MFL teaching aids: Foreign language acquisition through storytelling and story acting (KS2)

Storytelling and story acting practice has been shown to aid children’s language learning and literacy skills, including in vocabulary development and narrative abilities.

It can be integrated into language lessons to help underpin other important elements of language learning including grammar or vocabulary teaching.

This short film explores the techniques that Charlotte Ryland (Stephen Spender Trust) has developed to promote storytelling practice as a tool in language learning with younger learners. She explains how storytelling and story translation can create a highly motivating, fun environment for pupils, which allows them to explore their own creativity and feel a sense of empowerment through the learning process.

Storytelling and story acting practice combines scaffolded learning with help from adults, with dictation and dramatisation of the stories by children.

In this film, we see practitioner Rahul Bery facilitate a translation and storytelling session, encouraging pupils to explore a foreign language text and discover its hidden meaning whilst encouraging pupils to creatively develop on its content.

Embedding storytelling into a lesson can also be adapted to support the language learning of children with special needs, as a way of encouraging SEND pupils to fully express themselves.

Teachers/parents and children could refer to BBC Bitesize primary MFL content (stories) to direct their storytelling and story acting activity with children.

This film is part of a series of four films designed to promote evidence-based best practice methods for languages teaching at KS2 and KS3.

For student resources that may help you integrate stories into lessons or homework, please see:

More MFL teaching aids:

Making phonics an indispensable tool in language learning (KS3)
Asking effective questions - grammar building blocks (KS3)
Promoting intrinsic motivation in students (KS3)