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ERIC Number: EJ914886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Developing Voice by Composing Haiku: A Social-Expressivist Approach for Teaching Haiku Writing in EFL Contexts
Iida, Atsushi
English Teaching Forum, v48 n1 p28-34 2010
Many educators know that studying and composing literature and poetry helps English learners develop their own voice and sense of audience, and to express important social ideas in the process. Poetry, in particular, offers special challenges, but one type of poem that is manageable for the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom is "haiku," a short, three-line Japanese poem with a specific number of syllables in each line. A lesson based on reading and composing haiku naturally encourages students to express their inner feelings to others. Aside from facilitating the development of voice and audience awareness, haiku also helps them learn to write fluently and acquire vocabulary because its form requires close attention to select the appropriate words to communicate specific feelings. As of now, there has been scant reporting on the theoretical framework for teaching haiku in the second language (L2) writing classroom, and little research on how English haiku writing can contribute to literacy development from both theoretical and practical viewpoints. In this article, the author explores how the social-expressivist approach can facilitate EFL university students' development of voice and audience in the L2 writing context. The social-expressivist approach, which is at the heart of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), employs methods that contrast sharply with a grammar-centered curriculum, as it structures learning around communicative contexts where students learn to express their "voice"--the articulation of their personal needs, interests, and ideas--in a social context that presumes an "audience"--the teachers, classmates, and even the community at large. The author discusses how haiku fits in with that approach and presents some activities for use in the university EFL writing classroom.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A