Prompt for language learning with stories


I am trying to use gpt-4 to create stories at users’ proficiency level and desired topic for extensive reading. However I have not gotten the model to follow my instructions strictly.

However I find the responses are not strictly beginner level and ends up using longer sentences than a beginner level story should, despite using a low temperature like 0.5, especially for languages other than English.

What prompting techniques i can employ to improve the adherence to the specified language level?

Example system prompt:
You are a very skilled language learning author. Your task is to write a story to teach beginner level English. Story parameters:
Number of pages: 10
Number of words per page: 150
Genre: Adventure
Language proficiency: Beginner level i.e. Use only very basic and very common words. Use only very simple, very short sentences. Avoid complex grammar.
Write the first page of the story

I thought I’d go in a different direction, heading over to AI models that have enough, but not too much training. It seems length will still be an issue, plus I gave the AI models no spark to go off of except a title to see where their creativity took them. They both hit the “I really wasn’t trained to write this long, let’s wrap up” that would need chunking creation. 10 more days of “davinci” for that quality.

Enough prompt, done in completion continuation style:

Here’s a brand new (name redacted/your choice) children’s story, never seen by the public before! Great for eight-year-olds to start reading independently, this twenty page story constrains its language use to short sentences which are easily understood by these young readers.

Title: “Alison Ayer and the Brownie Mystery”


Title: “Alison Ayer and the Brownie Mystery”

Alison Ayer was a girl who loved puzzles and mysteries. She was very clever, but she never told everyone that she was. She liked to keep her cleverness a secret.

One day, Alison was in her backyard looking for bugs. She was careful to put them back where she found them. She did not want them to get hurt. Then her mother called her in for supper.

“Please sit down,” said her mother.

“Thank you for supper,” said Alison. She liked my mother’s cooking.

“I’m glad my cooking is to your liking,” said her mother. “What did you do in the backyard?”

“I was looking for bugs,” said Alison. “But I was careful not to hurt any.”

“That’s very sweet of you,” said her mother.

After supper, Alison went upstairs to her room. It was filled with books and puzzles. Alison loved to work on puzzles, all by herself.

Suddenly, she heard a strange sound coming from her drawers. It sounded like a soft whirring noise. Alison opened some of the drawers and soon realized where the sound was coming from. It was coming from under her bed!

Alison looked under the bed and saw a tiny brown creature with wings. It was a brownie! Brownies were tiny mythical creatures known for their love of mischief.

“Hello, little brownie,” said Alison. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m looking for my magic dust,” said the brownie. “Someone has taken it and I can’t fly without it!”

“I’ll help you find it,” said Alison. She loved mysteries and this seemed like the perfect one to solve.

Alison searched her room high and low, looking for the missing magic dust. She found it hidden in her puzzle box.

“Here it is!” she exclaimed, holding it up for the brownie to see.

“Thank you so much,” said the brownie. “You are a clever girl.”

“You are welcome,” said Alison. “But why did you take my puzzle box?”

“I thought it was a hiding place for my dust,” said the brownie sheepishly.

“I understand,” said Alison. “Next time, just ask and I’ll help you find it.”

The brownie promised he would and they became good friends. From then on, Alison would leave out a small plate of cookies for the brownie to enjoy. And whenever the brownie needed help, he would come to Alison and she would use her cleverness to solve his problems.

Together, Alison and the brownie had many adventures and solved many mysteries. And Alison’s cleverness was no longer a secret, but something she was proud to share with her new friend.


Once upon a time in the quiet town of Crabtree, there lived a curious little girl named Alison Ayer. She was always up to something, whether it was exploring the woods behind her house or searching for hidden treasures in the attic.

One sunny afternoon, Alison decided to go on a picnic in the park. She packed a basket with her favorite sandwiches, a few juicy apples, and a big thermos of lemonade. She also brought along her trusty magnifying glass, just in case she stumbled upon any interesting bugs or leaves.

As she was setting up her picnic blanket under her favorite tree, Alison noticed something strange. There, hiding behind a nearby bush, was a tiny little creature. It looked like a small person, but it had pointy ears and a mischievous grin.

Alison cautiously approached the creature, and as she got closer, she realized that it was a brownie! She had read about brownies in her fairy tale books, but she never thought she would actually see one in real life.

The brownie looked up at Alison and spoke in a soft, squeaky voice. “Hello, young human. I am Breezy, the brownie of this park. What brings you here today?”

Alison’s eyes widened with excitement. “I’m having a picnic!” she exclaimed. “Would you like to join me?”

Breezy hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “I suppose I could spare a few minutes,” he said. “But be warned, I have a bit of a sweet tooth.”

Alison quickly pulled out some of her favorite treats from her basket - chocolate chip cookies, gummy worms, and even a few pieces of licorice. Breezy’s eyes lit up with delight as he munched on the sweets.

As they ate, Alison couldn’t help but ask Breezy all sorts of questions about his life as a brownie. “Do you have a house?” she asked. “How do you spend your days? Can you grant wishes?”

Breezy chuckled. “We brownies do live in houses, but we build them ourselves out of sticks and leaves. We spend our days helping out around the park, tending to the plants and animals. And as for granting wishes, well, that’s a bit more complicated.”

Alison’s face fell. “Oh, I see. I was hoping you could grant me a wish.”

Breezy looked at Alison with kind eyes. “Tell me, what is it that you desire?”

Alison thought for a moment. “I wish that I could have more adventures like this one,” she said. “I want to explore new places and meet new people, both big and small.”

Breezy smiled. “Ah, a curious spirit. I like that. I can’t grant your wish directly, but I can give you something that might help.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny, golden acorn.

“This is an adventure acorn,” he explained. “When you hold it in your hand and make a wish, it will take you on a journey to a place where you can have the adventure of your dreams. But be careful, my dear. Adventures can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.”

Alison’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “Thank you, Breezy!” she exclaimed. “I promise to be careful.”

Just then, a loud noise caught their attention. They turned to see a group of kids running towards them, shouting and laughing. Alison quickly hid the adventure acorn in her pocket, not wanting to share her secret with anyone else.

As the kids approached, Breezy darted back behind the bush, disappearing from sight. Alison waved goodbye to her new friend and joined in the fun with the other children.

For the rest of the day, Alison couldn’t stop thinking about the adventure acorn. She knew that she wanted to use it, but she also knew that she needed to be careful. After all, adventures could be dangerous.

But as she lay in bed that night, staring up at the ceiling, Alison made up her mind. She was ready for an adventure. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the golden acorn, holding it tightly in her hand.

“I wish for an adventure,” she whispered.

Suddenly, the room around her began to spin. Alison felt a strange sensation, as if she were being pulled through a tunnel. When she finally emerged on the other side, she found herself standing in a dense forest, surrounded by tall trees and unfamiliar sounds.

Alison’s heart raced with excitement. She knew that this was just the beginning of her great adventure.

And so, Alison Ayer set off into the unknown, ready for whatever surprises and challenges lay ahead. She knew that she might encounter danger, but she also knew that she was brave and strong enough to handle anything that came her way.

As she walked deeper into the forest, Alison felt a sense of freedom and excitement that she had never experienced before. She was no longer just a little girl from Crabtree - she was a brave explorer, ready to take on the world.

And with the adventure acorn safely tucked away in her pocket, Alison knew that she could have an adventure anytime she wanted. All she had to do was make a wish, and the world would open up before her, filled with wonder and magic.

From that day on, Alison Ayer was never the same. She was a changed girl, one who was unafraid to take risks and seek out new experiences. And she knew that no matter where her adventures took her, she would always have the support of her friends, both big and small.

I think OpenAI’s keeps the language a bit more simple. Either will respond to more age targeting…

3.5-instruct emulates a rhyming children's writer...

Heezus was a curious creature,
With four legs and a funny feature.
His back had a hump, or maybe two,
Everyone wondered, ‘what could he do?’

He lived in the desert, all alone,
With nothing but sand and a big stone.
His humps were heavy, and slowed him down,
But he still explored, all across town.

One day, as he wandered far,
He came upon a village bizarre.
The creatures there were tall and thin,
And they all laughed at Heezus’ humps within.

Heezus felt sad, his humps a burden,
But then he heard a voice, so certain:
“Don’t listen to them, my dear friend,
Your humps are special, they’ll defend.”

Heezus looked around, but saw no one,
Then his ears perked up, and he felt a ton.
The voice was coming from his very own humps,
He couldn’t believe it, he gave two joyful jumps!

“I am your humps,” the voice said loud,
“You may not see me, but I’m always around.
You see, I have a secret power,
To help you in any tough hour.”

Heezus was amazed, he didn’t know,
His humps were magical, who would have thought so?
But with this newfound knowledge, he stood tall,
And ignored the creatures, who weren’t so kind at all.

He went on adventures, like never before,
His humps were his guides, he couldn’t ask for more.
He climbed tall mountains, and swam in the sea,
His humps made him feel, wild and free.

Heezus returned to the village one day,
And the creatures were shocked, they had nothing to say.
They saw his humps in a different light,
And they all apologized, for not seeing them right.

From that day on, Heezus was known far and wide,
As the creature with humps, with nothing to hide.
He showed everyone, that being different is grand,
And with a little confidence, you can conquer