Using Literature in the EFL classroom

Forum for teachers/tutors to find and suggest worthy works and materials

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Using Literature in the EFL classroom

Post by lalitadeb » Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:22 am

Hello, all,

I know my topic is similar to two previous ones (one posted by me!), but perhaps it has a different twist.

I'm a teacher trainer in Beira, Mozambique. Our teacher for the IIIrd years' course on Literature Methodology left suddenly and I was asked to do the course in his place, all because I have an M.A. in English Literature. My background in Literature and my teaching qualification and experience should, I feel help me to justice to the course. The problem is that I have ABSOLUTELY NO MATERIAL and haven't a clue as to where to start. I was told I must do it only on Monday, the 28th Feb., on the 1st day of the new semester!!! When he left, my colleague took with him every scrap of paper he'd used on the course in the past five years (!!??!) He left only Duff and Maley's 'Literature' in the department bookshelf and I got a copy of 'Literature and Language Teaching' by Gillian Lazer from an old student.

Basically, the course would look at: Why and how should / can we use literary texts in the language classroom? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a stratgegy? How to choose appropriate material for different levels? Cultural issues (??); Dealing with deviant language in literature; The teaching approach: Making use of TEFL methodology; Lesson-planning and microteaching, using literary texts, etc., etc.

We have no bookshops that sell or order in books in English and if I were to order one now online, it'd take weeks to get here, if it didn't get pilfered in the post!

HELP PLEASE! Anything you may have at hand in the form of notes, tips, handouts, websites ......would be gratefully welcome - and, of course, duely acknowledged.

If possible, please send a copy of your reply posting to my e-mail address?
Eternally grateful for even taking the time to read this (!!)

Lalita Deb

P.S. I've already looked at the omestopenglish and bbc english websites and got a couple of things there. Also have had a look at the ERIC database. Any thing else out there? Nothing in guttenburg as yet.

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Rick Replies from China

Post by rickinbeijing » Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:59 am

Ni hao Lalita,

Small world. I just finished writing my dissertation on the use of authentic literature in Chinese secondary EFL classrooms. I can send you a copy of my references (i.e. bibliography) if that will help. Most are not, of course, available online. Do you have access to online academic journals via a university or college? If so, you can get a lot of current information, although few dissertations have been written on the subject of EFL and authentic literature (in any cultural context). Would be glad to share ideas and questions.

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Literature Methodology

Post by lalitadeb » Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:12 am

Ni hao to you, Rick,
Thank you very much. The ref list would always be welcome. I'll see if I can get something from the RSA.
Thanks again

Sue W
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Post by Sue W » Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:38 pm

I am teaching in a B.Ed. program that is just now being expanded into prep and secondary schools in the UAE. I need the info on using lit in the EFL classroom, too. Thanks.

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Re: Rick Replies from China

Post by lindawhx » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:56 am

Nihao, Rick

I am now doing my master's study and plan to write my thesis on the use of authentic literature for EFL college students. I just started doing data collection. Anyhow, I am having a headache with finding previous studies. I am so happy when know that you just finished your dissertation on a similar topic. You must have a lot of expericne and feelings to share. Would you please kindly send a copy of your referece to me? I am sure it will be very helpful for me! And I hope we can disscuss and share ideas later in this forum.

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Post by Macavity » Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:58 pm

Me too, please! I will be starting my masters shortly and have also been thinking about concentrating on the use of literature in ESL - small world indeed. I had no idea so many people have been thinking along the same lines; nice to know!

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Post by Melody » Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:13 pm

What a small world in deed...!
I'm working on my plan for a thesis on how to use poetry to teach English. I haven't found much on the net but there are few books on Amazon that I think would be helpful. I still haven't got them yet.
I too would be very grateful for any help on the matter.
Thank you

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Post by Superhal » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:29 am

My undergraduate degree is in English Lit. I would suggest starting with short, easy to understand poems, such as those from the US in the 60's-70's. *beep* is a good place to start as well.

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Post by Melody » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:54 am

Would you suggest certain poets? and I don't get what do you mean by *beep*??
Thank you....I really appreciate your help.

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Post by Superhal » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:02 pm

Hmm, probably it's a word that got censored. I don't remember what I wrote though.

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Post by Superhal » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:37 pm

I remember now. I figured out why it was bleeped too. I always suggest the same thing for ESL, but I didn't understand why it got bleeped until I thought about it: "Emily Di<kinson."

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Post by lelo » Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:55 am

no way....

Emily *beep* gets bleeped?

That's bleeping hilarious!

SAT Vocabulary Rap Music Language Arts

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Poetry in Use

Post by pikawicca » Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:21 am

I like to use slightly obscure poems, e.g. Robert Blake or e.e. cummings, as the visual/aural images are available to non-native speakers in the same way they are to native speakers. Discerning "the meaning" is the same experience for all (allowing for cultural differences). What-the-heck does
"Anyone lived in a pretty how town" mean, for Pete's sake? It's great conversation fodder!

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Music to your ears!!!

Post by anuratha » Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:15 am

How is it that for most people music is a powerful part of their personal life and yet when we go to work or school we turn it off? The intentional use of music in the classroom will set the scene and learning atmosphere to enhance our teaching and learning activities. Plus, using music for learning makes the process much more fun and interesting! Music, one of the joys of life, can be one of the joys of learning as well. Music helps us learn because it will--
• establish a positive learning state
• create a desired atmosphere
• build a sense of anticipation
• energize learning activities
• change brain wave states
• focus concentration
• increase attention
• improve memory
• facilitate a multisensory learning experience
• release tension
• enhance imagination
• align groups
• develop rapport
• provide inspiration and motivation
• add an element of fun
• accentuate theme-oriented units

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Post by xyb » Sun May 14, 2006 9:29 am

I'm a would-be English teacher, and i'm interested in literature.
In my opinion, you should start with some short poets, and provide students some background knowledge, lead them know how to appreciate a literature work, then you can provide them some longer poets and short novels. The background knowledge is very important.
That's my advice, i wish it might help you :)

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