Sample questions on Learning English through Short Stories
Compiled by Melinda Lo
I : Question types:
A. on reading and appreciating short stories
1. A student at your school has posted this blog on the Intranet for your school:
Write a letter in response to this, either agreeing or disagreeing with Keith. Do not give an address and sign your letter ‘Billy Ho.’
2. ‘The best way to improve one’s English is to read short stories.’ Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Write an article for your school magazine expressing your viewpoints on learning English through short stories.
3. Your English teacher, Miss Thomson, wants to interest students in short stories. She has asked you to think of ways to get students interested in them.
Write a proposal to your teacher explaining what kinds of short stories would appeal to students nowadays (think about the kinds of story plots, characters, central themes and conflict they would like). Give advice to Miss Thomson on how she should promote books of short stories to students, for example, by developing a website, a poster, a trailer or a Podcast.
4. You are the chairperson of the school English Club. Your club wants to organize a creative writing class for Secondary 1 students. The aim of the class is to teach them how to write short stories and help them improve their English.
Write a proposal to the school principal, explaining how the class will be conducted. Tell the principal what the students will learn and how they can benefit from the short stories writing class.
5. ‘Students can learn better English from reading short stories than doing grammar exercises.’ Write an essay in which you either strongly support this statement or strongly disagree with this statement. Provide at least three reasons to support your opinion.
6. Your school has been putting a lot of effort in promoting the reading of English short stories. However, the results have been disappointing. Write a letter to the editor of the school magazine explaining why this is so. Conclude by expressing your opinion on the issue.
7. A group of students in Form Four want some advice on which Electives to choose next year. Your teacher has asked you to write a flyer for the short story elective to persuade students to study it. Write a persuasive flyer, covering:
• what you have learnt about short stories in this Elective
• why short stories are a valuable subject to study
• what the students will enjoy about the Elective
• the benefits they can gain from this Elective
8. A Hong Kong radio station has recently started a Book Club to help Hong Kong students improve their English by reading short stories. You called the programme host, Mr. Leung, to tell him about some of the problems facing Hong Kong secondary students in the English classroom and the reasons why some students do not like reading short stories in their second language (English) .
Based on this experience, write a letter to the editor of a youth magazine expressing your views on learning English through short stories. Share your views about the effectiveness of using English short stories in classroom language teaching.
9. You have received a letter from your younger brother, Patrick, who is studying in Australia. In the letter, Patrick tells you that as part of an assignment, he had to write a short story. Patrick knows nothing about writing short stories. So, he is asking you for advice.
Write a reply letter to Patrick, explaining what he should pay attention to when he writes a short story. Give him some advice on how to make the story interesting.
10. You are the chairperson of the school English Society. You want to create an online school magazine to introduce English short stories to...