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ERIC Number: ED529721
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Literature as an Organic Language Learning Tool
Marek, Michael; Wu, Pin-hsiang Natalie
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual International Conference on Foreign Literature Teaching (6th, 2011)
This is a conceptual paper, based on several semesters of collaboration in which the American author interacted with students in the Taiwanese author's EFL classes in Taiwan. The best native language users are typically those who read extensively, especially reading for pleasure in their youth. This gives them a large vocabulary and an intuitive feel for how words and ideas should connect together that they then naturally apply to future reading comprehension and writing tasks. Literature can, similarly, be a vehicle for foreign language learning, but how can the natural learning stemming from reading for pleasure be replicated in the more structured classroom? The authors explore approaches that employ student-centered methodologies and foster positive motivation. The metaphor "organic" language learning refers to learning that is natural, without being forced or contrived, and without artificial characteristics. This approach parallels other foreign language learning subjects in which authentic source materials are valued by students. However, use of literature for language learning comes with pitfalls. Culture as portrayed in literature may not be accurate, in order to make literary points, leaving students with serious misunderstandings about the target culture, which teachers must be able to address and explain. The authors present a framework of best practices for teachers of foreign language literature that attempt to mirror the process of learning language via reading for pleasure, and also draw on techniques used in native language literature courses when the text is challenging. (Contains 1 figure.)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan