Lauren Harrington by wK0S14F6


									Teaching English through Poetry
                   Lauren Harrington
                   EF Boston
      Teaching English
       through poetry
The aim of this lecture is to provide:

   • Inspiration

   • Approaches and techniques

   • Practical ideas
              First of all…
• Teach English through poetry, not to
  teach the poetry itself
• You don't need to be a literature expert
  to teach English through poetry
• Just have a love for the poem you are
• Enthusiasm is the key.
         Some pros and cons
• Time-consuming

• Copyright rules

• The wrong poem is worse than none at all.

• The right poem can foster a love of English.
        Things to do:

• Explain the reason you are teaching

• Some students may need extra

• Reassure students that their needs are
  being met.
• So why teach poetry?

• Poems are versatile

• Poetry can be a catalyst

• Students find a poem a welcome change

• Poems can be
   – involving
   – motivating
   – memorable
        Why teach poetry?

• Challenge

• Daily interactions with native speakers

• Poems are authentic texts

• Poems are often rich in cultural references
  Language enrichment
• Discover new vocabulary in an authentic text

• Search for clues to the meaning of the word

• Focus on stress, rhythm and similarities of sound

• Improve pronunciation

• Promote freer verbal expression.
What should you teach?

• Take into account:
    • interests
    • language level
    • maturity level
             How …?
… will you use the poem?

… can you introduce it?

… can you make it more accessible to your

… can you make sure they understand it?
    Pre-reading activities
• worksheets, quiz, a questionnaire

• sentence stems

• statements to be ranked and discussed

• predict endings to verses

• events occurring after the end of the
Warm-up activities

• background music

• show pictures

• get students to think
      Reading the poem
•   rehearse and perform
•   read the poem
•   play a recording
•   identify the stresses and pauses.
•   clap out the rhythm
           speaking activities
•   talk with a partner, in small groups and as a class.
•   share ideas.
•   monitor and feed in ideas and vocabulary
•   give feedback
•   personal response
•   discuss the characters and theme
•   debate the moral issues.
       Beyond the poem
• Role plays

• Interviewing a partner

• Dramatizing the poem

• Compare poems on related topics

• Encourage students to develop their own
    Responding in Writing
• Add more lines or stanzas
• Parallel writing
• Write a letter to a character
• Write what happened before or after
  the poem
• Switch between formal and informal
• Fifty word summary
      Writing activities
•   Letters
•   Diary entries
•   Radio plays
•   Newspaper articles
•   Newspaper advice columns
•   Synonyms or antonyms

“ Poetry is a search for ways of communication; it must
   be conducted with openness, flexibility, and a
   constant readiness to listen.”
                                            Fleur Adcock
           One more thing…
• You can't fake enthusiasm.
  – If you enjoy the poem you are teaching,
    your students will most likely enjoy it as
          Further reading
•   Literature in the Language Classroom Collie & Slater 1987

•   Using poems to develop productive skills by Christina Smart,
        British Council, Hungary 2002

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