Exploring poetry as a strong option in the Language classroom
Most of the time literature is mainly related to reading and writing, but it may play the same meaningful role in teaching speaking and listening if we design creative activities. Teachers can use literature in the classroom for different purposes such as reading aloud and dramatizing a poem, teaching pronunciation, and many other activities.There are many advantages of using literature in the Language classroom. To talk about the general advantages of literature can be a broad approach thus; we will not focus on them. Instead, we will have a look at the benefits from three different perspectives: literature as genuine and authentic material, as a good language source and as a bridge to get the learner interested and also, we will mention poetry as a strong option to develop students’ skills.
Literature is authentic material which keeps our students motivated and promotes favorable attitude toward learning.Poems, novels, and stories can bring powerful emotional responses to the classroom. Furthermore, students can relate their own real lives to the stories they read.Literary texts help students to improve language learning. However, literature by itself is not enough; teachers need to use imaginative techniques for integrating literature work with language teaching. It is also necessary to bring motivating methodology and to choose the right material to keep students interested.
As they use literature they learn about language structure without even noticing, this helps to develop their communicative competence, what as we know, is the ultimate aim of English learning.
Literature can be seen as the bridge between the learner and the culture of the people whose language they are studying; in order to get the learners interested in the culture, we have to carefully select the literary texts according to their interests and level of comprehension.
WHY DO WE USE POETRY WITH THE LANGUAGE LEARNER?
Poetry is a short piece of imaginative writing, of a personal nature and laid out in lines. In this sense, poetry is a product of the language and a tool to teach it, a tool to teach grammatical clues and a product when students make a composition of any topic.
Most of the poems include metaphors. Students can use cognitive skills by making comparisons between two different things and finding their similarities. The figures of speech used in poetry such as metaphors, similes and personifications help students to have a better understanding of the use of language in an unconscious way.
Poetry is a way for teaching and learning basic skills. It can be used as an enjoyable and a rewarding tool with the properties of rhyming and rhythm. It helps students to easily learn with the supra-segmental aspect of the target language, such as stress, pitch, intonation.
Using poetry while teaching English can have many benefits:
§ It encourages creative writing.
§ It helps students appreciate sounds words and patterns.
§ It develops phonic skills.
§ It makes students express feelings and opinions.
§ It provides a great opportunity to play with language.
§ It reinforces the ability to think and to experiment with students’ understanding of the world.
§ It helps to acquire vocabulary, creativity and imagination.
§ it reveals, restates, reinforces and affirms those things which we think are true.
§ It gives the chance to discover and explore the use of the language.
§ It generates collaborative activities (pair and group work).