Story Listening: a critique of one of my stories by Dr. Mason

For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, you probably know I enjoy seeking and getting feed-back from my CI peers and mentors. Last Spring, I started using Story Listening supplementation developed by Dr. Mason and Dr. Krashen, and after some success, I attended Dr. Mason’s Story Listening workshop in Chattanooga TN last summer. I have since then decided I wanted to deliver one story a week in most of my classes using the Story Listening toolkit. So I’d better make sure I am doing it in a way that is most effective for my students to acquire the language.

Dr. Mason kindly offered to watch me tell a familiar story (she does not know any French so it had to be a familiar story for beginners). I am truly honored that she took the time to watch and send me some constructive feed-back. I sent her a video of the Three Little Pigs which I told a small group of HS students.

Click on the image to watch the video

I am sharing Dr. Mason’s feed-back with her permission, hoping it will help those of you who are also using the Story Listening toolkit and are seeking to improve their story delivery and increase their students’ acquisition.


Dr. Mason “completely understood the story because of the 1) drawings, 2) the written words; 3) gestures; and 4) L1 (English)”


  1. Write more phrases/words in French to support students’ literacy (E.g. “cochon” (pig),  “a de grandes dents / oreilles / yeux” (has big teeth, ears, eyes))
  2. Repeat new phrases/words more often as I am drawing them. This was inconsistent in my delivery, sometimes I repeated words, sometimes I did not. I was also trying to paraphrase (“il construit sa maison en brique” (he builds his house out of brick), “la maison du troisieme petit cochon est en brique” (the house of the third little pig is made of brick)) but I did not do this enough. I have to find the right balance between repeating words without breaking the flow of the story.
  3. Slow down.  As a native speaker, I have made a lot of progress slowing myself down. But I need to continue being consistent with it.

I hope this feed-back helps another teacher or two. Thank you Dr. Mason!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I am just becoming familiar with the SL method and would love to use it in my German class. I’ve enjoyed all your posts on Fb, too. It is all so helpful as I’m trying to understand how the method works and how to implement it.

    • Thank you! The Story listening FB group is the best place to get more information but don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. We are all in this together 🙂

  2. Thank you so much! I LOVE that you asked for feedback from B Mason. Brilliant and brave! I teach American Sign Language and have dabbled in SL. It resonates with me. I want to do more. I so appreciate your data also! I needed to know it works before I invest more of my class time and energy practicing and trying to improve. Great blog! -Mary

  3. I also enjoyed how you formatted your images so they weren’t too spread out. That was very helpful.

Leave a Reply