Monday, July 9, 2007

Strategies used by teachers in teaching Literature

At the outset, there is only one way to study or teach literature and it is through reading. Students should know what to expect in such a subject so that they will be able to adapt to the teaching method that the teacher will use during the entire year or semester.

Let's face it. Not all students like to read. In fact, in a class of 40, a teacher will be lucky to have 10 students who will appreciate a reading class. So a literature teacher who faces her class for the first time may be facing students who look at the teacher and the subject as enemies. To break this wall and make the students open up to the idea of reading is therefore the first task that the teacher will have to tackle. The rest of the time would be motivating students to like or appreciate each selection so that at the end of the semester or year, the students will have a more positive attitude toward reading and literature.

So how does a teacher approach such a situation? What are the different methods of making the subject as interesting as possible to learners who hate the subject at the very least?

Below are some suggestions of how best to handle students who hate the subject long before you have started your first meeting:

1. Start the class with a very good motivation for reading. Why should they read? What do they get from reading? Discuss all the benefits.
2. Give them a bird's eyeview of what to expect every meeting and a sample of the selections you will be reading.
3. Make sure that the first literary piece that your class will take up is one that will surely arrest their attention. There are many interesting selections to choose from. Choose one that is of interest to you first of all.
4. See to it that each student has his or her own copy of every selection you will be reading. Students should be holding their own copies while you are discussing and analyzing the selections with them.
5. In reading the selections, the teacher should vary her methods. She may--
a. read the selection to her students---doing this successfully needs extra effort on the part of the teacher for she has to give life to the characters in the selection.
b. ask the students to read silently and to be ready to discuss the story or poem with her in the class---but there is a lot of time wasted in doing this for not all the students will do the task as assigned
c. assign students to read the parts one at a time and stop to discuss important areas
d. dramatization or role play---students are grouped to perform certain parts of the story
e. interpretative reading----can be done individually or in groups
f. term paper--analysis sort of at the end of the course
g. narration/storytelling of one story or essay assigned

There could be other ways that the literature can use to make any literature class an interesting subject. Feel free to share your techniques here.

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