Article: Marianne Rabang | Photos: | Topic: English short stories
English Short Stories for Improving English (Beginner Level)
Are you an English learner who’s an avid fan of words and imaginative conquest? Do you enjoy going to the nearest cafe with the new book you bought from the indie bookshop down the road? To all those who said “yes” to both questions, this post is surely perfect for you.
Our first #BOOKLIST post is for all the English readers who need more exposure to common expressions and words. Short, simple and natural, our list of English short stories will put you in everyday situations. Prepare your notes with you and write down all the useful English lessons from these helpful finds:
1. The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein)
Let’s start with an excellent warm up story. This is one of the simplest yet most moving pieces of literary works you can lay your hands on. How far will you go for someone precious to you? Will you give a part of you or will you give all of yourself? Let’s find out what The Giving Tree did for the little boy. Cut into verse-like structure, this work is a good start for practice.
English skills: use of conjunctions, simple expressions and sentences, dialogue style narrative
2. The Happy Prince (Oscar Wilde)
Crafted with simple words and a deep story, The Happy Prince is a reflection of societal differences and indifferences. Take a look at the swallow’s life and relationship with the young prince. At the same time, try to catch a glimpse of the citizen’s relationships with the rest of the world.
English skills: use of passive and active voice, imperative sentences, descriptive narrative
3 . The Blue Stone (Jimmy Liao)
Next, we have a work akin to that of The Happy Prince. Is the story about longing, growth, change, finding one’s home, or another thing? The story of The Blue Stone can be interpreted in several ways. Much like other Jimmy Liao’s works, this is another personal journey to the reader. Let the vivid and whimsical illustrations take you to a special personal journey.
English skills: descriptive narrative, compound and complex sentences, story-telling
4. The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams)
When do we become real? Hop in and join the Velveteen Rabbit’s story and find out the answer to the question. This piece reminds us of childhood and giving value to the things around us. Get ready for long sentences packed with adjectives and verbs. This piece is filled with commas, short pauses, and hints of nostalgia.
English skills: descriptive narrative, use of qualifiers/intensifiers, long sentences
5. Aesop’s Fables (Aesop)
Hit many birds with one stone with this all-time classic favorite. With more than 70 short stories to read, your vocabulary list will grow in no time. Seemingly simple at first glance, behind Aesop’s fables are general truths about life that we tend to forget or sometimes flat out ignore. It’s time to level up your English skills while gaining wisdom at the same time.
English skills: vocabulary words, idioms, satire, reading comprehension
Need more advanced books? Read our #BOOKLIST: English Novels for English Learners (Intermediate Level).
Do you prefer movies? Here are 5 movies for English learners.
Not enough? Here’s a list of the top classic books recommended for everyone. Challenge yourself and read as many as you can. We assure you, you won’t waste your time.