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  1. 1. The Contribution of Connotations in Teaching Poetry toward L2 Learners
  2. 2. Problems in teaching English Poetry in Indonesia <ul><li>Indonesian language teachers do not have the bravery to use poem in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>A poem is not a good option to give basic introduction for students to know about language cleverness. </li></ul><ul><li>EFL teachers are still focusing on how to improve their students’ speaking ability instead of introducing culture of a target language. Teaching poetry is the least activity that they can ever think of to do. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Problems in teaching English Poetry in Indonesia <ul><li>The curriculum objective which is to prepare students to communicate actively in English has left out literature as one of the option as a teaching material. </li></ul><ul><li>EFL teachers in Indonesia cannot teach literature together with language teaching. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Facts of using poems in EFL teaching <ul><li>Meaning of words, phrases and sentences are elements in the study of language, and literature is a creative production of words (Fromkin & Rodman, 1983:163-164). So the teaching of literature can be integrated into the teaching of language. </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike some expository prose or short narrative text that usually takes longer time to understand, rhyming and repetitive text such as poem and song can motivate students’ participation directly (Silberstein, 1994:88). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Facts of using poems in EFL teaching <ul><li>The use of literary work such as poems is very handy to introduce new words and gain pleasure in learning at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry for example is useful resource that can increase awareness of a specific experience and bring to mind a special emotional episode. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The example is in ‘ When I was in Love with You ’ by A.E.Housman. Oh, when I was in love with you Then I was clean and brave, And miles around the wonder grew How well did I behave. And now the fancy passes by And nothing will remain, And miles around they’ll say that I Am quite myself again. (It is retrieved from website:
  7. 7. Fire and Ice by Robert Frost Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice (It is retrieved from )
  8. 8. Connotation and Denotation <ul><li>Meaning of a word can come through its denotation or its connotation. </li></ul><ul><li>To be able to define which part, one may refer to what the word signifies for or what sense that may come to him when he sees, hears or reads it. </li></ul><ul><li>For example is the word ‘lion’. He may refer to a large powerful animal of the cat family that hunts in groups and lives in parts of Africa and Southern Asia (Hornby, 2005:896). </li></ul><ul><li>This definition signifies for the word ‘lion’. </li></ul><ul><li>The other way, he may get the definition of a lion through his sense. He sees lion as a symbol of an item. </li></ul><ul><li>A lion is a representation of supremacy because of its power and quickness. It is a representation of danger because he eats other animal; unlike elephant which is bigger than a lion but it does not eat other animal. It is a representation of aggression because of its hostility. </li></ul><ul><li>These are symbols that one will connote or associate with when he sees, hear or reads the word ‘lion. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Connotation and Denotation <ul><li>Denotation is the meaning of lexical items as whatever they refer to and connotation is the associations of lexical items that one will refer to (Blake, 2008:38,39). </li></ul><ul><li>It means that denotation meaning has a definite and exact referent for a particular word which does not provide any room for an argument. Connotation is different. It does not have any definite and exact referent which makes argument available because the meaning is a representation of collectively agreed one which may not be the same or practiced by others. </li></ul><ul><li>In connotation, people can create a thing to represent something else which shows the way to metaphorical notion. This is so because metaphor cannot exist without someone making association with something else. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Helping EFL Learners to understand a poem <ul><li>To be able to understand a poem, learners have to be able to bring about a point of view from which they could observe the author’s intention and combine it with their own knowledge (Iser, 1978:35). </li></ul><ul><li>In this case, connotation is able to provide stand point where learners can count on. </li></ul><ul><li>By building up a stand point, learners can construct a perspective to begin their understanding for a particular poem. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Helping EFL Learners to understand a poem <ul><li>Learners can count their understanding in literal meaning if they do not know any figurative creation. </li></ul><ul><li>The other way around, they can give attention to the figurative meaning over the literal one. </li></ul><ul><li>Whichever side the learners is clinging to, they have to able to combine it with their knowledge so that they will have complete understanding toward a poem. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Helping EFL Learners to understand a poem <ul><li>Readiness in learners can be started by giving many practices on aesthetic readings. </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetic readings weigh upon words sensing so that aesthetic readers indicate to a person who is able to make use of their senses to get familiarity with words (Lewis, 1967:133). </li></ul><ul><li>He can make use of their sight, hearing, taste or smell to guess a new word in a poem or in any other texts. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Helping EFL Learners to understand a poem <ul><li>It is necessary for teachers to introduce unfamiliar words to learners through aesthetic readings so that learners can practice to process new words with their senses which is called schemata (Hay, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>In schemata, learners are actually making an indirect association to the first occurrences in target language and making proximity to stereotyping (Lenton, 2008:270-271). </li></ul><ul><li>For example of the word ‘glitters’, learners of English as a foreign language will relate it with something shining and bright, probably expensive and making approximate prediction on somebody who will mostly wear it. Then learners can conclude that ‘glitters’ is associated to jewellery and richness. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Advantage of Using Connotation in Poetry Teaching and Learning for EFL Learners. <ul><li>When learning foreign or second language, learners tend to refer back to the system that operates in the first language (Chiu, 2009:294). </li></ul><ul><li>Learners try to build links from target language into the system of the first language. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners’ mind is build up from stereotypes, cultural values and recognized symbols which enrich their knowledge on grasping meaning of a particular word or event. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Advantage of Using Connotation in Poetry Teaching and Learning for EFL Learners. <ul><li>This process is likely to help EFL learners to gain knowledge of connotation. </li></ul><ul><li>This is so because learners try to associate unfamiliar words in the target language with information inside their brain; information which is stored in the first language. </li></ul><ul><li>Through association, learner can recognize imagery and symbols which were presented through metaphors. </li></ul><ul><li>Association and metaphor are useful to help students to understand the selected poem. </li></ul>
  16. 16. A White Rose by John Boyle O’Reilly The red rose whispers of passion, And the white rose breathes of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, And the white rose is a dove. But I send you a cream-white rosebud With a flush on its petal tips; For the love that is purest and sweetest Has a kiss of desire on the lips (It is retrieved from )
  17. 17. <ul><li>Falcon represents physical desire which is based on falcon’s traits; it is powerful, quick hunter and its ability to attack and fly down on small prey. - Dove represents the contrary. It relates to pure and spiritual feature which is based on dove’s traits; it is gentle, peaceful and does not attack or prey on other birds. - Then the poet is comparing red rose to a falcon and white rose to a dove. - This comparison will lead learners to get the idea that red rose may have similar traits as a falcon; it is powerful, passionate and attractive. – Next, the poet is making similarity between white rose and a dove which suggests that white rose is gentle, pure and peaceful. - This similarity will help learners to have better image so that they can reconstruct meaning based on their concept about falcon, red rose, dove, white rose and relate them with the message that the poet is intended to say. - The poem means to show that love so pure, gentle and peaceful still tints with desire and passion. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>In conclusion, teaching poetry through connotation will contribute positive approach to improve EFL learners’ sensibility towards unfamiliar words. </li></ul><ul><li>The new meaning is resulted from making connection between target language and first language in which learners bring about their knowledge through word association </li></ul><ul><li>In poems, EFL learners also learn to get meaning in the course of figurative language which is known as metaphor. </li></ul>