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ERIC Number: EJ923461
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
The Formeaning Response Approach: Poetry in the EFL Classroom
Kellem, Harlan
English Teaching Forum, v47 n4 p12-17 2009
In English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms, where acquisition of English is the ultimate goal, one of the main tasks for the teacher is to provide students with language input and activities that best aid them in their learning process. As different researchers have reported, including poetry-based activities in the EFL classroom is beneficial. Among other reasons, poetry is a source of content-rich reading material; a model of creative language in use; a way to introduce vocabulary in context; and a way to focus students' attention on English pronunciation, rhythm, and stress. Two main pedagogical approaches to teaching poetry and literature have their roots in literary criticism: (1) Stylistics, an approach that analyzes the language forms of the text; and (2) Reader-Response, an approach that concerns itself with the reader's interaction with the text. Although these two approaches are typically considered mutually exclusive, one way to marry the two when teaching poetry is to use what the author calls the "Formeaning Response" approach. This approach places equal importance on the study of language elements and on responding personally to poetry. This article first reviews the Stylistic and Reader-Response approaches and their roles in second language acquisition, and then demonstrates how to combine them to teach poetry in the EFL classroom with the Formeaning Response approach.
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: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A