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Try our collection of stories and poems, suitable for learners from Intermediate to Advanced level.
"Deep in the middle of the woods”, said my mother, “is the place where the King of the Pumpkins lives." A young boy and his cat try and find out what - if anything - is true about his mother's stories.
This poem by Andrew Motion was inspired by a Thomas Jones painting in London's National Gallery in which Motion reflects upon the enduring value of artistic creation.
Two people sit down to play a game. One is an old man who has spent all of his life playing this game, which is called Go. The other is a young woman. She has only been playing Go for three years.
This poem is about teaching English and conveys powerful emotions through observation of small, almost banal details: shoes in shoe shops, bright dresses, the artificial language of an English lesson.
"O say what is that thing call'd Light, | Which I must ne'er enjoy"
In this short poem, Poet Laureate Colley Cibber describes the feelings of a boy who has never been able to see.
One morning, Jake found a dinosaur living in their garage. He went to tell his dad..
"Abandon the flock and abolish the herd". This funny poem explores what would happen if we stopped farming sheep and cattle and started cultivating beans instead!
Five people, whose lives interrelate, live the build-up to Christmas in different ways in different places. A sudden blackout changes their lives forever...
"O mother, lay your hand on my brow! | O mother, mother, where am I now?" In this sad little poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, a mother spends the night at her sick child's bedside.
When James Milner lands a job in his uncle's bank he rides his luck for a while and even earns himself a huge bottle of vintage champagne for one transaction. But how long can his luck last?
'…That floats on high o'er vales and hills…' This famous poem by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was inspired by the spring flower, the yellow or golden daffodil.
Autumn (or "Fall" in American English) often arouses feelings of loss and melancholy. But to John Keats, we should celebrate the end of summer for the wonderful fruitfulness of nature about to decay.
Anna Winter pulled on her Gucci sunglasses and sprayed herself with extra-strength mosquito repellent. How could she be an award-winning journalist if she had to stay in bad hotels and eat bad food?
Have you heard the one about the chicken and the frog? How about the one about the firing squad? And the one about the parrot who didn't want to talk? See if you can 'tell' the jokes yourself.
My friend is afraid of spiders. This isn’t very unusual; a lot of people are afraid of spiders. But my friend isn’t just afraid of spiders, she is totally, completely and utterly terrified of them….
It is the 22nd century and the world is very different. With new technologies, people can have the bodies that they want. See what happens when Mr. Smith decides to change his body.
People often said that Thierry Boyle was the most boring man in the world. Thierry didn’t know why people thought he was so boring. Thierry thought he was quite interesting.
This nonsense poem was written by Dr. W. H. Williams for a faculty club dinner on the eve of the physicist Eddington's departure from Berkeley in 1924.
The four judges must agree on who will win the four awards in the important Global Music Awards. But there is a problem. They must all agree on each winner. If they can’t all agree, nobody will win.
"But, She said, I suppose it wouldn't do For everyone to be the same now, Would it."
This lovely short poem was written by a learner of English, Irene Soriano Flórez, a student at the British Institute for Young Learners in Madrid.
Have you ever done any extreme sports? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Read this story about one man facing his fear.
In 'Progress', Osbert Sitwell provides negative images of the city and conjures up fond memories of the country. In 'The City', Charles Hanson Towne does the opposite.
Nikos was an ordinary man. One thing that he did not believe in was superstition. But when so many things that are meant to cause bad luck started bringing him good luck he began to wonder...
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players…" The famous lines from Shakespeare's play As You Like It.
In this poem some words have been substituted by homophones - words with the same sound but different spelling. It proves that computer spelling checkers are not infallible!
"O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond, have you forgotten the little child, like the birds that have nested in your branches and left you?"
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