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Learning Language Through Literature

A Sourcebook for Teachers of English in Hong Kong

Peter Falvey ,Peter Kennedy

Publication Year: 1997

This book is ideally suited both for practising teachers and participants in teacher education programmes in Hong Kong and the rest of S.E. Asia.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

The editors are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce copyright material in this book: ...

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pp. 1-6

This book is about using literary texts (with a small 'l') for language teaching. Although some writers would argue that there is an important distinction to be drawn between 'language' and 'literature', we maintain it is something of an artificial one. As Widdowson (1983) and Carter (1991) have pointed out, there are 'literary' elements in non-literary texts. There is metaphor in everyday ...

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Chapter 1. Writing and the Use of Literature in the English Classroom

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pp. 9-28

Writing is the creation of meaning in visual language. At best it is a fulfilling, exciting and motivating activity; at worst, it can be boring, anxiety-ridden and futile. Education systems across the world have traditionally not used writing in ways that emphasize its positive, meaning-creating potential. In classrooms where writing in a second language is being taught and practised, ...

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Chapter 2. Verse and Worse—Poetry and Rhyme in the EFL Primary School Classroom

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pp. 29-50

The term poetry is often understood in the restricted sense of the classical canon of literature; this is not the case here. The chapter discusses how rhymes, riddles, jingles and songs as well as poems can be used to arouse primary pupils' interest and make the language learning process an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The emphasis throughout is on using poetry and rhyme...

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Chapter 3. Picture Books and Fantasy Texts

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pp. 51-64

In this chapter the importance of developing the imaginative powers of children will be discussed. Much is written about the need for our schools to produce children who can think creatively, but little is said about how this is to be achieved. One way to do this is to use powerful books in the classroom. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak will be studied and suggestions made ...

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Chapter 4. The Place of Story-telling in Language Teaching

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pp. 65-72

Story-telling occurs in all cultures and in all languages. In this chapter, reasons will be given, with examples, for the use of story-telling in the English as a second language classroom. ...

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Chapter 5. The Use of Children's Literature in the English Primary Classroom

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pp. 73-82

This chapter discusses a special series entitled 'Children's Literature in the English Primary Classroom' recently produced for classroom use by the Educational Television. What makes this series different from the regular English ETV programmes is that every programme is devoted to reading and telling stories to children presented in a range of techniques. All the stories are ...

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II. Introduction to the Secondary Section

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pp. 83-84

Whilst the first five chapters focused on the primary classroom and the role of 'literature' or literary techniques in language work with primary pupils, this section focuses o n the secondary school language/literature/language arts classroom. In Chapter 6, Murphy discusses the need for less boring, more interesting texts in the secondary classroom, echoing a theme raised earlier by ...

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Chapter 6. Making Textbook Language More Literary

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pp. 85-92

In this chapter, the nature of 'literary' or 'representational' language, as opposed to 'literal' or 'referential' language, will first be examined (see Chow et al., 1995). It will then be argued that there is a need for a greater use of more literary texts by Hong Kong English teachers because there is a shortage of such texts in the textbooks currently used in schools today. It will then be ...

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Chapter 7. Poetry Writing and Language Learning

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pp. 93-106

This chapter will examine the reasons for using poetry writing in the language classroom. Examples of poems produced by students will be given and guidelines on choice of poems and topics for poems will be outlined. Finally the chapter will deal with ways in which poetry writing can be integrated into the Hong Kong English Syllabus. ...

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Chapter 8. Using Songs in the English Language Classroom

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pp. 107-116

The introductory section of this chapter attempts to answer three important questions about the use of songs in the classroom. In the next section, I then illustrate tasks that can be generated from songs for language learning, taking 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?' as an example (see page 115). Section three examines these tasks more closely to justify the use of songs as a teaching ...

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Chapter 9. Drama in the Classroom

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pp. 117-134

In this chapter, the role of theatre and its links to activities in the language classroom are discussed and illustrated. ...

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Chapter 10. Using Stories in the Language Classroom at Senior Secondary Level

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pp. 135-146

Some teachers feel that stories in the language classroom are a luxury they cannot afford. Their concern is with language improvement in order to get students through examinations. The aim of this chapter is to show that stories can be used to fulfil the goals of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education and Use of English syllabuses and yet still 'make words new'. ...

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Chapter 11. Drama Texts as Theatre — Participatory Activities Drawn from Theatre Practice

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pp. 149-166

In this chapter it is initially suggested that particular reading and response skills are required when approaching a play text and that these can be developed by espousing a range of techniques employed in professional theatre practice. There follows a descriptive account of a drama text lesson in which two short extracts are examined in performance by students working interactively in pairs. ...

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Chapter 12. Teaching and Writing Poetry in the Secondary School—Bridging the Credibility Gap

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pp. 167-178

In this chapter we focus on ways in which English language majors attending pre-service and in-service teacher education programmes can become aware of the benefits of introducing poetry writing into the language classroom. For the purpose of this discussion, the creation and writing of poetry (referred to as 'poetry writing') will be distinguished from the use of poems written by others ...

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pp. 179-182

One theme appears constantly throughout this book. It is that in the English language classroom, whether it be at primary, secondary or tertiary levels, high interest and positive motivation can occur through active learning when literary texts, literary techniques and literariness become regular features of the class. ...

Further Reading

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pp. 183-198


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pp. 199-200

E-ISBN-13: 9789882202009
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622094345

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 1997

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • English language -- Study and teaching -- Chinese speakers.
  • English language -- Study and teaching -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Literature -- Study and teaching -- China -- Hong Kong.
  • Language arts -- China -- Hong Kong.
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