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Second language and literacy teachers considering literature circles: A play

  • Center for Educational Development, Inc.


This two-act play focuses on using literature discussions as a vehicle for literacy and language growth in secondary and college courses.
... One strand of research is on the major benefits of literature for language teaching purposes. Some studies ( [5]; [10]; [13]; [14]) that investigate the use of literature, and reading and vocabulary (literacy) development found evidence in favor of literature when compared to another form of treatment (e.g., direct instruction). It is concluded in these studies that literature helps develop literacy skills and linguistic knowledge. ...
This study aims to investigate how the lecturers in the foreign language teaching departments approach literature at the faculties of education of different universities in Turkey. A survey including some questions related to the participants’ gender, experience and the basic activities they are carrying out in the classroom was used to find out which approach; namely, a language-based approach, literature as content, literature for personal enrichment they are using in their literature classrooms. The findings of the research suggest that four of every five lecturers follow YOK’s program one way or another. While doing so, they basically follow text and context approaches through using several elements with this respect. The use of these elements are not much determined by the experience of the lecturer as well.
... Students exchange each other's' feelings and experiences based on the reading. Mac Gillivray, Tse and McQuillan (1995) pointed out one important benefit of reading in circle, which is the group members can develop their relationship with people from different cultural background and trust among them. Unintentionally, the students learn to take full responsibility to not only themselves and how they behave but others' reactions on their behaviour as well. ...
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Malaysian intercultural society is typified by three major ethnic groups mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians. Although education system is the best tool for these three major ethnic groups to work together, contemporary research reveals that there is still lack of intercultural embedding education context and national schools are seen as breeding grounds of racial polarisation. In Malaysian context, there is a gap in research that focuses on the design of a proper intercultural reading framework for national integration and such initiatives are viable through schools. The main objective of this conceptual paper is to introduce the English Language Intercultural Reading Programme (ELIRP) in secondary schools to promote intercultural understanding among secondary school students. The proposed framework will facilitate the acquisition of intercultural inputs without being constrained by ideological, political, or psychological demands. This article will focus on elucidating how ELIRP could affect cognitive (knowledge) and behavioural transformations to intercultural perceptions harboured by selected Form 4 students of 20 national schools in Malaysia.
... The advantages of cooperative activities in reading circles have been discussed in most of the studies (e.g., Day, 1993;Dupuy, 1998;MacGillivray, Tse, & McQuillan, 1995;McQuillan & Tse, 1997). Furr (2007) defines the benefits of reading circles and their positive role in arousing the interesting and meaningful discussions in English among the students in the classrooms. ...
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Notwithstanding a number of studies on L2 learner beliefs, there has been insufficient attention to how this individual difference (ID) variable is related to second language development. Also, there has been a call to adopt a dynamic approach to the role of individual difference variables in SLA, that is, conducting ID research in situational and cultural contexts (Dörnyei, 2009; Li, 2005). This study investigates the relationship between EFL learners' beliefs about language learning and proficiency in a Chinese context. The participants were a hundred and forty-two EFL students from a large Chinese university. Three instruments were used: questionnaire, test, and interview. The data collected through the questionnaire were subjected to a factor analysis that generated six factors, which in turn were used in a multiple regression analysis as predictor variables for proficiency. The multiple regression analysis showed a clear relationship between the factor of self-efficacy and proficiency. The interview data provided further interpretations for such relationship; it also showed that the learners' rejection of the primacy of grammar, vocabulary, and translation and the instrumental motivation they demonstrated were attributable to the idiosyncratic characteristics of this instructional and cultural context.
... During this process, students develop more complex levels of thought, language, and literacy. Krashen (1993) Literature Circles evidenced increased student enjoyment of and engagement in reading, self-esteem, social outlets for student, multicultural awareness, gender equity, and promoted perspectives on social issues (Evans, Alverman, & Anders, 1998;Johnson, 2000;Macgillivray, 1995). ...
... Dana Grisham (1999) catalogued the research studies on literature circles including those benefiting inner-city students (Pardo, 1992); incarcerated adolescents (Hill & Van Horn, 1995); "resistant learners" (Hauschildt & McMahon, 1996); secondlanguage learners (Macgillivray, 1995); and English-as-a-foreign-language learners (Dupuy, 1997). The results of studies on literature circles also indicate increased student enjoyment of and engagement in reading (Fox & Wilkinson, 1997); increased multicultural awareness (Hansen-Krening & Mizokawa, 1997); increased social outlets for students (Alvermann, 1997); promoted other perspectives on social issues (Noll, 1994), increased self-esteem (Johnson, 2000), and gender equity (Evans, Alvermann, & Anders, 1998). ...
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Introducción En los estados de California, Texas, Nuevo México, Florida, Nueva York y Chicago existe una situación de bilingüismo, de convivencia de dos lenguas: español e inglés. En la escuela elemental y secundaria de estos estados más del 10 por ciento de la población es hispano bilingüe. Desafortunadamente, la mayoría de los estudiantes de origen hispano no consigue alcanzar niveles altos de lecto-escritura en español (Hernández-Chávez, 1993; García y Díaz, 1993), debido a diversos factores, aunque, quizá, la carencia de oportunidades es la variable más importante: pocas escuelas proveen instrucción académica en español a estudiantes que ya han superado la fase de transición en las clases de inglés (Crawford, 1991) y, además, hay pocos libros disponibles en dichas escuelas para aquellos alumnos que desean desarrollar por cuenta propia su habilidad de lecto-escritura en español (Pucci, 1994). La problemática de los hispanohablantes bilingües (de ahora en adelante HHBs) se traduce en una situación de disglosia que se caracteriza por el dominio de su lengua materna a nivel oral, pero con una exigua compe-tencia sociolingüística y un escaso desarrollo de campos léxicos, limitados a temas cotidianos y nada académicos. Estas son las falencias que manifiestan en forma reiterada: comprensión lectora pobre (dificultades para identificar palabras cuando las ven escritas, y a veces no saben cómo leerlas); carencia de un vocabulario académico; problemas ortográficos y gramaticales (des-conocimiento de algunas estructuras más complejas o de menor frecuencia en la lengua, pero comunes en registros lingüísticos más formales de comu-nidades hispanas monolingües) (Silva-Corvalán, 1989). La experiencia de los profesores de español, tanto en la universidad como en la escuela secundaria, muestra que las clases de español como lengua extranjera o segunda lengua están colmadas de estudiantes bilingües con las características ya mencionadas. Se han diseñado cursos especiales para hablantes nativos de español, pero tanto los libros de texto que usan, como el enfoque pedagógico al cual estos libros se adscriben, se centran casi de manera exclusiva en la gramática; contienen ejercicios gramaticales, listas de vocabulario y una ausencia casi total de lecturas (AATSP Report, 1972; Aparicio, 1983; González y González, 1991). Éste es uno de los mayores problemas con que se enfrenta el currículo de español para HHBs.
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