Benefits of Using Short Stories in the EFL Context

| November 5, 2005
Benefits of Using Short Stories in the EFL Context

Keywords: short stories in ESL/EFL instruction, benefits of short stories, selection of short stories to suit students needs, higher-order thinking in ESL/EFL instruction

Odilea Rocha Erkaya

Bio Data
Brief history of professional expertise: Odilea Rocha Erkaya is an Assistant Professor of EFL at Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Turkey. She has been teaching EFL/ESL for over 25 years. She taught EFL in Brazil in the 1970 s and ESL in the USA in the 1980 s, and has been teaching EFL in Turkey since 1992. Her areas of interests are students and teachers motivation, authentic materials, and the use of literature in language instruction.

Qualifications: She received her master s degree in Literature from Northeast Missouri State University and Ph.D. in Higher and Adult Education with a specialization in TESL/TEFL from Arizona State University, both in the USA.

The purpose of this article is to familiarize EFL instructors with the effectiveness of using literature in language instruction. While some instructors may still believe that teaching EFL encompasses focusing on linguistic benefits only, so eventually their students will communicate in the target language, others who have integrated literature in the curricula have realized that literature adds a new dimension to the teaching of EFL. Short stories, for example, help students to learn the four skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing– more effectively because of the motivational benefit embedded in the stories. In addition, with short stories, instructors can teach literary, cultural, and higher-order thinking aspects. However, before novice instructors attempt to use short stories in their EFL classes, they 2 should understand the benefits of short stories and plan classes that meet the needs of their students.

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Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 8