ISBN-13: 978-3-6316-4710-3
Language: English

Learning with Literature in the EFL Classroom

Chapter: Performing Poems in the Primary School

Contributor: Janice Bland

Editors: Werner Delanoy, Maria Eisenmann and Frauke Matz

Publisher: Peter Lang

Year: 2015

Book Description: Learning with Literature in the EFL Classroom provides a comprehensive, in-depth and state-of-the-art introduction to literature learning in EFL contexts. Paying attention to both theoretical and practical concerns, the study focuses on a wide range of literary genres, different age and ability groups and new topics for literature learning. The 18 contributions discuss present-day challenges for literature teaching in the light of current theoretical debates and offer a balance between theory and practice by combining theoretical input with practical work in the classroom. The volume offers many suggestions for the future of the field and has a varied readership in mind, comprising language teachers, university students and academics.

Chapter Description: This chapter shows how language itself, second language acquisition and poetry all rely on repeated patterns. Children delight in these patterns, which support functional literacy. Mini narrative poems are important in the language classroom, in order that young learners can create mental models of the storyworld and mental representations of the language. Acting out the rhymes and poems in the primary classroom is an excellent method to enhance the recycling of language, as rehearsal is another kind of repetition, which supports holistic learning. Poems can offer opportunities for humour in a motivating classroom environment and can – like all literature – train flexibility of perspective. With sufficient input, the young learners may infer productive patterns, and increased command of language may gradually emerge. Thus, poetry as pattern-rich, pleasurable language may also become a template for the future.

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