Using Short Stories in an ESL Classroom

Short fiction is a supreme resource for observing not only language but life itself. In short fiction, characters act out all the real and symbolic acts people carry out in daily lives, and do so in a variety of registers and tones. The world of short fiction both mirrors and illuminates human lives. The inclusion of short fiction in the ESL / EFL curriculum offers the following educational benefits:

  • Makes the students reading task easier due to being simple and short when compared with the other literary genres,
  • Enlarges the advanced level readers’ worldviews about different cultures and different groups of people,
  • Provides more creative, challenging texts that require personal exploration supported with prior knowledge for readers,
  • Motivates learners to read due to being an authentic material,
  • Offers a world of wonders and a world of mystery,
  • Gives students the chance to use their creativity,
  • Promotes critical thinking skills,
  • Facilitates teaching a foreign culture (i.e. serves as a valuable instrument in attaining cultural knowledge of the selected community,
  • Makes students feel themselves comfortable and free,
  • Helps students coming from various backgrounds communicate with each other because of its universal language,
  • Helps students to go beyond the surface meaning and dive into underlying meanings,
  • Acts as a perfect vehicle to help students understand the positions of themselves as well as the others by transferring these gained knowledge to their own world.

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