literature and language teaching

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Gillian Lazar

LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE TEACHING1A guide for teachers and trainers2{v}Contents

Thanks Acknowledgements Introduction 1 Using literature in the language classroom: The issues 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 What is literature? What is distinctive about the language of literature? The reader and the text Literary competence and the language classroom Why use literature in the language classroom?


viii ix xii 1

1 5 8 11 14 22

2 Approaches to using literature with the language learner 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 An overview A language-based approach to using literature Stylistics in the classroom Literature as content: How far to go? Literature for personal enrichment: Involving students The role of metalanguage

22 27 31 35 39 43 48 48 56 62 62 65 67

3 Selecting and evaluating materials 3.1 3.2 Selecting texts Evaluating learning materials which make use of literary texts

4 Reading literature cross-culturally 4.1 4.2 4.3{vi}

Being a student A consideration of cultural aspects in texts Strategies for overcoming cultural problems

1 2

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993

ISBN-10 0-521-40651-X

The page numbers are the same as in the book in the text you can find them in brackets {}


5 Materials design and lesson planning: Novels and short stories 5.l 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Writing your own story Distinctive features of a short story Anticipating student problems when using a short story Planning a lesson for use with a short story Further tasks and activities for use with a short story Designing your own materials for use with a short story Using novels in the language classroom


71 72 75 77 83 86 89 94 94 96 99 101 104 109 116 121 127 129 133 133 134 135 136 138 146 152 155 159 161 167 167 170 170 176 178 179 179 2

6 Materials design and lesson planning: Poetry 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 Putting a poem back together again What is distinctive about poetry? Why use poetry with the language learner? Exploiting unusual language features Helping students with figurative meanings Using poetry with lower levels Using poetry to develop oral skills Using a poem with students at higher levels Anticipating student problems Further tasks and activities

7 Materials design and lesson planning: Plays 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 What is distinctive about plays? The language of a play The performance of a play Why use plays in the language learning classroom? Using play extracts to think about language in conversation Using play extracts to improve students oral skills Using play extracts with lower levels Anticipating student problems Further activities for play extracts Using a whole play with students

8 Reflecting on the literature lesson 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5{vii}

Thinking about observation General observation of the literature lesson Micro-tasks for reflecting on specific areas of teaching Observing a student Other ways of monitoring your teaching

9 Literature and self-access 9.1 What is a literature self-access centre?

9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6

Why have a literature self-access centre? A simulation: First meeting for planning and setting up a literature self-access centre Second meeting for setting up a literature self-access centre Setting up a literature self-access centre: A case study Worksheets to guide students in their reading

179 180 182 182 185 189 216 255 259 263

Answer key Trainers notes3 Bibliography Appendix: Eveline by James Joyce Index{viii}Thanks

I would like to thank the students and teachers from all over the world who participated in the lessons and seminars, especially at International House in London, on which this book is based. I have learned a great deal from their ideas and responses. My interest in using literature with the language learner started when I was an M.A. student at the London University Institute of Education, and I am grateful to Professor Henry Widdowson for encouraging this interest. I owe a particular debt to Ruth Gairns for her thorough reading of the text, her helpful suggestions and her encouragement. Thanks also to Joanne Collie and Marion Williams for their useful comments on an earlier draft of parts of the text. I am grateful, too, to Annemarie Young of Cambridge University Press for her patience and understanding, Maggie Aldhamland for her generosity and invaluable editorial advice and Elizabeth Serocold for her help. Finally, many thanks to my family for their encouragement especially my husband Michael Skapinker whose support and good humour have been unwavering.{ix}Acknowledgements

The author and publishers are grateful to the authors, publishers and others who have given permission for the use of copyright material identified in the text. It has not been possible to identify the sources of all the material used and in such cases the publishers would welcome information from copyright owners. Harvester Wheatsheaf for the extract on p. 2 from A Readers Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory by Raman Selden; Basil Blackwell for the extract on p. 2 from Literary Theory by Terry Eagleton; the extract on p. 2 from Literature and Language by C. J. Brumfit and R. A. Carter (1986); the extract on p. 146 from Hello and Goodbye by Athol Fugard ( 1973 ); the extract on p. 151 from the introduction to3

This part is rather interesting for me, not you, but if you want to get it as well, you can photocopy this part from my book.


Boesman and Lane and Other Plays by Athol Fugard (1974, 1978) and the extract on p. 97 from Lessons of the War: 1 Naming of Parts by Henry Reed from A Map of Verona (published by Jonathan Cape in 1946) appearing in Henry Reeds Collected Poems edited by Jon Stallworthy (Oxford University Press, 1991 ) all by permission of Oxford University Press; Terence Whelan and Ideal Home for the extract on p. 5 from an article first published in In Store magazine; The Spectator for the extract on p. 5 from a restaurant review by Nigella Lawson; African Universities Press for the extract on p. 6 from Lagos Interlude by Ralph C. Opara from Reflections: Nigerian Prose and Verse edited by Frances Ademola; Cambridge University Press for the extract on p. 22 from Poem into Poem by A. Maley and S. Moulding, the extract on p. 22 from The Web of Words by R. Carter and M. Long and for the extract on p. 81 from the Cambridge Guide to Literature in English edited by I. Ousby; Longman Group Ltd for the extract on p. 22 from Reading Literature by R. Gower and M. Pearson and for the extract on p. 113 from the Longman Active Study Dictionary of English, New Edition; Aitken and Stone for the annotated extract on p. 33 from A House for Mr Biswas by V. S. Naipaul; Naomi Lewis for the poem on p. 40 Partly Because by Ursula Laird from Messages edited by Naomi Lewis and published by Faber and Faber; the poem on p. 40 A wish for my children by Evangeline Paterson from Lucifer at the Fair published by Taxus Press at Stride Publications, 1991; the poem on p. 50 Rodge Said by Michael Rosen from You tell Me published by Puffin Kestrel reprinted with permission of the Peters Fraser & Dunlop Group; Rukhsana Ahmad for the extract on p. 49 from The Gatekeepers Wife by Rukhsana Ahmad in {x} The Inner Courtyard by Lakshmi Holstrom published by Virago; William Heinemann Ltd and HarperCollins Publishers, New York, for the extract on p. 63 from Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe; the Peters Fraser & Dunlop Group and the estate of Evelyn Waugh for the extract on p. 63 from Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh; the extract on p. 64 from The Dragons Village by Yuan-tsung Chen, Copyright 1980 by Yuan-tsung Chen, Reprinted by permission of Pantheon Books, a division of Random House Inc. Also by permission of The Womens Press; the extract on p. 25 is from Dubliners by James Joyce, published by Jonathan Cape; the estate of Elizabeth Bowen, Jonathan Cape and Random House, Inc. for the extract on p. 75 from Unwelcome Idea from The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen; Christopher Gillie for the extract on p. 80 and the adapted extract on p. 123 from the Longman Companion to English Literature by Christopher Gillie; the poem on p. 202 MacGibbon & Kee, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd maggie and milly and molly and may by e e cummings from The Complete Poems 1913-1962. maggie and milly and molly and may is reprinted from Complete Poems 1913-1962 by E. E. Cummings, by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright 1923, 192S, 1931, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, l9SS, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 by the Trustees of the E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright 1961, 1963, 1968 by Marion Morehouse Cummings; Evan Jones and Blake Friedmann Literary Agency Ltd for the poem on p. 98 The Song of the Banana Man which first appeared in News for Babylon edited by J. Berry, published by Chatto and Windus; Methuen, London, and St Martins Press, Inc. New York, NY for the extract on p. 98 from Nappy Edges by Ntozake Shange. Copyright 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 by Ntozake Shange. From the book Nappy Edges and reprinted with permission from St Martins Press Inc., New York, NY; Hale and Iremonger for the poem on p. 104 The Gulls Flight by Nigel Roberts (originally in Steps for Astaire); the estate of Robert Frost and Jonathan Cape for four lines on p. l05 from Stopping by Woods on a Snowy


Evening from The Poetry of Robert Frost edited by Edward Connery Lathem, published by Jonathan Cape; Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening from The Poetry of Robert Frost edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, 1969 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Copyright 1951 by Robert Frost. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company, Inc. George Al


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