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International School English Program

Discussion in 'English' started by Grigio, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. <font>Dear Colleagues,







    There seems to be a feeling amongst some of the staff that this is the way it should continue, given our students. I&rsquo;m not 100% convinced that this is the only way forward for students who have been learning English for several years and have quite high standards of proficiency.

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    </font>
     
  2. <font>Dear Colleagues,







    There seems to be a feeling amongst some of the staff that this is the way it should continue, given our students. I&rsquo;m not 100% convinced that this is the only way forward for students who have been learning English for several years and have quite high standards of proficiency.

    </font>



    </font>
     
  3. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    For many years I was in a similar situation. I found, particularly for the Middle School, that the way to encourage correct grammar, vocabulary, and usage, was to require that my students read good literature and then write and speak about it. Language, I believe, should be taught on holistic basis rather than separated into Literature and Language Arts. This separation, was not particularly interesting or exciting to my students, whereas reading good literature got their attention. Mind you, there are times when specific "stand alone" lessons on grammar are essential, but in many cases, some, if not all the grammar, can be combined with a literature lesson.
    I have worked in more traditional schools which split into Literature and Language Arts. I had difficulty convincing my teachers that a more holistic approach would be useful. I had to do considerable research and make a carefully thought out plan of approach. Many of the old timers were suspicious of change and thought that the holistic approach would be one more fad that would eventually fade away (now that I am an old timer, I know exactly how they feel). However, it worked: classes were more interesting, student did better on standardized tests, and, most importantly, they read more and wrote more.
    I also decided that I wanted my students to have a love of reading in English that would continue into their adult lives. However, I realized that few, if any, would be majoring in English Literature in University. Therefore, rather than have them read many of the classics required for native speakers, I had them read more contemporary literature which, I felt, they would find interesting (e.g. Rowling rather than Dickens in Middle School). It worked. They got into the habit of reading and by the time they finished the Upper School they were thoroughly enjoying Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.

     

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