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Approaches to teaching literature in efl classrooms

  1. ALINA NICOLETA PADUREAN Romanian Language and Literature & English Language and Literature of “Aurel Vlaicu” University of Arad Presented by: Novika Rosalinda Ridwan JOURNAL OF ROMANIAN LITERARY STUDIES: ISSUE NO.6
  2. LITERATURE AND READING? Teacher’s claim Students’ argument • Students read less and less • illiteracy is an increasing phenomenon in society • The books that are supposed to read for exams have out-dated topics • They are no taught how to work with a text because teachers deliver only theoritical lectures This study aims to prove that literature is still useful and necessary
  3. • Grammar –Translation Method: Language used in literary works was considered grammatically accurate • Communicative Approach Focus on the study of language for practical purposes • In the 80’s, literature regained its place in the EFL classroom. The scholars considered that literature should be taught using a different pedagogical approach for non- native speakers
  4. Three main approaches to teaching literature (Carter and Long, 1991: 2) : The Language Model The Cultural Model The Personal Growth Model
  5. o It relies on the development of students’ knowledge by working with familiar grammar, lexical and discourse categories. o It focuses on the way language is used in literary texts. o It does not encourage creative thinking but the acquisition of information related to the target text. The techniques used are typical for an EFL classroom: Prediction exercise Jumbled sentences Summaries Role-play, etc.
  6. • It deals with a literary work in relation to the target language. • It does not focuses on mere language acquisition but also on the knowledge of a country’s culture and ideologies. • Students are asked to explore and interpret the social, political, literary and historical context of a text (Yimwilai, 2015:15)
  7. • It is an attempt to create a link between the language model and the cultural model. • The focus is placed on the use of language but used in a specific cultural context. • Students have to be intellectually and emotionally engaged in the lesson and especially in the reading activity. • Students are encouraged to express their opinions and beliefs, to make connections between their own experiences and the text and use critical thinking.
  8. • The text should be: ointeresting and appropriate for the students’ age and interests ofacilitating students’ personal discovery and involvement in the text oa resource which contributes to the students’ personal growth oa resource for literary and linguistic development and they shouldn’t be regarded as assessment material • Lessons should be student centre • Teachers should use activities that encourage students’ communication and relate to their personal life. o Use pre-reading, while-reading and after-reading activities. o Use prediction making, jigsaw reading, matching or gap-filling, reading comprehension, debates, and creative writing
  9. Linguistic model: literature provides excellent writing and linguistic diversity Extension of Linguistic Competence Mental training Authenticity Open for interpretation Memorability Cultural enrichment As seen, the study of literature in high schools and universities is ESSENTIAL for the acquisition of linguistic and cultural knowledge of the foreign language.
  10. • The sample: • Consists of 47 students: 2 male and 45 female students aged between 21 and 30 • Enrolled in the study programme Romanian Language and Literature & English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, “Aurel Vlaicu” University of Arad. • 3rd year students facing the graduation exam and the tenure exam • Data were collected using: • Questionnaire method: written form consisting of open and/or closed questions (Nunan, 1992: 231) • Focus group discussions : • Attitude towards reading • Opinion about the selection of texts and teaching methods used • Perception of learning literature • Relevance of text selection for their tenure preparation • Students’ involvement in text interpretation, etc.
  11. 70% 30% ATTITUDE TOWARDS READING Positive attitude toward reading Negative Attitude 40% 36% 15% 9% STUDENT PERCEPTION OF READING LITERATURE Language & culture Challenging Useless Boring 45% 37% 18% TEXT DIFFICULTY Difficult Quite Difficult Easy
  12. 71% 29% RELEVANCE FOR TENURE EXAMS Not Relevant Relevant 11% 20% 26% 43% STUDENTS' OWN INTERPRETATION Always Sometimes Rarely Never 15% 32% 53% TEACHERS' REACTION TO STUDENTS' INTERPRETATION Agreement Correction Rejection
  13. • This study offered us some solutions for the encouragement of literature studies. Here are some of them: • Teacher should use group work during literature seminars but also during lectures; • Texts should be interesting; • Teachers should use a wide variety of activities; • Modern and interactive teaching methods would increase openness for reading Literary texts develop students’ linguistic and literary skills and in the case of Romanian Language and Literature & English language and Literature, students’ literary texts have the following benefits: • Personal growth • Linguistic enrichment favoured by authentic texts • Literary enrichment
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