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New Criticism Approah in teaching literature in ESL

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Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: New Criticism Approah in teaching literature in ESL Reply with quote

Hello everyone! I am a future ESL teacher and I am new here.
In an English literature class, my professor mentioned the term New Criticism to explain why he gave limited background information before he analyzed the poems.
From then on, I have began to wonder what the extent is to apply the approach of New Criticism in literature teaching; whether it would be beneficial to the literature learners; whether we could appreciate classic literature works from a new angle by applying this method; if we are limited in the work itself, whether it is possible to study the work in a translated version using the method of New Criticism; whether the New Criticism approach in literature teaching may enhance the culture exchange to the extent of the world or decrease it; whether it is possible for people to apply the method when they make comparison between literature works of different nations…
Lots of these random questions haunted in my mind, which urges me to find a way to think it in a more logical way and do some research on it.
Any suggestion or ideas are welcome Smile
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 158
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the New Criticism approach, which was popular 40 years ago when I was an undergrad, may be irrelevant for ESL learners. I'd give them some background information on the author of the work and then let them read and discuss, and (hopefully) see the relvance to their own lives.
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Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:49 am    Post subject: What New Criticism Means Reply with quote

New Criticism, or the New Critical approach, has been around for seven decades and appears to be dying a slow death, if it is dying at all. It's underlying assumption is that each work of literature must be judged on its own merits or, rather, appreciated for its intrinsic aesthetic value. Indeed, its proponents (of whom there are far fewer today--Harold Bloom being perhaps an exception) argue that each work is an object to be admired, with socio-cultural implications limited to what is supposedly implied by the author in the text. And thus the author and his or her intended meaning becomes the reader's all-consuming pursuit.

Reader-response theory, which ironically predates it with Louise Rosenblatt's seminar publication in 1938, in a direct reaction to this trend, which remains firmly entrenched in secondary schools worldwide. In Chinese universities, the New Critical approach continues to dominate and conveniently conforms to the Chinese propensity for seeking the one best method--and answer--to every question.
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