ERIC Number: ED224285
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Literary Extracts in the Teaching of EFL.
The use of extracts from works of prose literature for teaching English as a foreign language at intermediate and advanced levels is considered. Attention is directed to the effectiveness of using such extracts as a means of improving the English of foreign learners, and to criteria for the choice and presentation of the extracts. The last six paragraphs of "The Dead," the final short story of James Joyce's "Dubliners," is used to illustrate how literary discourse may both lose meaning and acquire false meaning when extracted from the full text to which it belongs. It is intended to demonstrate one of the worst choices that can be made by a teacher or editor. The extract contains an unusual density of connections with the text that precedes it. It does this partly because it is conclusive to that text, and partly because of the nature of its subject: the thoughts of a man at the end of an emotionally charged day. It is implied that such a passage is unsuitable for teaching purposes. Criteria for selection of extracts include the following: (1) extracts should be chosen that do not encourage the student to create "false texture" by making interpretations which, though viable within the extract, are demonstrably false in context; (2) extracts should, where possible, be introductory rather than continuing or conclusive; (3) the number of allusions to information given in the preceding text should be analyzed and annotated, omitted, or altered; and (4) extracts whose mood is internally created should be chosen in preference to extracts whose mood is created by conjunction with the preceding text. (SW)
Descriptors: College Second Language Programs, English (Second Language), Fiction, Higher Education, Instructional Materials, Literature, Prose, Reading Material Selection, Second Language Instruction
Institute of Education, London University, 20 Bedford Way, London W.C. 1, England.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: London Univ. (England). Inst. of Education.
Note: In its "English Literature for EFL," Working Documents 2.