VOA Learning English is one of the biggest and best sites on the Internet for more advanced English learners. It has articles and stories at several levels, and in “Level Three” you will find a lot of varied and interesting extensive reading and listening material. VOA claims that there are three things that make Special English especially helpful for people learning English. It has a limited (1500 word) base vocabulary, uses short simple sentences, and the announcers read slowly – about two-thirds of normal talking speed. A further feature is that most of the stories run for around 15 minutes. This is ideal for learners to begin to practice extensive reading & listening.

Stories cover a wide range of topics including world news, science, economics, health and education. We have provided links below to the American Stories section of the website, which includes short stories from leading U.S. authors. Many past stories are quite difficult to find on VOA’s US website. However, almost all stories going back to 2005 can easily be found on this VOA mirror site for Chinese learners. For some American Stories, our links may take you there.

Story Name Author
About a Place Called Gabrielle’s Robert Paul Smith
All the Years of Her Life Morley Callaghan
The Ambitious Guest Nathaniel Hawthorne
Angelina’s Dress Voice of America
Athenaise Kate Chopin
Bartleby Herman Melville
The Birthmark Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Boarded Window Ambrose Bierce
The Boy on Graves-End Road Caty Weaver
Bright Hill (A New Year’s Story) Voice of America
A Brooklyn Christmas Betty Smith
Paul Bunyan American Tall Tale
The Californian’s Tale Mark Twain
The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe
The Celebrated Jumping Frog Mark Twain
Benito Cereno Part 1 ; Part 2 ; Part 3 Herman Melville
The Devil and Tom Walker Washington Irving
The Diamond Lens Part 1 ; Part 2 Fitz-James O’Brien
The Exact Science of Matrimony O. Henry
Feathertop Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Gift of the Magi (A Christmas Story) O. Henry
A Girl for Walter Theodore Jacobs
The God of His Fathers Jack London
Hard Rock Maple Fredric C. Heali
Doctor Heidegger’s Experiment Nathaniel Hawthorne
John Henry American Tall Tale
A Horseman in the Sky Ambrose Bierce
Jacob Have I Loved Katherine Paterson
The Story of Keesh Jack London
The Killers Ernest Hemingway
The Lady in Black Elanor H. Porter
The Lady, or the Tiger? Frank Stockton
The Last Leaf O. Henry
The Law of Life Jack London
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving
The Line of Least Resistance Edith Wharton
The Lost Phoebe Theodore Dricer
Luck Mark Twain
The Luck of Roaring Camp Bret Harte
A Municipal Report O. Henry
The Mute Singer Voice of America
No Place to Hang the Lantern John Wotarua
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Ambrose Bierce
One Thousand Dollars O. Henry
The Open Boat Part 1 ; Part 2 Stephen Crane
A Pair of Silk Stockings Kate Chopin
Papa’s Straw Hat Fread Gibson
Paul’s Case Part 1 ; Part 2 Willa Cather
Pecos Bill American Tall Tale
A Piece of Red Calico Frank Stockton
The Purloined Letter Edgar Allan Poe
Pigs is Pigs Ellis Parker Butler
Prelude Edgar Valentine Smith
A Princess of Mars Part 1 ; Part 2 ; Part 3 ; Part 4 Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Ransom of Red Chief O. Henry
Rappaccini’s Daughter Part 1 ; Part 2 Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Return of a Private Hamlin Garland
The Revolt of Mother Voice of America
Riverman Stewart Edward White
The Sharks Were Hungry Dorothy Cottrell
Singing Woman Ada Jack Carver
The Story of an Eyewitness Jack London
Tale for a Frosty Morning Merrill Pollack
The Tell-Tale Heart Edgar Allan Poe
To Build a Fire Jack London
The Turtle Voice of America
The Whirligig of Life O. Henry
The White Circle John Bell Coliton
The White Heron Sarah Orne Jewett
Wanderlust Charles Kuralt