The Importance of Short Fiction
for English Learners
ESL stories are the best way to reinforce the latest English lesson
you've taught your students.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
Sometimes, though, students are reluctant
to read long works of fiction, either because the stories are too
difficult or because the students are too busy to sit down for long
stretches of time.
Short ESL stories will solve this dilemma for your
Finding Time to Read
With shorter stories, adult students can find time to read while they
are waiting to pick up their children, while they're in line at the
post office, or on a meal break at their job.
learners can carry a small paperback collection of short stories in
their backpacks so they can read while they're waiting for their
parents to pick them up from a soccer or baseball game.
can enjoy reading a few pages of a story after dinner or before bedtime.
Culture and Customs
Besides sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling, ESL
stories help students learn about the culture, customs, and traditions
of the country they're studying.
There are many English-speaking
countries, so you will want to make sure that you select short story
collections that reflect the values of the country you're currently
A story written about Australia will showcase actions and
speech that are different from those of the characters in a story
written about the United States.
Vocabulary and Spelling Differences
There are also slight differences in vocabulary among American,
British, Canadian, and Australian English speakers.
Americans call the device that helps move you between floors of a tall
building an "elevator" while the British call it a "lift."
also differences in spelling, such as the American "color" and the
You will want to make sure to choose ESL stories for
your students that are written for and about the country that you're
Finding out What Interests Your Students
Of course, the best way to find out what interests your students is to
ask them. But you can also get clues from watching and observing them.
For example, if you see a student carrying a soccer ball, you'll know
she's interested in playing sports.
A student who pastes a few pictures
of famous rock stars on his notebook would probably enjoy reading a
story about a singer.
Finding ESL Stories That Match Your Students'
looking for ESL stories online, as well as at your local public
library. Really Learn English has its own specialized collection of ESL
short stories for beginners
If you want your ESL students to excel at learning English grammar
culture, make sure they have plenty of interesting short ESL stories
and short story collections to read.