Advantages of using translated stories from students’ native language to teach EFL

Odilea Rocha Erkaya


Traditional literature is comprised of fable, myth, legend, and tall/folk tales (Young, 2004, p. 5) and found in many languages. Nevertheless, most English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructors prefer that students read stories written for English speakers. The researcher believes that instructors should choose traditional stories from students’ homeland because: 1. students will be motivated to read their stories in English; 2. beginning students will not worry about getting acquainted with a different culture;  3. intermediate/advanced students will explore cultural aspects of stories without fear of criticizing them openly; and 4. teachers will be able to concentrate on vocabulary already known in language one (L1) and guide students to learn vocabulary in context. To illustrate how to select stories to accommodate the needs of EFL students at all fluency levels, traditional Turkish literature in the form of stories of Nasreddin Hodja will be used since the researcher’s students are Turkish nationals.


Traditional Turkish stories, Nasreddin Hodja’s stories; motivation to read; cultural awareness; vocabulary in context

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