The Monologues: A Storytelling Accompaniment by Brett

On my BIG post about how I use Ben Slavic’s Invisibles technique, I referenced a technique I love called The Monologues. It’s where I write a complimentary text to the story in the first person from the perspective of one of the story’s characters. I originally came up with the idea because in January or so, my Sp1 students had basically zero ability in the 1st person singular because almost all of their CI was in the 2nd and 3rd persons—a problem with CI that you have to be watchful of. I mainly had students read these for daily warm-ups and answer a one or two comprehension questions so that I know they read or translate a section or all of it. I don’t do it every day, but I usually have one or two Monologues per story to make sure they get their 1st person input.

Here’s a few examples.

This is a cute Invisibles story one of my Sp2 classes came up with. If you want to see all my classes’ Invisibles stories, click here:

comprehensible input Invisibles example

Chuck 2Chuck 3


Adorable, right! Below are a few Monologues I wrote for that story.

Sometimes, there’s no other purpose to writing a Monologue other than more interesting CI, like these “Calle” and “Boss” Monologue:






Sometimes I use the Monologue to launch into a discussion that deepens the story in some new way. Sometimes I use The Monologues to push the students to come up with a sequel like in the case of the “Menta” and “Vanilla” Monologues below. I overheard some discussion in L1 about whether Chuck accidentally fell from the truck or perhaps there was more to it. Perhaps he was pushed off the truck!!! So, I started writing Monologues that inspired conversation into that conspiracy.





That’s it. A wonderful, fun way to provide compelling CI in the 1st person so at the end of the year your students aren’t saying stuff like “Yo estudia español.” Enjoy!


One comment

  1. Thanks for reminding us of a variation of a technique I learned from Suzie Gross back in the late 90’s. I like your name. She called it “Point of View.


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