Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Enjoy a Little Romance!


One of the big problems with the novels and short stories aimed at ESL readers is that most of them tend to focus on action adventure, or mystery titles. For the past 10 years many of my students have complained that nobody ever seems to write romance romance novels or stories they can enjoy. Remember,we are talking about reading for pleasure, not reading great literature.     

I have never really understood why publishers have not published any higher level ESL romance stories other than classic novels such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice etc. They are great classical novels., but women readers often want something a little more contemporary that they can relate to. I think the publishers are missing out on an entire market. I have often thought about writing a few romances for my students myself - if I ever have the time.

Romance Novels are Not Too Difficult to Read   

Generally contemporary romance novels and stories do not require an extremely high reading ability. A native speaking grade 6 or 7 student could read them quite comfortably. This alone can help many second language readers not only read, but actually get through a story or a novel they actually enjoy.
So. here are a few websites that offer romance stories and novels for free. Enjoy! 

Read A Romance
offers short stories that have been approved by the Romance Writers of America in a wide variety of genres from western romance story, to science fiction romance, to ordinary romance. 
 Free Online Romance Novels       has a large number of romance stories on line, but also has other genres such as young adult, science fiction, humour, fantasy, historical stories. You can even choose the type of romance you like: contemporary ( now), regency (during the 1800's in England, classics etc)

Wild Rose Press Romance Stories   offers free romance stories as well as books you can buy in digital format for a very low price.

Many Books Romance Category  offers many romance novels with readers reviews  that can help you to go decide if you would like the book or not.  It also offers books in many other genres, including westerns, horror stories, science fiction, detective, mystery etc. 

American Love Stories         There are many different American love stories on this site -- stories about couples who have established intimate relationships that cross not just racial differences, but religious, ethnic, geographical, age and other boundaries as well.  Many of their stories are inspirational  and genuinely give you hope that even when things are different, you can overcome major obstacles.

Many Books Online  
This is another site with a variety of genres, but with a larg4e collection of romance  

Online Novels   This site has more than a 1,000 novels of all genres. Each novel has a short paragraph describing what the  novel will be about. It has a big romance novel section , including some Harlequin Romances. Harlequin has been the most well-known publisher of romance novels for more than 50 years

10 Greatest Romance Novels of all Time    
This is actually a blog posting  by a writer and big fan of romance novels. It is worth reading just to see what he has to say.


  1. Thank you for this. I always thought this was a problem with novels our teacher give us. I will try this out. I hope they not too difficult for me.

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