Towards an Understanding of the Benefits of Short Stories in Oral
Henry Sevilla Morales1, Geiner Méndez Pérez2
1. Profesor del Departamento de Educación de la Universidad de Costa
Rica, Sede de Occidente. Licenciado en la Enseñanza del Inglés como
Lengua Extranjera. Dirección electrónica: email@example.com
2 Instructor del Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA), Zona Norte,
Costa Rica. Bachiller en la Enseñanza del Inglés. Dirección
Hacia un Entendimiento de los Beneficios de Historias Cortas en Cursos
de Comunicación Oral
Dirección para correspondencia
This article explores the relation between reading short stories and
learners' centeredness, self-confidence, and positive attitudes towards
reading in EFL oral communication courses. To this end, twenty two
students from INA's (Spanish for Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje)
Center for Vocational Training in Cuidad Quesada, Costa Rica,
participated in a reading project where the communicative activities
were set up around the content of short stories and their connection to
the participants' own experiences. The study undertook a quantitative
approach to research where various instruments were combined to record,
report, and analyze the data collected. Findings show the progress
attained by the participants in terms of their views, attitudes and
habits towards reading in general and the reading of short stories as a
result participating in the project. The authors conclude that student
centeredness, self-confidence, and positive attitudes towards reading
increase by using short stories for oral communication in EFL; all this
while a step is taken towards attaining the cultural competences that
today's multicultural and multilingual world demands.
Key words: student centeredness, self-confidence, oral communication,
short stories, attitudes, Costa Rica
El presente artículo explora la relación existente entre la lectura de
historias cortas y el impulso de la enseñanza centrada en el
estudiante, la autoconfianza y las actitudes positivas hacia la
lectura, en los cursos de comunicación oral dentro del contexto de
inglés como lengua extranjera (EFL). Para ello, participaron veintidós
estudiantes del Centro de Formación Profesional de Ciudad Quesada,
Costa Rica, del Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA) en un proyecto
de lectura, en el cual las actividades comunicativas se realizaron
alrededor del contenido de las historias y su conexión con las
experiencias de vida de los participantes. El estudio adoptó un
paradigma de investigación cuantitativa donde se combinaron varios
instrumentos para la recolección, el reporte y el análisis de los
resultados. Los hallazgos muestran el progreso logrado por los
participantes, en términos de sus opiniones, actitudes y hábitos con
respecto a la lectura en general y a la lectura de historias cortas,
luego de participar en el proyecto. Los autores concluyen que existe
una relación entre la lectura de historias cortas en EFL y el
desarrollo de los tres componentes estudiados. Todo ello ocurre
mientras se da un paso hacia el logro de las competencias culturales
que la sociedad multicultural y multilingüe demanda.
Palabras clave: enseñanza centrada en el estudiante, autoconfianza,
comunicación oral, historias cortas, actitudes, Costa Rica
One of the most significant current discussions in the universe of
language teaching is the need for multicultural communication.
Curricular authorities and researchers agree that geographical,
political, and ideological distances need to be shortened between
cultures so that "the various issues of our diversified society [are
solved]" (Youngdal, 2011, p. 1). Arguably, a great volume of literature
in the past decades has outlined the need for consensus as to how this
goal can be reached. One of the greatest obstacles, however, may be the
uncertainty in regards to the best methods to accomplish this important
yet dilemmatic objective, as well as the fact that multiculturalism as
a pedagogical policy is a relatively new philosophy in the field of
applied linguistics. In fact, an increasing number of academics and
researchers are today discussing the challenges it poses in education
(e.g., King, 2011; Safia, 2011; Stambach, 2011; Youngdal, 2011). Carter
and Nunan (2001), for example, asserted that the many questions
emerging in this direction are only starting to be answered, and that
much remains to be done before research can unveil the ways to make
multiculturalism become a success in education.
Besides these already-dramatic challenges, education and research also
need to direct efforts towards the development of cultural and
linguistic proficiency of learners. In the particular field of applied
linguistics, researchers have started to show great interest in the
role of literature at both linguistic and cultural levels in second and
foreign language teaching-learning. For instance, literature has been
said to play a central role as a compensatory device for promoting
engagement in the classroom, and as a tool to "extend [students]
language use", encourage of tolerance, and to promote creativity
(McKay, 1982, pp. 192¬193). Despite its many benefits, though, a common
dilemma faced by teachers is selecting the right literary genre for the
right learner. To make things more complicated, teachers often lack the
methodological preparation to make the most out of literature in the
In recent years, nonetheless, there has been an increasing interest in
the use of short stories for oral communication. As Parkinson and
Thomas explained, "short stories require less contextualization than
other types of fiction and are usually less complex linguistically than
poetry and some forms of drama" (2000, p. 60), which make them a
powerful resource in EFL and ESL teaching-learning. Additionally, short
stories present language in a contextualized form, which, according to
recent research, can be comprehended effectively through the use of
interactive classroom dynamics (Bhuvaneswari & Jacob 2011, p.
This paper explores the extent to which reading short stories can
promote learners' centeredness, self-confidence, and positive attitudes
towards reading in oral communication courses. Taken together, findings
suggest that these variables increase significantly by using short
stories within a communicative-based teaching-learning methodology.
They also indicate that cooperation, vocabulary, reading rate, and
social skills can be enhanced through a teaching model like the one
proposed herein. The results of this study assists our understanding of
how to use short stories for effective oral communication, as it also
sheds light on ways to fortify learners' cultural literacy, a central
requirement within the scope of every multicultural communication
2. Literature Review
As the world struggles for multiculturalism, a number of challenges
need to be met, particularly in the direction of international
communication. In Costa Rica, for instance, the government recently
launched a plan called Costa Rica Multilingüe, in which concern on the
need for better linguistic competences in English is strongly
emphasized. However, the government has assured that the efforts made
during the last two decades have proven "insufficient" and that more
efforts are therefore needed in this direction (Presidencia de la
República, 2007, p. 2). Ever since the program came into action back in
2008, a great deal of investments have been made, many of them in
teacher-training programs aimed at improving Ministry of Public
Education (henceforth, MEP) teachers' linguistic competences so better
teaching can be guaranteed. Unfortunately, the running of the plan not
always reflects a change in teaching practices that can meet its
objectives (Gamboa and Sevilla, 2012). Overall, Costa Rica
Multilingüe's goal is to:
Dotar al país de una población con las competencias comunicativas que
le permitan un mayor desarrollo personal y profesional, aumentando sus
posibilidades de acceso al conocimiento universal y a empleos de mayor
remuneración (Costa Rica, Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP), 2007,
This big and somewhat ambitious goal requires that significant changes
at the levels of both policy and practice be introduced if these
linguistic competencies are to be attained, and that renewed and
innovative learning experiences in the classroom shift from a teacher
centered to a more learner centered experience.
Communicative Language Teaching (henceforth, CLT), the new and by far
most widely accepted teaching paradigm of contemporary pedagogies,
stresses the need for a type of learning where language is used as
meaningfully and authentically as possible (Brown, 2000; Carter and
Nunan, 2001; Nunan, 1989; Richards, 2001); and it often advocates for
the need for student centeredness and student's self-confidence,
arguably because they play a central role in developing the
competencies required for the communicative purposes of today's
globalized societies. In essence, student centeredness has to do with
ways to make students become the core of learning through communication
opportunities that allow them to exploit their linguistic competencies
(Sevilla and Méndez, 2012); self-confidence, on the other hand, and for
the purposes of this paper, is seen as the state of "being able to
communicate in the L2 in an adaptive and efficient manner" (Macintyre,
Dornyei, Cloment and Noels, 1998, p.551). These two constructs will be
at the core of the teaching paradigm under investigation in this paper.
Along with the theoretical principles of CLT, an element that has
recently been granted great importance in second and foreign language
teaching-learning is literature. Sandra McKay assured that literature
may "extend [students'] language use, along with a number of related
benefits such as the encouragement of tolerance, the promotion of
creativity, and the increase in reading proficiency" (1982, pp.
192-193). However, there is also a vast body of literature pointing out
weaknesses in its correct implementation in the language curriculum.
For the most part, traditional methods, especially those dealing with
the literal comprehension of the text (i.e., efferent reading, in
McKay's words) have long proven ineffective. Therefore and as already
suggested above in this paper, a shift in teaching practices must be
devised so that language teaching can cater to the multiple and complex
learning demands of today.
In the specific case of short stories, they have proven effective in
second and foreign language teaching because, besides being less
complex than other literary genres, they can be used to expand on other
competencies such as the cultural skill or critical thinking, not to
mention the fact that they "provide opportunities for focused
attention" of learners and they offer an opportunity for language use
in a contextualized fashion, which the teacher may take advantage of if
s/he comes across the right classroom dynamics (Bhuvaneswari &
Jacob, 2011, p. 156). Conclusively, it makes sense to think that if
short stories are used with the right methods, they may be used as a
platform for language learning through which the gap between the
world's multicultural demands and the Costa Rica's government plan on
better communicative practices can be shortened.
In an attempt to attend to this gap, this study inquires on the
relation between reading short stories and promoting learners'
centeredness, self-confidence, and positive attitudes towards reading
in oral communication courses. In so doing, the theoretical principles
of Schema Theory and the Interactive-compensatory Model of Reading
Fluency have been combined, along with empirical experience of the
Schema Theory is based on the assumption that reading is an interactive
process, where the reader transacts with the text by connecting it to
his/her personal experiences (Nunan, 1989). The
Interactive-compensatory Model, on the other hand is based on the
assumption that "incoming textual data is processed (bottom-up)" during
the reading process, which activates existing knowledge (top-down) that
the reader will use to give the text a "coherent interpretation". This
is interactive in that the reader makes sense of the text by "decoding"
its linguistic features; then, she/he will relate it to his/her
background experience. It is compensatory in that a reader's weak
linguistic knowledge will be "compensate[d]" through his/her background
knowledge and vice versa. In this sense, what the reader discovers in
the text is "as important as what he finds there" (Bock 1989, p. 154).
Both Schema Theory and the Interactive-compensatory Model provided
important insight into the completion of the paradigm proposed in this
This study explores the link between the use of short stories in oral
communication courses and the enhancement of student centeredness,
self-confidence, and positive attitudes towards reading in EFL
contexts. This quantitative study was conducted during the first
semester of 2012 at INA, Centro de Formación Profesional Cuidad
Quesada, San Carlos, Costa Rica.
To this end, twenty two students aged between 17 and 32 years old
taking a conversational English course for customer service were
selected. Thirteen were female and nine were male, all of them Costa
Rican and with an intermediate proficiency level. The majority of them
were full-time students; that is, they had no job or family commitments
that would interfere with their academic endeavors, except for three of
them who worked part time and were taking the course at the same time
they worked too. Lastly, all the participants had completed secondary
The instruments for data collection included: a) an ordinal scale (see
appendix 1) on students' attitudes towards reading in general and
towards reading short stories, b) a classroom dynamics observation
checklist to measure student centeredness (see appendix 2), and c) a
checklist to measure self-confidence evolution throughout the course
(see appendix 3). Additionally, a self-assessment scale was used as
support for the implementation of the teaching paradigm proposed. This
scale sought to provide the participants with a tool for measuring
their classmates' commitment and overall progress as the paradigm
evolved. All these instruments derive from theoretical insights
discussed in the review of the literature section. Below is a
description of each one of them:
3.2 Description of the Instruments
The attitudes scale comprised twenty questions grouped into two parts,
and it was administered at the beginning and at the end of the
procedure. The first part, Students' Views about Reading and about
Reading Short Stories, gathered information as to general opinions
regarding the opinions and feelings of the students regarding the
reading in general and the reading of short stories. It included
statements like reading in English helps be build tolerance and respect
towards other cultures and subcultures, or reading short stories in
English helps build self-confidence while speaking in the classroom,
which the students had rated as; fully agree, agree, partially agree,
disagree, or fully disagree. The second part, Students' Practices and
Attitudes towards Reading and about Reading Short Stories, inquired on
students' practices and attitudes towards reading short stories. It
included statements like I read newspapers, books, short stories,
comics, etc. in my spare time, or I believe short stories are an
important complement in the process of learning English, which the
students rated the same way as they did in the first part.
The classroom dynamics observation checklist comprised a total of
fourteen questions that measured the degree of achievement of the
classroom dynamics of the model proposed; it was administered three
times during the completion of the study. The degree of achievement for
such questions was ranked as yes, no, partly, or NA (non-applicable).
This checklist was divided into three subsections: a) classroom
atmosphere, which looked into the degree to which the class environment
allowed for a friendly and stress-free interaction; b) students' role,
which sought to gather information as to whether the learners were
given a role where they would interact as the center of learning, and
c) learners' attitudes, which measured the participants' overall
response to the treatment applied.
The self-confidence checklist collected data about the participants'
self-confidence levels while conducting oral communication tasks, and
it consisted of fourteen statements related to anxiety, stress,
nervousness, self-esteem, and other self-confidence-related factors
discussed in previous research. The instrument included items such as I
find it intimidating to work in groups, I feel insecure about the ideas
I am trying to express, I get nervous when someone asks questions about
what I just said, or I avoid risk-taking because I fear making mistakes
while speaking English. The participants checked the statements that
applied to them when speaking English in the classroom.
Three artifacts were used to facilitate the completion of the model,
but not for purposes of data collection. The first one was a
peer-assessment form that included a series of statements describing
the participants' performance during the communicative activities. The
students in the group—or in the pairs— rated according to criteria
given (always, almost always, often, sometimes, almost never). At the
bottom of the form, the rater was given space to provide feedback,
which fostered linguistic awareness and commitment while carrying out
the communicative activities. The second artifact was a story map which
the participants used for the completion of while-reading stage (see
procedure section). Finally, a critical reflection form was handed out
to the participants for them to write a short paragraph reflecting on
the process they had been immersed in.
3.3. The Research Procedure
The procedure in this study comprises three main stages as described
below. Each one of them was equally important for the successful
completion of the model.
3.3.1. Stage 1: Teaching elements of a short story
This model was not aimed at analyzing or explaining elements in a short
story; however, these were taught because they would provide learners
with an ampler understanding of the content so that more successful
communicative tasks in class would ideally be carried out. These had to
be taught and discussed beforehand as a way to equip students for the
upcoming while-reading tasks. By conducting in-class short story
analyses with the learners, elements such as setting, rising action,
climax, falling action, resolution, characters, point of view, plot,
tone and style, conflict, irony, theme, etc. were made clear from the
onset. This was done during the first two weeks of class. Afterwards,
the second stage took place.
3.3.2. Stage 2: The running of the model
The running of the model covered the following ten sessions, and
participants had to read one short story per week. Here, a series of
steps were put into practice in a sequential fashion, for, according to
literature reviewed, they would yield more positive results.
a) Selecting the stories: The short stories were selected based on two
criteria: the students' proficiency level and the cultural richness
present in the stories; that is, they could not be too difficult to
read, and they had to offer enough cultural input for the establishment
of connections with current cultural realities.
b) The pre reading stage: The stories were read out of class. However,
before students did so, they were asked to do research on the author's
biography, the story's sociocultural background, or any related
information that would give them contextual input before they read.
This background information was brought to class and shared with
classmates and the instructor before reading started. When required,
the instructor provided contextual and lexical feedback to the
students. Thus, they were equipped to go home and read.
c) The while reading stage: The while reading stage comprised the
completion of two activities. As students read, they had to search
unfamiliar words and create a glossary with definitions of them, and
they had to complete a story map provided by the instructor. The story
map was intended to help participants gain better understanding of the
stories, and it included the identification of elements studied during
the first two weeks, as well as a section where they would give their
personal criticism about the story.
d) The post reading stage: Once students had read the stories at home,
they were ready for communicative activities. The post reading stage
constituted the most important element in the procedure of this study.
Once the pre and the while reading stages had been completed,
communicative tasks were set up around the content of the short
stories. Prior to this, the story maps were peer-checked as a way to
double-check on content comprehension and to eventually provide a
chance for warming up before conducting the communicative tasks. These
tasks included solving a hypothetical problem through round tables,
debating about the psychology or the ethics of a character in the
story, establishing connections between the stories and one's lives or,
between the setting of the stories and today's society, making
decisions about hypothetical situations set up by the instructor,
creating a piece of art to express personal criticism about the story,
and a number of other tasks used to elicit communication among the
participants. On average, these tasks lasted from 60 to 70 minutes.
Finally, students were given the chance to interact with more than one
group as a means to expose them to diverse worldviews and experiences.
At the end of the session, students received feedback on their oral
performance from one another (using the peer assessment form).
3.3.3. Stage 3; The wrap-up
One week after they completed the ten stories, the participants were
asked to write a short critical reflection about the reading process
they had partaken in. This was aimed at giving them a chance to reflect
on their own progress, as suggested by literature on student
centeredness. In such reflection, the participants were asked to point
out positive as well as negative aspects of the learning model and, if
desired, to provide recommendations for the future implementation of
3.4. Analysis strategies
The data gathered were analyzed through tables and graphs accompanied
by verbal descriptions of them. The results of the reading attitudes
scale were analyzed in the form of percentages and expressed in tables
for each one of the categories inquired. Likewise, in the
self-confidence checklist, results were expressed in the form of
percentages through two tables in the results and analysis section.
Finally, data coming from the classroom dynamics observation checklist
were analyzed by means of degree of achievement of the three categories
inquired (i.e., student centeredness, self-confidence, and attitudes
towards reading and the reading of short stories); and they were
summarized in a graph displaying the data collected from the three
observations carried out.
4. Analysis of the Results
4.1. Reading Attitudes Scale
This section analyzes the results from the ordinal scale on reading
attitudes. The findings will be analyzed in light of the two parts of
the instruments: a) students' views about reading and about reading
short stories and b) students' practices and attitudes towards reading
and towards reading short stories.
Regarding the students' views about reading and about reading short
stories, results indicate that, by the end of the treatment, the
participants had developed more positive views about the two
components. In the case of their views about reading, for instance,
while at the beginning only 27, 27% of them fully agreed that reading
helped them to improve their oral skills inside and outside the
classroom, 90, 90% indicated to believe so by the end of the treatment.
Likewise, whereas only 27, 7% of the participants reported to believe
that reading in English helped them gain general knowledge and better
understanding of other cultures, 81, 81% reported to believe so after
partaking in the short stories reading project. For a fuller reference
on the evolution of the participants' views about reading in general,
table 1 below details the criteria inquired about this through the
In the case of the participants' views about short stories, significant
improvements were recorded after the treatment took place. For example,
while at the beginning only 36, 36% of the participants fully agreed
that short stories helped increase vocabulary and grammatical
structures, a total of 81, 81% believed so by the end of the model.
Along the same lines, whereas only 22, 72% of the participants reported
to think that reading short stories allowed them to gain a better
understanding of other cultures, a total of 63, 63% of them reported to
believe so after partaking in the reading project. As further
reference, table 2 depicts participants' escalations in terms of their
views about reading short stories before and after the treatment.
The students' practices and attitudes towards reading and towards
reading short stories underwent significant improvements as well, but
the main escalation can be seen in the area of reading short stories.
To illustrate, only 22, 72% of the participants reported to always read
stories as part of their learning process before the application of the
treatment, but 100% reported to do so at the end of the treatment.
Correspondingly, before the treatment only 31, 81% of them indicated to
think of short stories as a good discussion source in the English
classroom, while 90, 90% believed this to be true after undertaking the
treatment. Another escalation that deserves our attention here—despite
its numerical percentage not being so high— is the participants'
evolution in terms of reading practices out of the English classroom.
In point 2 of table 3 below, one can see that 31, 81% of them reported
to read short stories out of the classroom as part of their daily lives
at the end of the treatment, a significant progress if one takes into
consideration that Costa Rican students who read outside the classroom
are probably not many and that the project was a relatively short one.
Table 3 shows the numerical results for the students' practices and
attitudes towards reading short stories before and after the treatment.
In terms of the participants' practices and attitudes towards reading
in general, numerical data gathered suggests positive results too. One
of the most significant escalations can be seen in point 2, where only
31, 81% of the students reported to read newspapers, books, short
articles, comics, etc. in English during their spare time before
participating in the short stories reading project; as opposed to 68,
18% of them who reported to do so at the end of it. In a similar way,
before the treatment only 40, 90% of them reported to be able to read
and understand materials in English (point 2), while a total of 77, 27%
indicated so after partaking in the project. The evolution of the other
aspects inquired through the reading attitudes scale can be seen in
table 4 below.
All in all, results from this instrument suggest that the participants
held positive perceptions in terms of their progress in the matter of
reading in general and reading short stories after participating in the
research project in question. Hence, the following section depicts the
results from the self-confidence checklist administered before and
after the treatment.
4.2. Self-confidence Checklist
As shown in table 5, the most significant progress was made in
risk-taking willingness while communicating (item 10). Before the
treatment, 50% of the participants reported to avoid risk-taking in
oral activities, while the number declines to 22, 72% after the
treatment. A similar improvement is recorded in students' insecurity to
express ideas. Twenty seven point twenty seven percent of students
reported to feel insecure about the ideas they were trying to
communicate, while none of them informed to do so after the treatment
was applied. These numbers suggest that, the same as for reading
attitudes, participants' self-confidence levels improved after
implementing this model. Table 5 below shows all the data recorded
through the checklist.
4.3. Classroom Dynamics Observation Form
This section displays the results from the three classroom observations
done by one of the researchers to the instructor of the course. Each
observation is analyzed in light of the total score that resulted from
adding up all the aspects in the instrument.
The total score for the first observation is 71% out of a 100%. Results
show that classroom atmosphere is generally appropriate for the
learners, while the students' confidence and comfort do not appear as
appropriate. The students' role is generally appropriate as well,
though some weaknesses were observed in the maximization of
student-taking time, the development of leadership, and
student-to-student interaction. Learners' attitudes were recorded as
the weakest aspect in the observation. By and large, results display a
need for improvement in students' respect, commitment, and interest in
the subject matter. Although some weaknesses were recorded in this
first observation, the dynamics generally conform to the desired
outcomes of the model.
The total score in the second observation is 85% out of 100%; the
interaction among students increases significantly. The tasks assigned
to the groups allow students to take the central role as the
teacher-talking time is minimized. Still, some participants do not show
a positive attitude and commitment towards the dynamics. Confidence and
comfort while carrying out the tasks seem to be a challenge for the
class; consequently, there is an important gap in the classroom
atmosphere that needs to be filled.
The last observation shows great improvement in terms of students'
attitudes and commitment towards the tasks performed. Significant
progress can also be observed between the first and the last
observation's score; that is, 71% and 95%, 6, respectively. It should
be noted that the classroom atmosphere was also enhanced, probably due
to the improvement in attitudes and commitment. Lastly, a high degree
of confidence was not fully accomplished. Nonetheless, this may have
occurred because the participants' language command was not fully
developed as to allow full involvement in the speaking tasks. Graph 1
below summarizes the data obtained through the three observations.
5. Discussion and Conclusions
This quantitative study looked into the relation between reading short
stories and the promotion of students' centeredness, self-confidence,
and positive attitudes towards reading in English in oral communication
courses. Findings show that, by using short stories as a platform for
learning, these three elements can be enhanced significantly. In the
case of student-centeredness, it can be achieved by providing students
with enough opportunities for authentic communication, as proposed by
current theory on second and foreign language learning. Findings also
indicate that learners' self-confidence can be improved by exposing
them to interactive dynamics such as debates, round tables, and group
discussions around the content of the short stories studied. Likewise,
they show that positive attitudes towards reading can be fostered by
allowing learners to bring their own experiences into the classroom.
All this was achieved as the result of combining theoretical
principles—in this case, the Compensatory Model and Schema Theory— that
allowed for communicative learning scenarios during the implementation
of this model.
There are, however, some limitations that teachers and researchers in
this field of study must be aware of. First, the model's success
depends, to a large extent, on the teacher's commitment to guiding the
completion of the tasks. It also depends on the teacher's knowledge of
literature and, more specifically, knowledge of short stories. Second,
a careful selection of the texts needs to be done in order to achieve
positive results for, as stated in the method section, it is crucial
that the lexical complexity of the stories match the students'
proficiency level. Another limitation is the lack of reading habits on
the part of students. If students are not used to reading on a regular
basis, an extra challenge will need to be met on the part of the
instructor. Lastly, a high level of cultural literacy is needed on the
part of the instructor if cultural competences are to be enhanced.
Despite these limitations, improvement can be done if the teacher is
resourceful enough and considers potential obstacles beforehand.
Upon completion of this research, the researchers suggest that future
research be oriented in three directions. First, a similar study could
be run by integrating different literature genres (i.e., poetry, drama,
short stories, etc.) into a model like the one proposed herein. This
would provide insights on the appropriateness of different literature
genres in EFL teaching, as it would inspire replication that confirms
the feasibility of the model. Second, a correlational study can be
conducted so that the link between reading short stories and the
promotion of critical thinking skills is determined. Finally, research
should look into the possible link between short stories and the
development of cultural awareness and competence in the EFL classroom.
While the findings of this study do not yield conclusive results as to
the benefits of short stories for every oral communication course in
EFL, they do offer an insight of why and how to use short stories
beyond the conventional language-input-development model. Future
research in this area of applied linguistics should help teachers,
researchers and curricular planners arrive at a fuller understanding of
the issue so that the communication challenges posed by today's
multicultural and multilingual world can be met.
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Artículo recibido: 20 de agosto, 2014 Enviado a corrección: 30 de
setiembre, 2014 Aprobado: 20 de octubre, 2014