Once upon a time, in a far-away land I found myself teaching English to Chinese teenagers. Every day they had to study English to comply with Australian visa requirements. There was one, particular, special activity in their weekly routine which seemed to truly engage them; On a Friday afternoon the students would sit on the floor on big cushions, the lights were dimmed, the candles lit and the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl was the signal to embark on a trip to the magical world of stories. There we would cross the boundaries of languages difficulties and navigate into the universal language of story. It was in this fertile land that the students really started to connect with each other, with me and to the English language. This is when I realized that stories are not to put you to sleep, stories are to wake you up!
Stories stimulate the senses and the emotions as you travel with the characters on their adventures. They provide a clear context to work in and they stimulate curiousity and imagination. All this makes the learning experience much more memorable as it helps to retain the language in the long term memory bank.