Language Teaching with Story-Logic

When educators fail to infuse teaching and learning with the logic of story, they deprive themselves and their students of the most powerful form of communication and teaching available to the human mind — for the promotion of all learning. For example, when Brown et al. (2014) wrote their renowned book about the science of successful learning, they hired a storyteller as their third author. Though the effectiveness of story-logic connects to all forms of learning, this paper focuses specifically on language education. It provides a succinct definition of the magnetic elements of story and a clear theory for story-logical language education. It also sets out a simple framework, Nation’s four-strands (Nation, 2007), which language teachers can use as a guide to add story-logic in every aspect of language teaching. And it summarizes an experiment where participants liked the characters more, enjoyed the text more, and recalled and comprehended information better when it was embedded in and infused with story-logic.

This is an abstract for a paper that will be published by Senshu University Institute for the Humanities. The attached PDF is the questionnaire used for the experiment in the study.

Here is a PDF of the article Language Teaching with Story-Logic.

Unifying Theory and Practice at Charlie Zemi

Thank you Charles Browne and your Zemi students for inviting me to your Summer Zemi this year. It was an honor and a pleasure to participate and to witness your joy and enthusiasm for life and learning!

After my presentation, I made some changes based on our interactions. This is includes a reference list for relevant academic works and an algorithmic gamification of the Find Someone Who activity, which is now “Bingo Talk.”

All the best to you and “carpe diem!”

Click to download the PDF. 

Talk: The Benefits of Big Reading

The Benefits of Extensive ReadingIn this two-part video presentation, I summarize the benefits of extensive (BIG) reading. In Part 1, I define extensive reading, using the phrase “reading BEE.” That is, extensive reading is Big, Easy, and Enjoyable.

In Part 2, I summarize the benefits of extensive reading, using the word MASTERFUL. That is, extensive reading helps promote MASTERFUL English because of its relationship to the following factors.

  • Motivation: ER motivates reading and learning.
  • Attitude: ER improves attitudes.
  • Syntax: ER develops learner syntax and grammar.
  • Thinking: ER improves thinking, that is writing.
  • Ears: ER benefits listening skills.
  • Riches: ER enriches physical, emotional, and intellectual life.
  • Fluency: ER increases reading automaticity and fluency.
  • Uber-text: ER employs the supreme form of content, namely stories.
  • Lexis: ER improves vocabulary and word knowledge.

I’m posting these videos here for my linguistics students at Meiji Gakuin University, but if you find them helpful, please share them with your colleagues and friends.

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Introducing -- Make your words count!

iWordcount tools from are now free at! is the free and easy way to count the words that you read or write. Just paste in your text and get your word count data. There are other features, too.

You can input your reading speed and get the reading time of your text. Reading data also shows you the *Reading Ease and the Reading Grade of your text.

If you sign in (it’s free!), you can track your words on your My Information page, just like at and are helpful for learners and teachers who do extensive reading.

Readers can track word counts for books on the Log a Book page. Just input the Title, Publisher, and Total words in the book, and click “I read it! Honestly!”

Readers can also click “Search a book,” and our database will give you the Title, Publisher, and Total words of graded readers.

If you can’t find word count data for a book, use the WolframAlpha tool to estimate word counts. (1) Input the pages you read or will read. (2) Input the lines on one full page. (3) Input the number of words in three full lines. And (4) input the page space without text (pictures or blanks) in the first 20 pages of the book.

You can see a list of the books you read on your My Books Page. And with a free teacher’s account, teachers can track word counts for groups of readers. Contact support (at), and ask for a free teacher’s account for or

Make your words count at! Brought to you by, with over 1,500 stories for learners of English, and where English learners read big!

*Reading Ease and Reading Grade are based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores. Word counts for stories are only available at

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