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How to Create a Language Experience Story

Creating language experience stories is a practical way to teach that reading and writing are like talking. It helps learners understand that what they think about and say can be written, and what is written can be read. Some guidelines:

Steps to follow to create an individual language experience story:

1 Have the learner dictate an experience or story to you.
2 Write down what the learner says.
3 Read back to the learner what you wrote to be sure it is correct.
4 Decide with the learner what changes to make, if any.
5 Read and reread the story together, tracking with a finger or pointer as you read.

Steps to follow to create a group language experience story:

1 Arrange a language experience activity. *
2 Invite learners (one at a time) to dictate a sentence about the experience for the story.
3 Write on the chalkboard exactly what they say.
4 Read the story back to them, then decide with the learners what changes to make, if any.
5 Read and reread the story together, tracking with a pointer.

* A language experience activity is usually an activity that learners do together. It could also be any experience an individual or group has had. After the experience, a teacher or leader helps the learners write about what they have experienced. Here are some examples:


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Questions? Contact Literacy@sil.org.   Last modified: Dec-1-97

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