Episode Hypothesis

The Episode Hypothesis is an approach to language teaching devised by John Oller, closely related to François Gouin’s Series Method.

The underlying principle behind Oller’s Episode Hypothesis is that “texts (oral or written forms of discourse) which are more episodically organized can be stored and recalled more easily than less episodically organized material” (Oller 44; see also Brown 293). These texts can be anything resembling or presenting a story, and can help students practice in any of the four skill areas (e.g. reading a short story, acting out and speaking lines from a play, listening to an old radio show, or writing a personal narrative).


Brown, H. Douglas. Teaching by Principles. Pearson, 2007.

Oller, John W. “Story Writing Principles and ESL Teaching.” TESOL Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 1, 1983, pp. 39–53. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3586423.