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Welcome to Story Barrio! Make yourself at home ­čÖé

We like to think of ourselves as an EFL Learning Experience Design Collective. We go beyond activity and lesson planning – we look at the entire learning experience, weaving stories and memory-enhancing techniques into the learning adventure for our students (teenagers and adults learning English as a foreign language).

As Cambridge CELTA Tutors and teacher trainers we apply the same strategy when planning and running training sessions for teachers and educators.


This site is a home of our stories ready for the classroom. It goes well with our INSPIRATION GIVEAWAY where you can get FREE lesson ideas and activities that incorporate:

  • our stories
  • memory-enhancing techniques
  • strategies that help students interact with texts (both written and spoken)
  • our most recent ‘discoveries’ related to learning experience design



  • With 38 years of teaching experience (combined!), we don’t want to settle
  • We believe lesson and materials design is the spice of teaching
  • We resist the constraints imposed by bland teaching resources
  • Stories live their own lives in the classroom
  • Story-rich lessons are juicier and hard to forget
  • Crafting your own texts for teaching is a fascinating learning experience
  • We want you to give classroom story-writing a go ­čśë
  • Students want to remember, activate and internalize the new language during the lesson
  • For students, lessons are not isolated teaching spots, they are part of the complex learning experience so the design of the whole experience is what matters


We search for stories and we are lucky to find them. More often than not, they find us!

These stories often need a loving touch before they are ready to use for teaching, training or presentation purposes (in our case, mainly teaching and mainly English as a foreign language). So we give them an editing cuddle. They may be half-baked lessons but the stories themselves are ready to reach you.

When a story is good to go, we post it on Story Barrio (flagged, surprise surprise, as STORY). We add some background info so you can make good friends with the story and deep dive.

Then it is over to you – take the story, give it your own kisses and hugs, and use it in your teaching, training or presentations.



We refuse to rest on the laurels. We dread the prospect of turning self-complacent and smug about our story creating skills. So we make time to learn about the art of story, narrative and plot writing.

Whatever we learn, we share in the Barrio. All the posts flagged as SPICE are capsules of story creation wisdom we get to stumble upon.

So, look at the SPICE sections as evidence of our learning and a log of our exploration of the story architecture.


Who are we?

Teacher & teacher trainer friends: Beata Palińska & Milada Krajewska

PS: We like Banksy for a number of reasons. Here is one:

I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.



Get in touch, ask us questions, send us your comments …



Featured photo: Connor Vercueil via