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4 Fun Ways To Learn a Language With Stories

Storytelling is a powerful knowledge tool. Did you know it’s also great for language learning? On World Storytelling Day, we bring you 4 ways to learn a language with stories.

Why you should learn a language with stories

Storytelling is one of the oldest human practices. For centuries, we’ve told each other stories to communicate better, help give meaning to the world around us, and make life more entertaining. We can’t help it – our brains are wired for stories.1 

It’s no surprise, then, that storytelling is a tool that businesses, schools, and other sectors use to get through to their target audiences. It’s also a good reason why we should use stories to learn a new language. 

Here are 4 fun ways to learn a language with stories: 

Read short stories

Reading an entire novel in your target language can be intimidating at first. Thankfully, there’s an alternative. Enter the short story.

This form of narrative is a great way to learn a language with stories because it’s so short. Flash fiction, for example, is usually made up of 500 words or less. 

Most short stories are well-written and edited, so they can help you improve your grammar and vocabulary. And because they’re such a popular form of fiction, you can find great short stories in Spanish, German, Italian, French, and any of the other languages we offer in our app.

A warm drink in a cup next to two open poetry books held by an unseen person
“Había una vez” (Once upon a time…)
Image by Thought Catalog from Pixabay

Watch movies

OK, but what if you don’t have time to read? Well, movies are also a great tool to learn a language with stories.

The world of video streaming offers a comfortable way to learn a language on your own while you chill on your couch. Choose your favorite Mexican or Spanish series on Netflix and turn on the Spanish subtitles to strengthen your vocabulary and practice your listening skills at the same time. 

Feeling confident? Turn off the subtitles! Binge-watch five entire seasons of perfect native pronunciation without moving a finger. 

Do this with any language you’re learning!

Two young women eating ice cream while browsing the home screen of Netflix on an ipad
Netflix and Chilean movies to learn Spanish
Image by yousafbhutta from Pixabay

Listen to audiobooks and podcasts 

Still not sold on how to learn a language with stories? How about audiobooks and podcasts?

The number of podcasts and audiobooks around the world has exploded in the last decade. You can find podcasts on almost any topic in many different languages. And most of your favorite books have an audiobook version.

Even if you don’t fully understand what you’re listening to, podcasts and audiobooks are fantastic ways to train your ears to identify the new sounds of your target language, which will help you develop proper pronunciation.

A young woman lying on her bed listening to something on her phone, using pink headphones
Just lie back, relax, and learn…
Luisella Planeta Leoni LOVE PEACE 💛💙 from Pixabay

Talk to a native speaker

“These are all great ways to learn a language with stories,” you might say. “But I’m a people person. I need to talk with human beings.”

That’s a great idea! People are the best source of stories – they’re basically walking, talking books. Befriend a native speaker of your target language and exchange stories. It will help you learn a new language and discover more about a different culture!

Social media is a fantastic place to meet people from all over the world who are eager for language exchanges. If you like this idea but are looking for a more professional language exchange partner, check out our Live Coaching options.

Happy World Storytelling Day! 

References

  1. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/it-is-in-our-nature-to-need-stories/

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