS shows that its results are superior to those achieved with TPR. Néstor S. Aponte (2016) demonstrates the benefits of TPR as a methodological device to strengthen the comprehensive listening of English in students of the Costa Rica Republic school; Rodas Ramírez (2018) compares TPRS with traditional teaching and proves that the former is better for learning English, while Lidiyatul Izzah (2015) ensures the effectiveness of storytelling for teaching English to young learners.

In this context of a communicative, interactive and reflective approach to language teaching, which emphasizes the need for meaning for the student, the social context for the language and the text as a unit of analysis, storytelling is approached from the Pedagogical practice and experimentation , as a methodological resource for the intensification of English learning in university classrooms, belonging to the Foreign Languages Career, in charge of the training of English teachers at the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes of Oca".

The term "teaching English", internationally recognized in that language, has been used to refer to the teaching-learning process in that there is no teaching without learning and there is no learning without teaching. Besides being shorter, and therefore, more economical in terms of space.

On the other hand, the term storytelling has been used since it is the equivalent offered by the Oxford Study Genie Plus dictionary, although sometimes the word comics is used as it is also a synonym and has been referred to as such by mentioned authors. In this order of things, the experimental group and the control group are used to refer to the three groups of the three courses in each category, but on some occasions, the plural is used when the emphasis is on the three groups of each category.

In this sense, the present study aims to demonstrate the effects achieved by the use of storytelling as a methodological resource in intensifying the teaching of English for the development of communicative, interactive and intercultural competence of first-year students of the Foreign Languages Career, of the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca".



The theoretical platform used in this research is the storytelling method described by Slavic (2015) who makes a detailed description about how to teach using the materials of Ray's TPRS method (2014). It specifies the processes that are carried out, what to focus on and how, as well as how and when to perform each procedure. In his book, TPR S in a Year! 4th edition (2019), Slavic & Gross (2008) explains each of the 48 skills grouped into three categories:

a) Skills of the first stage: is - establishment of meanings and customization (the ability of 1 to 15).      

b) Skills of the second stage: to ask about the story or tale (from skill 16 to 25).      

c) Skills of the third stage: recreational skills (from skill 26 to 48) (Slavic, 2015).      

Some of the skills in question are as follows (42-67):

a) Skills of the first stage, for meaning and personalization:      

b) Skills of the second stage, to inquire about the story:      

c) Skills of the third stage, to recreate.      

Later, in 2015 Ben Slavic published the book The Big CI Book: A Step by Step Survival Guide for Foreign Language Teachers (329 pages), in which he continues to call the first 14 of the 48 skills, while calling them strategies to the remaining 27, thus reducing the number to 41. In turn, it adds eight methodological suggestions for classroom management and three for evaluation, to which four types of activities are added.

Research methodology

They will have combined the paradigm s quantitative and qualitative while the experimentation, as well as interpretations made by students of the method of teaching and learning is used (Burgos et al., 2020). To this participatory action, research is added to the socio paradigm critical research both teachers' engage and share with students. This has made it possible to gradually improve the texts, tasks and procedures from the process measurements.  

Likewise, class observation has been used as the main method to obtain the data about the indicators through techniques of the methods, thus, for example, the participation measurements are illustrated by a graph, in which appears in the order they are sitting  22 students. The observer draws a line between the people participating including the teacher. Subsequently, the graph is analyzed and it is determined how many participations the students had and they are evaluated from 1 to 5, according to a scale established for this purpose.

On the other hand, the interview, survey and group discussion methods corroborated the data from the class observation. The data analysis revealed the correspondence between the results of these three methods. The object of the search was the use of narration as a methodological resource to intensify the teaching process. The group discussion also contributed to perfecting the texts, tasks and procedures. Six group discussion sessions were held during the three courses, two in each of them.

The dependent variable is the process of teaching English, conceived as an object to be transformed. This has been operationalized in the teacher and student dimensions, the latter acquire the following sub-dimensions: understanding, interaction, reflection, collaboration, contextualization, targeting of meaning and personalization. Each of these sub dimensions is measured by indicators that express their qualities, for example: the teacher dimension is measured by noting the teaching procedures used; the interaction sub dimension is measured by lines in a graphic register that illustrate the participation of students in class; the reflection is measured by the number of opportunities for the student to reason and make decisions about the use of language; contextualization is measured by the students' handling of the context of the story; while personalization is measured by the number of times the student assumes roles of the characters in the story, or pretends to be.

Superiority is attributed, then, to the independent variable introduced in the experimental group and not in the control group. In this case the variable is the method of storytelling.

Independent variable

Storytelling is the independent variable conceived with the transforming agent of the dependent variable, object to be transformed. The storytelling includes the elaboration of the texts, the tasks and the adaptation of the methodology proposed by Slavic (2015). In total, 20 stories were developed with an average of 5.4 tasks per story, so that more than 100 tasks are counted, aimed at offering opportunities for students to get involved and engage in an interactive, reflective and contextualized learning process through understanding, personalization and targeting of the language and its use.

The narrative tale was used as a methodological resource in teaching English for three courses, from 2017 to 2020 in the morning session of the first year of the career Foreign Languages at the University of Pinar de Rio "Hermanos Saiz Montes de Oca". A sample was taken from a group of 22 students, selected at random, from a population of 125 students in each of the three courses , which add up to a total population of 375 students and a sample of 66 students . In each course a control group with the same enrollment and similar characteristics was designated. Both the experimental and the control group received each year 16 hours of Comprehensive Practical English Language I and II, with the interactive teaching and methodological work line of the career. The foreign variable domain of the English language which already has the student was controlled by analyzing the notes they had in the integral practice. In this sense, the differences were not significant.

Selection of stories and elaboration of tasks

Slavic (2015) offers examples of short stories. In this sense, the authors of this research have prepared their own stories and their corresponding assignments for the first year of the Foreign Languages degree at the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". Teachers and students in class, or schoolchildren out of the classroom and reading entertainment or learning can use these stories to develop oral skills. The criteria used for the creation of stories are those established by Careaga and Acosta (2020) and others added by the authors of this article. The criteria are as follows:

a) Harmony of the story with the interests of students.      

b) Potentialities offered by the story for the study of the language.      

c) Potentialities offered by the story of real use of the language.      

d) Level of comprehension of the story for students.      

e) Cultural values that the story contributes.      

f) Theme, length and precision of the story.       

g) Potentialities offered by the story for the formation of values. (Eleven)      

The methodology used to proceed in class is the one created by Slavic (2015), but simplified and adjusted to the context of Cuban students in the aforementioned career and university. This has been necessary for two reasons: the first is that the study plan for these students is Plan E prepared by the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education, which is very different from the context for which the authors suggest the method of TPRS. Thus, the real possibility is to use some procedures of the method as a complement to the Interactive Teaching that is used in the teaching of English in the Foreign Languages Career at the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca".



The results of the pre- experiment are presented in two blocks:

a) Those results covering 18 stories created and more than 100 tasks developed around them, along with the procedures chosen of the methodology of storytelling, depending on the context of learning of the students of the career of Foreign languages.      

b) Those results that show a higher degree of intensification of the English teaching process based on the processes that compose it: interaction, reflection, collaboration, contextualization, targeting of meaning and personalization.      

Sample texts, tasks and procedures

Story 1. The Little Chinese Boy

Once upon a time, there was a little Chinese boy. One day, on Sunday morning, the boy went for a walk in the woods and he got lost. As I also was lost, we both met.

It was a dark night and the Chinese boy was afraid, very scared he was going lonely.

So, he went around for a while and sat down. And at his side I sat down. And I am saying "Yes", and he saying "No". And I am saying "Yes", and he saying "No". At the end, we had just one opinion. We kissed each other. Under the sky of China, the little Chinese boy sat down. Then, the jealous and unfortunate moon came and kissed him. She was jealous of my fortune. So, I cried and cried.

(Prepared by the authors from the idea of the children's song "El Chinito").

Tasks and Procedures of teaching

The skills of the first stage are aimed at establishing meaning, providing understandable input information, and personalization. In such a way, the teacher would do the following:

1) Establishment of meanings, understandable input information and personalization. The key words of the story with their translation into the mother tongue are written on the board. They are called story structures. They are explained briefly and synthetically without many grammatical comments. It would be like this, as an example:

2) Signaling and gesticulation of the following structures. Example:

Once upon a time: using hand and arm gestures.

The intent of this activity is to give the student initial practice of the new structures in the story. It may also include total physical response exercises, word association games, oral or visual, or both, or any exercise that helps students remember the meaning of the word or the structure.

3) Making:  questions and personalizes responses. This activity is considered the great avenue to success in the TPRS method, as it enriches the manipulation of the structures through personal interaction in English with the students; it also, works as a bridge to the story, ensuring customization. Then an example of possible questions and answers about the story "Chinaman".

First, the teacher reports having already heard the story, and that now they will listen to it again, ask questions and answers, and change the story as much as the students wish. Example:

I love the woods, class, you know. Do I love the woods? Do I love kids? Yes class. I love kids. Do you love them? I also love the night and the moon. Do you love them too? But I also love the sun and the day? Do you love the Sun? Do you love the Moon? You write the structure on the board or overhead. Point information and structures on the board. Circle them.

a) Do you know the little Chinese boy?      

b) Come and meet him, please. ___ "Good morning little boy" ___ Good morning, dear learner. Class, listen, the boy is saying good morning to you. So, what would you tell him?      

c) Do you know his name? ___ Yes, his name is Ho Chi.      

d) All right. Listen class, the boy's name is Ho Chi.      

e) Does he have a big head? ____ Yes, his head is big.      

f) Class, listen, Ho has a big head. "People call him: Little Pumpkin."       

g) Does he have a big mouth? ___ No, he doesn't. He doesn't have a big mouth.      

h) All right class, the little boy doesn't have a big mouth. He doesn't have a big foot. He has a big head. Just that a big head.     

i) Where did the boy go one Sunday morning? ___ To the woods.       

j) Yes, class, he went to the wood. He went for a walk to the woods.       

4) Tree locations: with whom, where and when.  To ask and fix by means of the students reasoning, guided by the teacher, where, when and with whom the story takes place.

5) This is my story. The idea is that the students gradually create their own story, without limitations imposed by the teacher.

These same procedures are used in all the stories, with minor modifications: additions and omissions. They do not appear in the stories that follow for reasons of space.

Story 2. The Poor Lady

Once upon a time, there were a very poor. Her children were thirsty and hungry at home. One early morning, she was walking along the road. She found 10 dollars in a wallet. At first, she did not know what to do. However, at the end, she went to market and she bought a chamber pot. The kids became very happy. Now they did not have to go outside to go to the toilet.

Story 3. The Rock and the Horse

Once upon a time, a group of girls was climbing up the mountains, doing camping. So, they saw a big rock and a man standing at its side. Two days later, the girls were coming back, so they looked to see the rock but it was not there any longer. Then, one of them asked the man "how did you know there was a horse inside the rock?" and the man replied in a low voice, "Only sculpture knows."

Story 4. The Circus

A miserable circus came that night to my poor neighborhood. A mother-pig was the only animal it had. People did not have a cent to attend the circus. Every night, the circus got ready for a performance, but no one walked in. They remained there three months without collecting a cent. They couldn't go for they had no money to leave. Then, a popular young man went to every house asking for some cents to help the circus go away. At night, they left in a little old truck, which some people had to push and push, until finally, they reached the main road.

Story 5. Wayasamín's Paintings

An old woman finds Wayasamín in the street. She wants to see his paintings.

The painter takes the old woman home and shows her his paintings.

On the way home, the old woman tells her friends about her adventure.

The old woman comes back home late. She will tell her husband about her adventure. The old man is sound asleep. "Tomorrow, it will be", she says.

Next day in the morning, the old woman finds his husband dead in his room. The old man never knew why she came back home late that night.

Two days later, on March 10 th, 1999, Wayasamín died.

Note: Osvaldo Wayasamín (Quito, July 6 th, 1919- Baltimore, Maryland. USA. March 10 th, 1999). He was a famous Ecuadorian painter, designer, sculptor, and muralist. One of the greatest exponents of indigenous expressionism.

Process to intensify the teaching of English

The data that appear in this section were revealed through class observation, interview and collective discussion with students and teachers sampled. Each indicator was evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 points, with 5 being the maximum. In a regressive direction, the sub-dimensions and dimensions were evaluated from the evaluations of the indicators. The results of the analysis of the process in the experimental group were compared with those of the control group, so that the difference marks the superiority of one group over another.

Observation of 18 classes in which storytelling was introduced reveals the intensification of the English teaching process (Table 1).

Table 1 - Intensification of the English teaching process










4 .2























From the interview to the students

From the collective discussion

The use of the TPRS method, in particular through storytelling, facilitates the student's reflection processes on the language and its use, as well as social interaction as learning dynamic and the potentiality of influencing psychological factors: emotions, energy, self-esteem, motivation, among others. It emphasizes the development of interactive competition as a goal itself and A way for the development of the communicative and intercultural competition and; it also focus, the development of thinking, the position before to good and bad and, therefore, the formation of values.

Its basic ideas are as follows:

a) Language learning occurs in social interaction (Vygotsky, 1978).      

b) Communication is a socially constructed interactional process.      

c) Verbal interaction is crucial for learning the language, as it allows the student to show the active system and the actual use of the language.      

d) Social interaction is the primary mechanism of mental organization (active and social character of the human psyche) (Vygotsky, op.cit).      

e) Language is meaning (Vygotsky, op.cit); it is negotiation of meaning.      

f) Students need to be emotionally motivated to interact in learning.       

g) The language is learned reflectively interacting with it.      

h) Tasks facilitate social interaction, are meaningful and engaging from the communicative and affective needs of students.     

i) Both correctness and fluency are objectives in teaching through storytelling.       

The datas in Figure I intensified the process of the teaching of English, show that all the sub dimensions have increased compared to the control group. However, the increase in the interaction and reflection sub dimensions is not significant, so it has no scientific value. This is due to the fact that the control group uses interactive didactics that stimulate interaction and reflection as substantive processes through which learning occurs.

However, the superiority in these two Sub dimensions is in the quality category. That is to say, in the qualities of the interactions and reflections insofar as these occur, fundamentally, in the experimental group, with the meaning, the natural use of language with well-told stories whose thread directs attention and the exchange of ideas. On the other hand, in the control group, the interaction occurs through the exchange of already known information, without stories and with grammatical structures repeated over and over again. On the other hand, reflection in the experimental group happens about events in the same story, while in the control group it happens about the structure of the language system and, in the best cases, about questions of use out of the thematic context.

Storytelling energizes understandable input, targeting of meaning, and personalization. The possibility of listening to stories, personalizing them, changing them and retelling them offers a different vision of how to learn the language. The teacher becomes a moderator and facilitator of diverse contexts. The stories created by the students with the guidance of their teachers become an incentive to stimulate and strengthen the real use of the English language, as well as social relationships and creativity.

The period of understanding, personalization and interaction is essential for the development of interpersonal linguistic-communicative skills. Group work encourages constant exchange and feedback on the actual use of the language and the experiences that students exchange to improve their academic performance.

According to the interview and the collective discussion, the participation of the students increases as a result of the use of storytelling, thanks to the fact that they feel the need to say something from the understanding and personalization of the story. In this sense, the presence of observant students decreases and active students grow due to the focus of the events of the story, the levels of understanding that are achieved and the individual opportunities to say something, thanks to a methodology that stimulates the functions of the brain involved in communication. However, the causes that provoke the existence of observing students are still a pending chapter of the Didactics of Languages. In this regard, the interview and collective discussion reveal that, in the students' opinion, observers exist because they have lagged behind the group mean; once you fall into that hole, it is very difficult to get out due to peer pressure and the tense cognitive, affective and social situation in which the observer is already.



From pedagogical practice, the authors of this article confirm the following advantages of the storytelling method:

The stories focus more on the meaning than on the language itself, in such a way that with the new information they involve and engage the student, at the same time that they are created in it, through the personalization of the story, feelings, emotions, sadness, joys, satisfaction and identity.

Storytelling in the classroom approaches real communication and offers opportunities for the student to try and experience communication, using various verbal and non-verbal resources. In this sense, the tasks and exercises created around the stories demand and favor the processes of exchange of meaning and information and interpersonal interaction. These processes involve and commit to students in solving problems that are gradually introducing during the methodological development of storytelling.

The social impact on teachers and students is positive, due to several reasons, including: freshness, novelty and dynamics of working with stories, the opportunity to hear and read stories of stories that show real use of language and the possibility they offer to contextualize grammar in vividly narrated thematic situations, accompanied by gestures, movements, facial expressions, voice changes, among other psychological and artistic resources.

The art of telling stories is a methodological powerful resource to ensure, both peace and unity of peoples and the formation of values from the distinction between good and evil. In the educational context it can be used as an attractive way to stimulate the imagination of students and raise the learning of different types of knowledge to higher levels. Telling stories unites cultures and can make people relate to each other.

Storytelling uses a series of procedures typical of the TPRS method, compatible with the brain, which are attractive and novel for students, when they work around a story. It includes personalized questions and answers, focus on structures, simulations, role plays, use of dramas, textual analysis, correct voice modulation, slow tempo, with emphasis on sentences, accompanied by gestures, suggestion with the eyes, voice , movements and gestures, among others. In this sense, this method can be enriched with the use of new technologies, project work, team and pair work, collaborative message creation, student interaction with real users and textual analysis, among other techniques.

Storytelling becomes a methodological resource that contributes to the development of communicative, interactive and intercultural skills; it focuses meaning in context, rather than language as a closed and abstract system; stimulates learning with techniques and procedures compatible with the brain, in which the body and mind intervene; uses the psychology of success and involves and engages the student in problem solving. So it manages to form attitudes and positive values.

Teaching through storytelling is a theoretical and practical model with a deep humanistic and cognitive basis for learning a foreign language, full of love, joy, movements and actions compatible with the brain; provides understandable input information; personalize learning; it contextualizes the language with real and imaginary situations, related to the sociocultural context and satisfies the cognitive and affective needs of the students. In addition, it facilitates the learning of grammar from the text-context relationship, with the inductive-deductive method, with structures that emerge from history, from a functional and communicative position for the student. In terms of results, it enables the development of the processes of understanding, interaction, reflection, collaboration, meaning and contextualization.



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Conflict of interest:

Authors declare not to have any conflicts of interest.


Authors´ Contribution:

Ileana Herrera Arencibia: Conception of the idea, authorship coordinator, literature search and review, translation of terms or information obtained, application of instruments, compilation of information resulting from the instruments applied, writing of the original (first version), review of the applied bibliographic standard, review and final version of the article, correction of the article.

Rodolfo Acosta Padrón:general advice on the topic addressed, literature search and review, translation of terms or information obtained, preparation of instruments, application of instruments, compilation of information resulting from the instruments applied, statistical analysis, writing of the original (first version), review of the applied bibliographic standard, review and final version of the article, correction of the article.

Alexis Pérez Rodríguez: literature search and review, translation of terms or information obtained, application of instruments, compilation of information resulting from the instruments applied, writing of the original (first version), review of the applied bibliographic standard, review and final version of the article, correction of the article.


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Ileana Herrera Arencibia, Rodolfo Acosta Padrón, Alexis Pérez Rodríguez