Story Listening in Class

These videos were hand-picked by Beniko Mason as a proper demonstration of what Story Listening looks like in class. They provide you with information about: language, language level, student population, setting, background information. Below the video you can see some comments from Dr. Mason what tools have been used from the SL tool kit and what makes these videos good SL demos.

For your convenience they also come with the written text/ prompter and an audio recording of the reading. Prompters will vary for every class and are just an example for the specific class shown. You will notice that they can look very different, but they serve the same purpose.
These prompters can be used as a starting point, but should always be adjusted to the needs of the individual class. Learning how to make prompters for your classes is a part of the Story Listening workshop with Dr. Mason.

Videos, Readings and Audio can be provided to students for more input at home.

This SL lesson was videotaped in the 1st year students’ class at a university in Japan in September 2017. This was their second semester, which is why the story is longer and more complex. However there were several students, who registered for this class for the first time. For them I briefly explained what "a long time ago" and "There was a ~" in Japanese is, before I started. You may notice that I am asking a student in an orange shirt, who sat in my class for the first time, whether he is following the story.

Tools used from the Story-Listening Tool Kit (Krashen 2017):

1)    I draw pictures.
2)    I speak slowly.
3)    I speak clearly.
4)    I speak in short sentences.
5)    I speak loudly.
6)    I use some L1 (miller, graduated, forest,
       have money, I may get lost, sign, strew).

7)    I use a word that they know first, “give” and then 
        introduce a new word “provide”
8)    I use my facial expressions (I do not like him)
9)    I gesture (shudder, strew, crouch)
10)    I give an example to explain a word
         (ashes from cigarette)
11)   I explain about an idiom (be obliged to ~) in Japanese

* Notice that some students are already writing the summary of the story in Japanese while they are listening to the story. They are doing simultaneous translation. In SL class, they listen, watch and feel and write at the same time. They are processing the incoming information (input) fully in their brains and hearts.

Beginner: "Der süße Brei"

Der süße Brei Reading


This Grimm's fairy tale was adapted from the original story to fit the needs of a beginner German class at an international school. The common classroom language is English, but many students are ESL students, who acquire English and German at the same time.

Intermediate: "Das Waldhaus"

Das Waldhaus Reading

This Grimm's fairy tale was adapted from the original story to fit the needs of a high beginner/ low intermediate German adult class. The class is taught privately and the common language is English, though not all participants are native-speakers. The participants took German in a traditional class setting before. This was their 5th lesson and 10th story.

Tools used from the Story-Listening Tool Kit (Krashen 2017):

1) She is looking at the students to make sure that they are following what she is saying.
2) She writes the words that she thinks that are important on the board and also writes in English underneath the German word to give extra support, but she erases it right away.
3) She uses gestures, and facial expressions.
4) She speaks slowly.
5) There is a long pause between the sentences, not always but sometimes.
6) She looks at the listeners and when she decides that the listeners need more help, then she draws a picture with a word, and makes sure that the listeners are OK with what it going on.
7) "Vor dem Ofen saß ein ~~", and she looks at the listeners to make sure that they are with her.
8) she is having nonverbal conversations with the listeners. The listeners are obviously nodding and saying "yes."
8) She repeats the same sentence after drawing a picture or a word.
9) She uses synonyms. wir haben viel to essen -  genug Essen für alle. Essen = Speise = Gericht

10) She uses all sorts of structures such as: als sie fertig war, sagte sie, ich bin jetzt müde. Not just easy simple structures.
11) Schüttel : She uses the word that she used in a different story again
12) She draws a picture where "Keller" is and explains what it is and writes in English and erase it right away after the listeners understand it.
13) She repeats when the listeners do not understand.
14) She has a pause between phrases
15) She tells a story that has natural repetition in the story so that she can use the same words to tell the story. "du hast an uns gar nicht gedacht."
16) klug, intelligent (synonyms)
17) wo ist mein grün? (she talks to herself in German!) 18) durfte (again used)
19) wir wünschen dir eine gue Nacht(=we wish you a good night) what a good expression to learn!
20) Listen to the listener say, "Oh WOW!" when she comes to an end of the story! The listeners are happy to have heard a story with warm feelings.
21) nicht nur sondern auch