Teaching writing about literature

This Access Center resource is intended to help teachers implement writing instruction that will lead to better writing outcomes for students with and without writing difficulties.

Teaching writing about literature

It has only been since the s that this area has attracted more interest among EFL teachers.

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The purpose of this article is to look at some of the issues and ways in which literature can be exploited in the classroom. There are also links to classroom activities and lessons with literature that you can download and use straight away. First of all, any method or approach towards using literature in the classroom must take as a starting point the question: The Macmillan English Dictionary gives the following definition: One broader explanation of literature says that literary texts are products that reflect different aspects of society.

Other linguists say that there is no inherent quality to a literary text that makes a literary text, rather it is the interpretation that the reader gives to the text Eagleton This brings us back to the above definition in the sense that literature is only literature if it is considered as art.

Before doing any study of a literary text with your learners, one idea would be to ask them what they think literature is. There are many good reasons for using literature in the classroom.

Here are a few: Literature is authentic material. It is good to expose learners to this source of unmodified language in the classroom because they skills they acquire in dealing with difficult or unknown language can be used outside the class. Literary texts are often rich is multiple layers of meaning, and can be effectively mined for discussions and sharing feelings or opinions.

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Literature expands language awareness. Asking learners to examine sophisticated or non standard examples of language which can occur in literary texts makes them more aware of the norms of language use Widdowson, quoted by Lazar Literature educates the whole person.

By examining values in literary texts, teachers encourage learners to develop attitudes towards them. These values and attitudes relate to the world outside the classroom. Literature holds high status in many cultures and countries.

For this reason, students can feel a real sense of achievement at understanding a piece of highly respected literature.

teaching writing about literature

Also, literature is often more interesting than the texts found in coursebooks. How the teacher will use a literary text depends on the model they choose. The cultural model views a literary text as a product.

This means that it is treated as a source of information about the target culture. It is the most traditional approach, often used in university courses on literature.

The cultural model will examine the social, political and historical background to a text, literary movements and genres. There is no specific language work done on a text. This approach tends to be quite teacher-centred.

The language model aims to be more learner-centred. As learners proceed through a text, they pay attention to the way language is used.An article discussing ways to use literature in the EFL/ESL classroom.

This guide has been written for all A-level modern language teachers, particularly benefit of those with little or no experience of teaching literature. The University of Toronto expects its students to write well, and it provides a number of resources to help them. To find what you need investigate Writing Centres and Writing Courses, consider attending one of the workshops in our Writing Plus series, look at our Writing Advice pages, and read the most recent news about writing support and initiatives at U of T.

In this section you will find practical teaching articles for teachers working in the secondary classroom. From methodology to resources, our articles will help you with your professional development and give you ideas for your teaching practice.

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One of the most valuable features of Nonfiction Mentor Texts is the treasure chest of books organized according to chapter. This list includes every title mentioned in the book, as well as a host of other titles that teachers can use to help students learn about quality nonfiction writing—building content, organizing text, developing voice, enhancing style, using punctuation effectively.

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