One of the best things about knowing another language is that it opens up new worlds: new friends and new stories! This works in reverse too: listening and learning from stories in another language (Mandarin Chinese for us!) helps us develop an ear for native pronunciation, while also introducing new vocabulary in-context (which helps lock that vocabulary into memory). The content I make here draws from the emerging theory of story-based language learning (for more details, scroll down the the methodology section below)
Every week, I’ll be posting a Mandarin & English Storytime! The stories here are ones I am sharing with my students at Little Panda Mandarin Preschool - and many are retellings of classic Chinese folktales. Listening to stories in the target language is incredibly important for learners, especially for children who are just beginning to develop an ear for language.These videos are for educational purposes (and the Mandarin interpretation is my own)
(Very!) briefly, the model of story-based language learning I use draws from the “inductive approach” to language instruction, which itself draws upon the language acquisition theory first advanced by Stephen Krashen in The Input Hypothesis, and later clarified in Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use (Krashen, 1985, 2003). Krashen and his fellow linguists argue that language learners need not be overwhelmed by an out-of-context list of rules; or memorize lists of vocabulary. Instead, “learners can acquire language implicitly if they are provided with sufficient comprehensible input from the teacher” (Donato & Adair-Hauck, 2016, p. 6).
Donato, R., & Adair-Hauck, B. (2016). PACE: A story-based approach for dialogic inquiry about form and meaning. In J. Shrum & E. Glisan (Eds.), Teacher’s Handbook: Contextualized Foreign Language Instruction (5th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
Krashen, S. D. (1985). The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications. London: Longman.
Krashen, S. D. (2003). Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use: the Taipei Lectures. Portsmouth, N.H: Heinemann.