Orality & Storying

Storying provides culturally relevant, Biblically accurate, easily reproducible, and readily accessible stories for language communities where an oral means of communication is preferred.


While the term "storying" was only recently coined, the art of storytelling has been part of the fabric of communication longer than we can say. Throughout history people have used stories to relay events, communicate ideas, modify behavior, teach theology and shape worldview. Storying builds on this foundation. It involves carefully crafting stories from Scripture. These stories are true to the original text but told orally in a natural, engaging way that is easily reproducible.

SIL helps language communities build on their oral tradition by enabling them to produce and use stories from Scripture. SIL trainers and consultants help members of the language community or others with a vested interest in the language through the process of:

  • selecting stories that speak to the realities of the culture
  • drafting the stories using an all-oral process
  • testing the stories for comprehension, naturalness, and reproducibility with mother-tongue speakers
  • checking for accuracy to the original text
  • telling the stories in small groups that will reproduce themselves

SIL is a founding member of the OneStory partnership and contributes mainly toward the story development, testing and checking phase of OneStory projects. 

Storying services of SIL are not available in all countries where SIL personnel are found. However, you may be able to access these services through other organizations.