Thursday, November 19, 2009

Seminar Presentation: Langlit Approach – Text Selection

I am presenting the activities here as I had personally experienced it, so that you could have a sense of what I had gone through )

Activity 1
Which fictional character do you think best reflect you?
State one learner outcome you hope to achieve.

Question: Langlit and Language Arts – what’s the difference?
  • Langlit - one approach to English language teaching; aligned to the intent of the revised syllabus; skills (incremental and covers the breadth) and the assessment
  • Language Arts - infusing Literature and English Language together

To note that:
  1. Texts – inputs
  2. Speaking, Writing – outputs, expressions

Teaching of English Language through literature, focuses on the use of reading materials with imaginative content (engage and stimulate the reader’s imagination and communicate on more than one level, going beyond asking for and receiving information, for example, or everyday real-life situational use (McRae, 1991)

Langlit is about “milking” the text for all its worth!

Langlit focuses on the text and the language of the text – how texts mean, not what they mean

E.g. The Sick Rose by William Blake

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm.

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Language becomes the supporting evidence for the interpretation of the poem.
Look at the layers of meaning; or just the vocabulary items and its connotations, personification.

Activity 2
Look at the picture and write down any words that come to your mind.
2 different articles were then given → the responses were richer for one of the articles

Students could connect differently to the same text (if students are told to look for information, they would tend to go for the more scientific ones)

There is a difference between rich texts and rich use of texts – get them to read is only the start, “milk” the text before moving to something more demanding.

[Presenters will upload a lesson on edumall on the Langlit page; teachers can also send to CPDD for review]

Guidelines for selecting texts
1. Literary texts should be a primary source
2. Selected texts should build frames of reference
3. Literary texts should be juxtaposed against non-literary inclusions (different text types/forms/modes) for comparison
4. Explore multi-modal literary texts

E.g. The Uncertainty of a Poet by Wendy Cope [On phonology]

I am a poet
I am very fond of bananas
I am bananas
I am very fond of a poet
I am a poet of banana
I am very fond
A fond poet of ‘I am, I am’
Very bananas
Fond of ‘Am I bananas
Am I?’ – a very poet
Bananas of a poet!
Am I fond? Am I very?
Poet bananas I am
I am fond of a ‘very’
I am of very fond bananas
Am I a poet?

Interesting book: Tumasik – an anthropology on contemporary local poems (one teaching point - Names also tell stories)

Another interesting book: Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence (Nick Bantock)

Interesting video: The Lady and the Chocolate – youtube

Do use:
1. Linguistically rich literary texts as a primary source
2. Texts which build frames of reference (cultural awareness) [build it a little bit at a time]
3. A variety of non-literary texts for comparison
4. Multimodal texts

Other considerations
1. Relevance to learner outcomes
2. Interesting - hook
3. Potential for activities (stimulate response)
4. Appropriate length

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