Storytelling and story-making for Cambridge English: Young Learners

Karen Saxby

Author of the Fun For series, Karen Saxby, joined us LIVE to talk about the wonderful world of storytelling and story-making. In her webinar, Karen revealed how story pictures can help to prepare young learners for starters, movers or flyers story based reading, writing and speaking tests.

Karen’s webinar is full of fun, creative, useful ideas for lessons. She asks questions such as:

  • What is a story?
  • Why do stories engage us?
  • Why is story language so memorable?
  • How can we use stories to encourage creativity, collaboration and communication?


So, what is a story?

Stories are accounts of events and experiences that we think will provide entertainment. As Karen reminded us, they don’t have to be super long, creative texts. Stories are a past of our lives, which makes them ideal for language learning!

Why do stories engage us?

Using stories to teach young learners takes the stress out of what can be a worrying language learning process. By inserting pictures and placing texts together, you can use stories to teach learners of all levels.

Stories make language so memorable because they…

  • Occupy the space between reality and imagined reality
  • Enable us to engage with an interest of our own choosing
  • Attach us to specific characters
  • Encourage us to react emotionally, which has a huge impact on memory
  • Cause us to subconsciously judge behaviour and learn about social norms
  • Force us to use our imagination to complement a text
  • Transport us into alternative scenarios
  • Make language immediate and meaningful
  • Motivate learners to discuss and complete fun activities


If you want to listen to Karen’s top tips for the Starters, Movers and Flyers tests, listen to her webinar!

If you enjoyed the video, you might also like Karen’s blog post about motivating young learners.

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