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significance of literature

 
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xingshan2007



Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:22 am    Post subject: significance of literature Reply with quote

English and American literature are the main courses for English majors in China. Both courses play essential roles on understanding the western culture for the students. Unfortunately, most often we do is teaching them the history of literature which bored them so much. Besides, they seld read the original books, which become a commonplace among many universities. So how to improve this awkward situtaion?
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Sheila Collins



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are able, change the curriculum. Find the best books for your age-group, and try to select books which will appeal to the majority of the class. You can also forget the novels, and go straight for comics (Calvin and Hobbes), or short stories (Roald Dahl).

Here are some websites which might inspire you:

http://www.ala.org/
http://www.canadacouncil.ca/prizes/ggla
http://www.themanbookerprize.com/
http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/
http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/YA.html/

Another option is to choose texts which are only available in English, but would appeal to the students. For instance, I've had great luck with my older Chinese students reading A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers, by Xiaolu Guo
http://www.amazon.com/Concise-Chinese-English-Dictionary-Lovers-Novel/dp/0385520298

If you're not able to change the curriculum, you need to provide the inspiration and entertainment. The students will not be interested in a book if you are bored by said book. Kenneth Branaugh's films often make Shakespeare more interesting for students. Turning Wuthering Heights into a graphic novel works well for small groups. Try to find some hands-on activity which will help them connect the text to their own lives.
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Senorita Daniels



Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 202

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not throw in a book or two that are well known and fun to read to help break the boredom of the regular readings. You probably need to read something from *beep*, so why not read "A Christmas Carol", which is well loved and the theme has been copied a lot in tv and film. I think that the history should be interspersed with the literature, with the books the focus of a class.
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