English Stories for Kids & ESL Learners


English Stories for Kids

English stories and poems can be a great educational tool for learning English language. There are many beginner level English stories for kids and books that can be used in an ESL classroom or for learning one-on-one. There are many websites available that offer useful information and educational materials for ESL learners. This ESL site, for example, can be a great resource for on line learners: http://www.rong-chang.com/.

English Stories for ESL Learners

There are other sources for English easy stories and we have compiled a list of useful links for those interested in learning the language or enhancing his or her vocabulary and reading skills.

Here is a site that offers 100 free simple English short stories for reading on line learners: http://www.rong-chang.com/qa2/.

Here is a great source for on line short English stories for children for intermediary level learners: http://www.rong-chang.com/eslread/index.htm.

Reading stories can be a fun way to enhance your English language skills. While there are many collections of stories in English specifically designed for ESL learners, it can be a good idea to try and read some basic children’s stories written for native English speakers. Reading stories written for English speakers can give a better feel for the language and it’s structure and vocabulary. Most stories written for children use simple words and have basic sentence structure which is fitting for various levels of ESL  students.

Here is an example how stories for children featured at Story Time for Me.com are used to teach English to students of various levels of skills and development:http://gulfnews.com/life-style/education/free-online-children-s-stories-promote-storytelling-1.823631.

Story Time for Me (http://storytimeforme.com/) has a collection of English stories for children who are native speakers of the language, but can also be used to enhance the learning in an ESL classroom. The stories are animated and come with supplementary education material, which makes it easy to use them for ESL learners of all levels.

Using English Stories for Kids to Teach English

All over the world, the  educational value of using  English has always been undisputed. Recently more and more English as a Foreign Language (EFL), or English as a Second Language (ESL)  teachers are specifically selected stories from the world of children’s English literature for teaching all age and grade levels of students. The acquisition-based methodology of teaching English which uses storytelling as the primary teaching technique complies to the major objectives of an ESL or EFL teaching course. It covers all the aspects, including linguistic, cognitive, psychological, social and cultural. EFL/ESL  teachers can use stories to supplement their main materials and to create self-contained learning units  that constitute mini-syllabuses. This way, stories can provide the starting point for developing a wide range of related language  learning activities which will engage the students personally, actively and creatively in a well rounded all inclusive curriculum approach.

Selecting English Stories for Kids According to the Students’ Level

Storybooks that are used to teach ESL students should be carefully selected to match the skill level of the students. It is important to pick English stories for children that are well known and contain examples of genuine English, as well as as literary techniques such as repetition, rhyme, onomatopoeia, suspense and humour.  The stories should contain colorful illustrations which match the text and enhance the students’ understanding and help develop their visual literacy. The English stories that are used for ESL learners should that take place in varied settings and address issues such as  multicultural education and citizenship to help increase intercultural awareness. It recommended to use  stories that develop social skills and emotional development of the students. The English stories used for teaching language skills should also be linked to other subjects to enhance the students’ general knowledge, reinforce new concepts and help them learn how to learn. Finally, good English stories for kids that are used by ESL teachers should offer a concrete outcome following the form of dramatization, as well as related songs and rhymes, a game,a book-making activity,  a quiz or a test, poster-design, arts and crafts project, etc.

Benefits for Students and Teachers

The educational benefits from using authentic children’s English stories can be perceived directly from students’ personal response to the stories. It is important to always get feedback directly from the students, to assess how they have assimilated the material. Younger students particularly enjoy to the stories with colorful illustrations. Older and more advanced students often become involved in a detailed discussion of the particular genre, setting, illustrations,characters, and  what they liked the most about the story. After each lesson, the teacher should inquire what the students think they have  learned from each of the  English stories presented in the class.

Implementing a story-based approach in the ESL classroom requires a great deal of energy, creativity and excellent classroom management skills as well as certain amount of  flexibility from teachers. This approach can, however, put teachers under a certain amount of pressure.  Yes, this technique does keep you on your toes and keeps the language teaching process at a high pace. Using English stories for kids to teach, however, has a direct benefit for teachers themselves, as their resourcefulness, confidence and critical appraisal develop greatly.


English Stories

Please take a moment and browse Story Time For Me’s FREE online stories for kids which offers dozens of interactive, online children’s books with professional narration, music, sound effects and clickable words. We have two series called ‘Fern the Fox’ and ‘Ben the Mouse’. If you like Arthur and Franklin the Turtle series, you will love ours! Click on the banner below and enjoy! If you want to download a FREE personalized book, click here!

English Stories for Kids
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