Stories work for all ages and they can be used to learn English. This doesn’t mean you learn the language with children’s stories (don’t imagine picture books). This works for kids and adults. The story telling methodologies are really just a method in which you use a narrative or a context to expose yourself or a student to certain vocabulary or grammar. This is why it works for all ages. A narrative can be as child friendly, cool for adolescents, or interesting for adults as needed. It has the ability to be relevant to each age level. A narrative for a child could be about life at home with the family, going on vacation to the beach, or making friends. Narratives for adolescents could be about someone going to university for the first time, a crazy concert, or learning how to drive. And adult narrative could be about someone traveling the world, a job interview (for those who are studying English for business), a mystery, or whatever! The options are endless.
And with a teacher it involves conversation. So you get the best of both worlds. You are absorbing vocabulary and grammar through interesting narratives, and practicing your speaking skills! This will make you parents and you adult learners happy. These ideas and methods come from a base of research called comprehensible input for you nerds out there. As a teacher I have had my best results using narratives to teach, along with other comprehensible input methods. I find the biggest difference in results is in people’s listening skills. I was good at teaching people phrases and formulas to get them to speak yet they had a hard time understanding spoken English. Now I can get them speaking and understanding because they are constantly practicing these skills in class. In a traditional class you spend the majority of the time learning grammar and not practicing the language. Yet in narrative based classes I coach you through these narratives so we practice listening, reading and speaking the whole time. It really has changed how I learn and teach languages.