1. What is the importance of teaching literature to young learners?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of using drama in class?
3. How can you use a story (use one story as example) to ensure the following types of development:
i. Language development
ii. Intellectual development
iii. Personality development
iv. Social and moral development
v. Aesthetic and creative development
4. What are the motivating activities that can be conducted in order to encourage reading in the class?
1. The Importance of Teaching literature to young learners
The method in which life is anticipated or thought can be easily related to the study of literature. This study is the method in which people in various parts of the world in almost all hours connect to and intend to gather information and wisdom relating to different experiences in human life. This study further renders a chance to the people to correspond with the future. Through literature any person can identify the claims of the future and also share the past (Hughes, 2000). It is only form of study that makes a person travel from the real world to the imaginary world.
Regarding the young reader or the learner it can be stated that these learners are students basically from the primary as well as the preprimary schools. Research states that when children are around six years old their development with regard to the ability to learn language begins and it continues until they reach puberty (Qu, 2010). Since puberty, gradually the rate of development with regard to the language area decreases.
Generally, it has been observed that the basic nature of the young learners is more or less the same and did not change much with the changes in the countries and this shows that the primary principles with regard to the psychological and methodological nature is the same in which ever country they are in.
Presently, literature is used as away to teach the fundamental skills of language such as the skills relating to reading or listening or writing or speaking (Chen, 2014). Literature is one good way to improve the vocabulary or grammar or the pronunciation of any individual.
Some of the most essential advantages of literature are firstly this gives a number of different styles for writing and representing different uses of the language (Hughes, 2000). Secondly, it helps students to develop skills on reading. Thirdly, it acts as a springboard for coming up with a number of writings and discussions. Fourthly, this study of literature generally combines intellectual qualities along with emotions and motivates the student and develops him personally. Fifthly, since it is usually culture related, it forms a part of the general education (Williams, 2013). Sixthly, this study further supports creative thinking and finally is also increases the knowledge of the students and makes them aware of the conflicting situations.
Hence it can be stated that literature increases the language skills of the students and also helps them to experience pleasure and education simultaneously.
2. The strengths and weaknesses of using drama in class
There are a number of strengths as well as weaknesses of using drama in the classroom. To begin with, one of the primary advantages of using drama in the classroom is that the use of drama tends to increase the motivation of the students; it further increases the confidence of the students and helps to improve their fluency with the language. Students also learn to communicate through their body language. Some other advantages of drama would be to help the students explore the various ranges of emotions that are present in any human being. It helps to develop the creative and spontaneous nature of the students (Williams, 2002). Drama provides for the opportunities for the students to form groups and better express themselves. It gives confidence to the students, increases trust and cooperation among the students. It further develops the performance skills of the students. Drama assists in better communication techniques. It gives an idea to the speakers to exchange different ideas and make fresh decisions. It further increases the use of English by the students (Wood, 2002). It improves involvement and decision making skills of the students. Some other advantages of introducing drama in schools would be that as a result of these drama cultures the competency of students’ increases. It also increases the fluency of the students and prepares the students by increasing their awareness and sensitivity for the students and prepares them for the various real life systems.
However, there are a number of disadvantages of introducing drama in the schools for the students. Sometimes using drama for the purposes of learning may sometimes fail (Wood, 2002). The primary reasons for this would be that using drama as a tool to teach students and make them learn in those situations would make the teaching more artificial. Further in most cases the situation become irrelevant in accordance to the requirements of the young learners (Guevara & Ordoñez, 2013). Also it becomes difficult to monitor the students verbally as well as physically. Teachers generally fear that the use of drama in studies would cause an unlimited fun among the students and divert the attention from studies. Drama also tends to cause awkwardness and embarrassment for some students who are more grown up than the others. Another significant disadvantage of drama would be that many incorrect forms of the language is learnt by the students during these drama sessions and also all the forms of activities in the drama may not be suitable for all kind of students.
Nevertheless, it may be noted that these problems may be solved if a careful planning is carried out by the teachers. Also the teachers should be able to convince themselves that such activities would be effectively used to encourage the students and bring about a positive change in the learning.
3. Using a story to ensure the following types of development:
The idea of storytelling has always been considered as an appropriate tool to teach and learn. This method of storytelling generally makes the students experience fresh things and generate new senses. It helps to improve the relationship between the students among themselves and amongst others. It also helps to develop their language, intellect, personality, social, moral and creative environment. As an example the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by well-known author Roald Dahl has been considered (Dahl & Schindelman, 1964).
The story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been written by British novelist and short story writer Roald Dahl and the language in which it is written is extremely prolific. Hence the story when told to the students will genuinely clear the concepts and the intricacies of the English language to the students (DemircioÄŸlu, 2010). Further it would increase the strength of vocabulary of the students as they learn new words and also understand their meaning. Further, storytelling improves the grammar of the students.
With regard to the intellectual development, when listeners are told the story, they would probably imagine the story in their minds. Also they can be made to act the story in the form of a skit and add their own inputs in the story while enacting the story. The listeners can be also permitted to draw in their own manner the story after listening to the story. Hence it can be observed that through this manner of story telling the intellect of the students are developed. The story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl once narrated by the teacher, the students can be asked to narrate the story again through drawings or sketches. This would show how the students have used their imaginative minds and how attentive they were while listening to the stories.
Generally a story helps to define the variety of events that is happening in the daily life. It is these experiences that are used to develop stories by humans. Hence the personal characters of the stories generally help to recognize the different characters that are present in the real lives. Usually the adults take it for granted that the stories and their daily occurrences are connected. However, the children are required to learn this through the process of telling and listening to stories. Most of the stories like the one talked about here that is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl have a sequence, followed by progressions of the events. As a result the children learn the different patterns of behaviors as well as the actions that take place in the daily lives. Hence this is the time when the students learn to develop themselves personally. They learn a number of things in story telling ranging from how to modulate the voice, projection of the voice to the art of body language. Personality development also includes body language, speaking during extempore and the ability to create stories and tell them.
Social and moral development
By giving an opportunity to the students to listen to stories, they also receive a chance to participate in various group discussions relating to the story and in this manner the children get an opportunity to develop public speaking skills and improve their speaking and learning skills (Brown, 2008). In most cases in the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the story ends with a moral and this act as a social development of the children. In this sphere a number of questions may be asked to the students as to what they learnt from the story or what are the things that the students liked in the story. These questions and discussions on the stories would help the children in various ways (Qu, 2010). This would help the students to think about the motives of the characters and therefore understand their actions and personalities. This gives them the opportunity to think about the ethics, values and morality.
Aesthetic and creative development
In order to improve the creative skills of the students the listeners can be told to say additional stories about the story that has been narrated to them. The children are allowed to make up the stories or they may also include real life experiences or any made up stories. Also the students can be told to change or vary the story according to their will.
This shows that the idea of storytelling gives an opportunity to the students to create mental images and this helps to bring out their colorful imaginations that they have (Saboor Hussain, 2013). Further the reasoning capabilities of the students are also activated when they are given a chance to discuss about those messages.
Hence the use of story can be essentially used to apply the creative thinking and this helps them to apply the creativeness in their own real lives. This would help the children to be more aware of the thoughts of their surrounding people and their own. This further helps them to be more articulate.
4. Motivating activities that can be conducted in order to encourage reading in the class
Motivation can be termed as that kind of an inspiration that guides a human being to achieve certain goals. Generally students can be guided by internal or external motivation (Brown, 2008). Motivating students to read in the classroom is one area that needs to be focused and research has shown that students who are motivated to read more are more inclined to read than those who are not motivated (Tugrul Mart, 2012).
In order to motivate the students, one of the methods would be to identify the accomplishments of the students in reading by choosing one student to go the office of the principal to read to him or her. Other games can be conducted in order to make the students read books. Games such as musical books can be conducted. In the game the students would be divided into two groups and are made to read the book under the chair they sit (Weldon, 2010). Another motivational game would be to make the children solve puzzles. Book reports can be created and students may be made to make word search on graph paper (Wilkinson, 2005). These are then exchanged with the class members and later laminated. These are then exchanged a number of times and these make wonderful seat activities for checking out different variety of books. These kinds of motivating games may be conducted in the class so that they students get more inclined to read books.
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