‘The Effect of Using Short Stories as a Fictional Source on Vocabulary Learning of Iranian EFL Learners’ by Amir Reza Nemat Tabrizi (Ph.D.), Saeedeh Mahdavinia

Abstract

Fictional materials, as an effective teaching tool, could be employed to enrich the second language vocabulary of the EFL learners. The present study is an attempt to investigate the effect of fictional stories on vocabulary development of EFL learners in an Iranian context.  To do so, an experimental study was designed in which sixty homogeneous upper intermediate EFL learners attending a conversation course in Rayen Language House in Kerman were divided into two experimental and control groups. Following the PET language proficiency test, for the purpose of selecting homogeneous learners, the participants were given the Intermediate Cambridge Vocabulary Test prior to the treatment as the pre-test to ensure if they enjoyed similar vocabulary knowledge before the treatment. The experimental group received vocabulary training through being exposed to fictional stories (four genres of science fiction, fantasy, humour, and crime) for eight weeks (sixteen sessions) as well as the conversation course book which was Touch Stone series book two, while the control group experienced the course book and its instructions. Following the treatment all participants were given the post test of vocabulary (Intermediate Cambridge Vocabulary Test). The data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and the findings revealed that the experimental group learners working with fictional stories outperformed the control group learners, confirming that inviting fictions to the EFL classroom has positive impacts on the vocabulary development of the learners as there is a strong link between reading fictional stories and acquiring second language vocabulary. Teaching vocabulary through fictional stories and similar contents are then suggested as valuable tools helping the learners develop second language vocabulary.

Key words: fiction, vocabulary, vocabulary learning, short stories, EFL classroom

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