Beneficial Functions of Poetry
in Second Language
Learning
Natalia Reilly ©
SSTESOL, 20013
Why Poetry
• Poetry is an authentic, non-paraphrased utterance of
personal perception created under constrain of linguisti...
• by conveying meaning through grammar
• by using unique vocabulary
• by illustrating registers
• by representing avoided ...
How Poetry Works
• Meaning through Grammar
• Poetry reading and writing (Hanauer, 2001) are
construction processes of ling...
• Meaning through Grammar
• Articles
Use a/an with singular count nouns
that are not specific and are being
mentioned for ...
• Meaning through Grammar
• Articles
I knew the drummer
for a garage band named Skuzz.
My God, he was hot! I knew a drumme...
• Meaning through Grammar
• Past Progressive Tense
An action in the past (past
progressive) was interrupted
in the past by...
• Meaning through Grammar
• Past Progressive Tense
The sky was burning;
Metallic ash fell like rain.
“Are we dead?” she as...
How Poetry Works
• Unique Vocabulary Use
• To create meaning in poetic texts the
unique word associations are used, so the...
• Unique Vocabulary Use
All that you can get
Pales in comparison to
All that you can see.
I slid to the floor and cried.
G...
How Poetry Works
• Registers Understanding
• Reading poetry can increase language
learners’ awareness of different languag...
• Registers Understanding
The hall is empty
The night is dark and lonely
Life sucks without friends
Is there life on Mars?...
How Poetry Works
• Representation of Avoided Themes
• Poetry has the particular value of the unique
in terms of representi...
• Avoided Themes
Don’t stare into them
My eyes tell nothing but lies
I’d eat you alive
Someone’s messed up head...
Somebod...
How Poetry Works
• Motivation
• Personal involving in the processes of reading and
writing poetry can become a source of m...
Teaching implications
• Reading poetry, according to Akyel (1995), Hanauer
(2001), Lazar (1996), Melin (2010) focuses stud...
Teaching implications
• Writing poetry with high formal constraints (acrostics,
cinquains, haikus) is an advantageous acti...
Teaching implications
• Poems with high formal constraints:
Acrostics: every line starts with the letter provided by
the k...
Teaching implications
• Poems with high formal constraints:
Cinquain (to review parts of speech)
Line 1/ one word: a singl...
Teaching implications
• Poems with high formal constraints:
Haiku Night
Line 1/ 5 syllables Under crimson clouds
Line 2/ 7...
References
Akyel, A. (1995). Stylistic analysis of poetry: A perspective from an initial training course in TEFL. TESL Can...
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Poetry in sla_sstesol2013

  1. 1. Beneficial Functions of Poetry in Second Language Learning Natalia Reilly © SSTESOL, 20013
  2. 2. Why Poetry • Poetry is an authentic, non-paraphrased utterance of personal perception created under constrain of linguistic norms and in certain socio-cultural environment, it is a unique holistic linguistic formation. • By introducing the activities of reading and writing poetry such qualities as developing students’ second language in complexity, motivation, integration into socio-cultural environment, can be expanded (Hanauer, 2001, 2003; Akyel, 1995, Lazar, 1996; Melin, 2010). .
  3. 3. • by conveying meaning through grammar • by using unique vocabulary • by illustrating registers • by representing avoided themes • by motivating language learners How Poetry Works
  4. 4. How Poetry Works • Meaning through Grammar • Poetry reading and writing (Hanauer, 2001) are construction processes of linguistic interpretation, in which, by noticing and understanding grammar structures, SLLs construct and develop interpretations of the poem content.
  5. 5. • Meaning through Grammar • Articles Use a/an with singular count nouns that are not specific and are being mentioned for the first time. Use the when you are talking about something specific (Folse, 1012). Ex. He has a watch. The watch on the table is not his.
  6. 6. • Meaning through Grammar • Articles I knew the drummer for a garage band named Skuzz. My God, he was hot! I knew a drummer for a garage band named Skuzz. My God, he was hot! I knew a drummer for the garage band named Skuzz. My God, he was hot! it
  7. 7. • Meaning through Grammar • Past Progressive Tense An action in the past (past progressive) was interrupted in the past by another action (simple past) (Folse, 2012). Ex. I was sleeping when you called me.
  8. 8. • Meaning through Grammar • Past Progressive Tense The sky was burning; Metallic ash fell like rain. “Are we dead?” she asked. Metallic ash was falling like rain. “Are we dead?” she asked. The sky was burning;
  9. 9. How Poetry Works • Unique Vocabulary Use • To create meaning in poetic texts the unique word associations are used, so the stylistic analysis of poems with the focus on the words which are more memorable improves language learners’ understanding of vocabulary and discourse (Akyel, 1995).
  10. 10. • Unique Vocabulary Use All that you can get Pales in comparison to All that you can see. I slid to the floor and cried. God brought him back home. My son was deployed
  11. 11. How Poetry Works • Registers Understanding • Reading poetry can increase language learners’ awareness of different language registers, so it will be easier for the learners to express themselves and to understand the meaning of native speakers’ discourses (Lazar, 1996).
  12. 12. • Registers Understanding The hall is empty The night is dark and lonely Life sucks without friends Is there life on Mars? Do you think we’ll ever know? Do you really care?
  13. 13. How Poetry Works • Representation of Avoided Themes • Poetry has the particular value of the unique in terms of representing avoided in textbooks multileveled human experience touching the themes of death, pain, treachery, passion (Hanauer, 2001, 2003; Lazar, 1996; Melin, 2010).
  14. 14. • Avoided Themes Don’t stare into them My eyes tell nothing but lies I’d eat you alive Someone’s messed up head... Somebody else’s body... Someone else is deadFake a smile, a laugh. The day might go by faster. Less complication. Their War, Not Mine
  15. 15. How Poetry Works • Motivation • Personal involving in the processes of reading and writing poetry can become a source of motivation for the students as well as their teachers which, in its turn, alleviates internalization of the target language by the learners (Hanauer, 2003; Lazar, 1996). • Hanauer (2012) has pointed out that the first stage of poetry writing by second language learners is the stage of generating personal motivation necessary for second language acquisition.
  16. 16. Teaching implications • Reading poetry, according to Akyel (1995), Hanauer (2001), Lazar (1996), Melin (2010) focuses students’ attention on the forms(phonetic, morphologic, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic) of a language without which second language learning cannot take place. • To include the activity of reading poetry in the second language classroom is especially important because the highly praised in language classrooms authentic speaking activities focus on meaning while quite often ignoring the form (Hanauer, 2001).
  17. 17. Teaching implications • Writing poetry with high formal constraints (acrostics, cinquains, haikus) is an advantageous activity in comparison with writing free-style poems of looser formal constrains (similes) because the highly form-oriented poetic task forces students to stretch and transform their L2 linguistic and conceptual world at a higher level of knowledge and to search for new vocabulary, new, more elaborated syntax, and new, more complex conceptual world; while a free-style poetry writing task lets students use familiar vocabulary and simple syntax (Tin 2011).
  18. 18. Teaching implications • Poems with high formal constraints: Acrostics: every line starts with the letter provided by the keyword (formal constraint), and the whole poem must relate to the keyword (semantic constraint) Joy Jar of amazing feeling Overcoming sadness You should get it (Tin 2011, p.222).
  19. 19. Teaching implications • Poems with high formal constraints: Cinquain (to review parts of speech) Line 1/ one word: a single noun (or the title) Line 2/ two words: two adjectives that describe Line 1 Line 3/ three words: three –ing verbs that are actions Line 4/ four words: a phrase or sentence of feeling Line 5/ one word: a single noun that renames Line 1 Cats Aloof, curious Sleeping, hiding, purring A friendly ball of fur Kitty (Folse,Goussakova,2012, p.62)
  20. 20. Teaching implications • Poems with high formal constraints: Haiku Night Line 1/ 5 syllables Under crimson clouds Line 2/ 7 syllables Illuminated cities Line 3/ 5 syllables Cower from the dark
  21. 21. References Akyel, A. (1995). Stylistic analysis of poetry: A perspective from an initial training course in TEFL. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL Du Canada, 13(1), 63-73. Folse, K.S. (2012). Keys to teaching grammar to English language learners: A practical handbook. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Folse, K.S., Goussakova, E. V. (2012). Workbook for keys to teaching grammar to English language learners. University of Michigan Press. Hanauer, D. I. (2001). The task of poetry reading and second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 22(3), 295-323. Hanauer, D. I. (2003). Multicultural moments in poetry: The importance of the unique. Canadian Modern Language Review, 60(1), 69-87. Hanauer, D. I. (2012). Meaningful literacy: Writing poetry in the language classroom. Language Teaching, 45(1), 105-115. Lazar, G. (1996). Exploring literary texts with the language learner. TESOL Quarterly, 30(4), 773-776. Melin, C. (2010). Between the lines: When culture, language and poetry meet in the classroom. Language Teaching, 43(3), 349-365. Tin, T. B. (2011). Language creativity and co-emergence of form and meaning in creative writing tasks. Applied Linguistics (Oxford), 32(2), 215-235. *All haikus were written by native speakers of English, the students from Creative Writing classes at Seminole State College.(2001-2006).
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