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Fanfiction for Language & Literature Teaching


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Workshop held at the 2019 National Forum for English Studies at Malmö University, 10-12 April, 2019. This workshop introduces participants to the use of fanfiction for language and literature teaching. Participants engage in learning-through-doing modules developed by the FanTALES Erasmus+ project, including an overview of fan fiction and common genres and tropes, tools and in-class short-form fan fiction writing. This workshop was designed for training in-service and pre-service language teachers, particularly those working at the secondary and upper secondary level, but introduces materials and techniques that can be used for different student populations. No previous experience with fanfiction is necessary

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Fanfiction for Language & Literature Teaching

  1. 1. Workshop on Fanfiction for Language Teaching Swedish National Forum for English Studies 10 April 2019 Shannon Sauro Malmö University
  2. 2. @fanTALES_EU Overview  Welcome  What is Fanfiction?  Fanfiction for Language & Literary Learning  Flash Fiction Workshop  Art: Foxestacado
  3. 3. Welcome
  4. 4. @fanTALES_EU Introductions  Tell us your name and why you’re interested in this workshop  Please sign the sheet going around. Art: Foxestacado
  5. 5. Introduction to Fanfiction What is this anyway?
  6. 6. @fanTALES_EU What is Fanfiction?  Watch the video and be prepared for a think-pair-share activity.  There is also a short quiz at the end of the video for a quick review. Art: FoxestacadoImage: Shannon Sauro
  7. 7. @fanTALES_EU Think – Pair - Share 1. What did you know about fanfiction before this video? How is your perspective different now? 2. What experience do you have reading fanfiction? 3. What experience do you have writing fanfiction? Art: Foxestacado
  8. 8. Fanfiction for Language & Literary Learning Research from the University Classroom
  9. 9. @fanTALES_EU Case studies of ESL learners’ use of fanfiction in anime fandoms to transition from novice writer in English to successful writer, and the bilingual fanfiction writing practices of Finnish fans of American TV shows to index multilingualism and global citizenship. (e.g. Black, 2006; Lepännen et al, 2009) Fanfiction and Autonomous Language Learning
  10. 10. @fanTALES_EU A collaborative story of a missing moment from The Hobbit: • Story outline and map • Collaborative roleplay fanfiction - each group member to write from the perspective of one character from the novel • Reflective paper (Sauro & Sundmark, 2016) The Blogging Hobbit
  11. 11. @fanTALES_EU “this writing activity has influenced my language skills…. During this project I have been able to expand my repertoar [sic] of English words which are not so commonly used in everyday English anymore.” (Sauro & Sundmark, 2016, p. 420 ) Vocabulary Development
  12. 12. @fanTALES_EU “I felt it unfair to work with The Hobbit on such a project since a big part was to connect with a character from the book and write from that perspective. To choose a book with absolutely no women at all made me not wanting to take neither Tolkien nor this assignment to heart.” (Student Reflection, Cohort 2014) Not Always Motivating
  13. 13. @fanTALES_EU “…restorying can also characterize the complex ways that contemporary young people narrate the word and the world... In other words, as young readers imagine themselves into stories, they reimagine the very stories themselves...” (Thomas & Stornaiuolo, 2016, p. 323) Figure 1. Forms of Restorying (Thomas & Stornaiuolo, 2016, p. 319) Looking to Fans Restorying
  14. 14. Collaborative mystery writing with a choice: 1. Retell a Sherlock Holmes mystery or tell an original mystery but in an alternate universe. 2. Tell an original Sherlock Holmes mystery in the original context. A Study in Sherlock
  15. 15. @fanTALES_EU Holmes in Sweden The Hound of the Baskervilles set in Norrland.
  16. 16. @fanTALES_EU “…my interest in Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes world is still at an intermediate level…. On the other hand, my knowledge of the Scooby Doo universe is far greater and I could enter that verse much easier than the universe of Sherlock Holmes.” (Student 18, Cohort 2015) Nowhere to Hyde
  17. 17. @fanTALES_EU “First off, I am highly Americanized in my English use, and I blame Hollywood. It has been a welcomed challenge to write in British. My biggest inspiration has once again been the BBC show.…I truly enjoyed using the word ‘foggiest’ in a text, and it is now a part of my vocabulary. My American is being invaded, ‘the British are coming!’” (Student 54, Cohort 2015) Art: Foxestacado Vocabulary Use Beyond the Classroom
  18. 18. @fanTALES_EUArt: Foxestacado The Potter Project Collaborative fan fiction using at least one of four common fan fiction genres/tropes: 1. Alternate Point of View 2. Prequel or Sequel 3. Missing Moment 4. Alternate Universe
  19. 19. @fanTALES_EU Teacher’s Point of View Although still in agony, Quirrell felt a glimpse of hope as he looked the Potter-boy in the eyes and raised his wand. The killer-curse was on his lips, when the expression on the boy’s cunning face suddenly changed. He leapt forward and dug his hands into Quirrell’s cheeks. The pain hit him like the Hogwarts Express, and then … there was nothingness. The Curious Case of Quirinus Quirrell (Cohort 2017)
  20. 20. @fanTALES_EU Punctuation Awareness “This project made me pay attention to grammatical aspects in the Harry Potter books. For example, Rowling doesn’t use a lot of transitional words, which we just used a lot in academic writing, but rather she uses colons. I have never used colons before in my writing so that was fun to learn.” (Student 44, Cohort 2017) Art: mudblood428
  21. 21. @fanTALES_EU Depicting Dialect “The next thing was to try to mimic Rowling’s verison of Hagrids dialect. For example, he does not say “for” he says “fer”. There is no alteration to the language, or the spelling or the language when anyone else speaks in the book, it is only with Hagrid.” (Student 41, Cohort 2017) Image: Shannon Sauro
  22. 22. @fanTALES_EU Point of View Awareness ”As I reread the first book I paid close attention to how JK Rowling writes, how Harry talks, and what kind of characteristics the different characters have. I found that even though we only follow Harry as a character, meaning we don't get scenes where Harry does not appear, there are a lot of other main characters that help the story become so special. We don't actually know what the other characters are thinking and feeling but through JK Rowling's detailed descriptions we find out anyway.” Art: pennswoods
  23. 23. @fanTALES_EU Instructions for the 3 Fanfiction Projects A Study in Sherlock https://www.academ Study_in_Sherlock_2 016_ The Potter Project https://www.academ tterProjectInstructio nAE.pdf The Blogging Hobbit https://www.academ e_Blogging_Hobbit_ 2014_
  24. 24. Flash Fiction Workshop One of the in-class activities used to introduce students to fanfiction.
  25. 25. @fanTALES_EU Purpose  The goal of this small group activity is to practice fanfiction writing in class and to help students experiment with creative writing in response to prompts. It is based on a writing activity created by fanfiction writer Emma Grant, who often holds writing workshops for fans interested in getting started in fanfiction writing. Image: Shannon Sauro
  26. 26. @fanTALES_EU Instructions Part I Find a partner (or two) who has enjoyed reading/watching a book, movie or tv show you also like and wants to write fanfiction about it. OR  Work with the people sitting near you to identify a book, movie, tv show or game you are all familiar with and want to try writing fanfiction about. Art: pennswoods
  27. 27. @fanTALES_EU Instructions Part II 1. Select one person from your group to come to the front and pick up four cards, one from each set. 2. The different color cards contain different prompts (character, setting, object, dialog). 3. Take a few minutes to look over your group’s cards and to ask questions or generate ideas. 4. Then using the story/movie/tv show you selected, begin writing (in a flash) whatever comes to you for 15 minutes. Don’t worry about editing. Just write! 5. When time is up, stop writing, even if you’re in the middle of a sentence. 6. Afterward, I’ll ask for volunteers who want to share their group’s prompts and stories with everyone.
  28. 28. FanTALES Multilingual Digital Storytelling for Fans in the Language Classroom FanTALES is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (grant agreement number: 2017-1-BE02-KA201- 034792).
  29. 29. @fanTALES_EU Project FanTALES Fan Fiction Multilingualis m Games (Interactive Fiction) Tele- collaboration
  30. 30. @fanTALES_EU The searchable catalog of source texts will provide teachers with information about texts, movies, digital games, tv shows and other media that lend themselves to fanfiction projects. ( Catalog of Source Texts
  31. 31. @fanTALES_EU The aim of the Fanfiction – Learning Through Doing Module is to familiarize language teachers (both student teachers and practising teachers) with fanfiction The module is comprised of lesson plans, videos, handouts, selected readings and questions for reflection and discussion. Fanfiction Module
  32. 32. @fanTALES_EU Fix-it fic is fanfiction which fixes something in the source material that a fan did not like. For instance, it is common for fix-it fic to bring a beloved characters back to life, to fix or explain an inconsistency in a character's behavior or to fix a hole in the plot. For this option, you will identify something in the source text you do not like and write a story where you fix-it and explore what happens as a result. Task Instructions Art: Foxestacado
  33. 33. @fanTALES_EU The fanfiction component of the rubric framework is designed to help teachers evaluate the learning outcomes (related to fanfiction) for these tasks. ( Rubric Framework
  34. 34. @fanTALES_EU
  35. 35. @fanTALES_EU Fanart Acknowledgements Fox Estacado of The Art of Fox Estacado: Fine Fan Art and Geekery ( All rights reserved and used in this presentation with permission. Mudblood428 of Potter on Paper ( All rights reserved and used in this presentation with permission. Pennswoods All rights reserved and used in this presentation with permission. Art: mudblood428
  36. 36. @fanTALES_EU References Black, R.W. (2009). Online fan fiction and critical media literacy. Journal of Computing in Teaching Education, 26(2), 75-80. Black, R.W. (2006). Language, culture, and identity in online fanfiction. E-learning, 3, 180–184. Brunel, M. (2018). Les écrits de fanfiction dans la classe. Le Français aujourd'hui n° 200 (1), 31- 41. Available from aujourdhui/francais-aujourdhui-ndeg-200-12018/ecrits-fanfiction-classe Curwood, J.S. (2013). The Hunger Games: Literature, literacy and online affinity spaces. Language Arts, 90(6), 417 – 427. Lepännen, S., Pitkänen-Huhta, A., Piirainen-Marsch, A., Nikula, T., & Peuronen, S. (2009). Young people’s translocal new media uses: A multiperspective analysis of language choice and hetero-glossia. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14, 1080–1107. Sauro, S. (2017). Online fan practices and CALL. CALICO Journal, 34(2), 131-146. Sauro, S., & Sundmark, B. (2019). Critically examining the use of blog-based fan fiction in the advanced language classroom. ReCALL. 31(1): 40-55, Sauro, S., & Sundmark, B. (2016). Report from Middle Earth: Fan fiction tasks in the EFL classroom. ELT Journal, 70(4), 414-423, Thomas, E.E., & Stornaiuolo, A. (2016). Restorying the self: Bending toward textual justice. Harvard Educational Review, 86(3), 313-338. References Art: Foxestacado l l