ERIC Number: ED425646
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Enhancing Discussion through Short Stories.
A teacher of English in a college-level intensive English language program describes a method for stimulating speech in high-intermediate and advanced students, using short stories. It is argued that in short stories, the themes are universal, and even shy students are willing to discuss this form of literature in class. Criteria for selecting stories are suggested: a theme that captures students' imagination; sufficient complexity to have varied interpretations; appeal for a cross-section of students; and rich vocabulary. The story should be written originally in English, and should range between two and twelve pages in length, depending on student experience. Reading the story is a homework assignment, and class discussion begins with a question about where the student's sympathies lie in the story and continues with clarification of any student misunderstandings of the plot. Discussion of cross-cultural topics and related social issues often ensues. Variation in narrative technique from story to story is recommended, and selection of some humorous stories among the serious is also encouraged. A list of stories addressing social issues, focusing on youth and age, using different writing styles, and including humor, with brief descriptions, is appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (32nd, Seattle, WA, March 17-21, 1998).