Benefits of storytelling

benefits of storytelling as child reads magical book

There are many benefits to storytelling, and it helps that preschool children soak up a language like a sponge! They can learn a foreign language without really trying, but you need to know how to capture and hold their interest because preschool and kindergarten children have a short attention span!

If you do not know how to attract and keep their attention, you will be lost at sea with the children ignoring you and not learning anything.  That is a demoralizing place to be, as this teacher found out at her first lessons:

I volunteered to teach children 3-5 years old, and the first day I bombed so bad, I was afraid some of the parents might not come back.  I have spent hours, days, months, and money I do not have, and I still found myself in a panic repeating ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,’ parents in tow.”  Kathryn Williams, USA

Fortunately, you have come to the right place for a solution to this problem.  Read on to learn about the benefits of storytelling and what you need to be an effective and engaging preschool teacher.

a sponge to illustrate how children learn like sponges

Children soak up learning like a sponge! They can learn without trying if you capture their attention.

Benefits of storytelling

ESL Stories are an ideal way to motivate your preschoolers intrinsically; children love listening to stories, so you are halfway there. The rest is about making the story interesting and colourful, and Shelley’s ESL Stories enable you to do just that.

What results you can expect

Scheherazade captivated Bluebeard by telling him a story every night, 1001 Arabian Nights actually, and was rewarded by a pardon and her life.  What a graphic example of the influence of stories!  Please do not underestimate the power and benefits of telling stories to preschoolers. On the contrary, get ready to be amazed, as Aladdin was when he rubbed the lamp and the Genii appeared. No Genii here, but tangible building blocks for developing minds. Here are just some of the significant aspects:

1. Rapid Progression and improvement in vocabulary and comprehension

Children absorb a language at this age rather than consciously learning it as older children do. The more often they hear English, the more likely a preschooler will acquire it. What better way than telling stories where words have a meaning in context, the tone, and melody of the spoken word giving elegant examples of pronunciation and flow patterns.  Research over 75 years comes up with the same conclusions: reading aloud to children builds vocabulary and comprehension while naturally soaking up proper grammar and word usage. My ESL stories are original and lively, and written ingeniously by revising and repeating target vocabulary. You won’t find such a thorough method, with games, activities, songs, PowerPoints by native speakers, and more, at such great value elsewhere.

2. Improved behavioural and listening skills

Learning English through listening to Shelley’s ESL Stories is an ideal way to improve listening skills. Young children love stories and ask to hear the same ones over and over again.  It’s strange to think that even though they know a narrative inside out, they want to listen to it again! Fortunately, this love of stories is fantastic from a language learning point of view.  As soon as you start telling a tale, your tiny pupils are suddenly mesmerized, will sit quietly staring at the story pictures.  It’s amazing the effect the stories have on them!

Aside from language learning, another benefit of storytelling is to teach practical information or points of view. In addition, stories can introduce new concepts of the wider world and develop imagination.

3. Improved teacher-child relationship

Reading stories together is fun! As a teacher, you are a model for your captive audience, and your interpretation is an essential skill in this enjoyable experience. Preschoolers want to please you as the new adult in their lives, so they are more likely to be attentive and relaxed but focused. As teachers, we know that a close relationship between us and our charges is productive to learning.

How to get the most benefits from storytelling

1. Preparation is key

Please bear in mind that you cannot tell a story without preparing pupils properly.  Targe vocabulary, phrases, and sentences from the story need to be taught first using language games. Once children have learned essential vocabulary with fun games and activities, they are ready for the story.

Don’t forget to rehearse telling the stories. If you feel shy, record yourself for feedback on how you sound. Exaggerate, because oftentimes you think you are being expressive, but it’s not that exciting when you hear a recording!


Bring in objects when you can, such as clothes to dress up or props for acting out little plays or stories. When you cannot bring tangible items, use whatever objects are in your class, and use bright pictures for games.

Puppets or teddy bears

Have a puppet introduce the new vocabulary. If you do not have a puppet, you can make one from a paper bag or sew a couple of buttons on a sock.

2. Teaching guidance notes

Enhancing storytelling

Stories, along with songs, allow children to hear and understand far more English than any other method. The tale can be the focal point of the lesson, giving meaning and context to odd words and phrases learned in isolation.

Using stories tactically

My curriculum of stories is specially written for preschool and young primary English language learners. Vocabulary and sentences are introduced gently and progressively using a combination of new language and revision of what has been covered. Even three-year-old language learners will understand and learn from these stories, which build their vocabulary gradually.

Get the benefits of storytelling!

Check out my stories curriculum, starting with stories 1-10

Get a free sample of Hetty and the Lion

Please contact me for help choosing the best set of stories for your pupils.

For my stories in paperback, please visit my Amazon author page Shelley Ann Vernon

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