Archived event:

LiLT at the Yokohama Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (全国言語教育学会)

June 2017: Literature in Language Teaching

Presenters: Paul Hullah, Quenby Hoffman Aoki, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa

Date: Saturday, June 24
Time: 13:00
Location: Yokohama Youth Centre, under Kannai Hall (directions)

1) Paul Hullah: Poetry As Life And Linguistic Empowerment: But… How Do You Teach It?
Abstract: Hullah defines a ‘literary’ text as language we wish to remember not only for what it expresses, but also for how it expresses it. The rhetorical success or failure of such texts — epitomized by poetry, but present in many other forms and media — relies upon emotive-persuasive potencies of the language of which they are composed. Hullah will cite examples alongside qualitative and quantitative evidence to demonstrate that judiciously selected and properly presented literary texts constitute user-friendly ready-made ELT materials that need never be ‘too difficult’ or ‘too obscure’ for L2 learners of any level.

Hullah will argue that poetry meaningfully foregrounds and highlights the multifold expressive possibilities of language. Poetry is, moreover, frequently lexically ‘self-scaffolding’ (setting up punch lines and/or favoring memory-aiding ‘literary’ devices such as anaphora and repetition), so a closer acquaintance with literary texts can empower learners in terms of linguistic competence and communicative confidence. Research findings appear to uphold this argument.

Literary texts stimulate critical thinking, discourage dogma and encourage active learner engagement. Appropriately taught, they are personally and variously interpretable, inviting a reciprocal import/export of insight and opinion. And sometimes parts of them might not please us or even make much sense. In short, vibrant and varied, linguistically and semantically open and ambiguous, literary texts mirror life.

Notoriously digressive, today Hullah promises not to forget what most teachers really want to know: Practically speaking, exactly how can I use a poem effectively in my own classroom?

Bio:Associate Professor of British Poetry & Culture at Meiji Gakuin University, Paul Hullah was co-founder of Liberlit, the international conference forum for ‘Discussion and Defence of the Role of Literary Texts in the English Curriculum’ . He has published 14 EFL textbooks (all featuring ‘literary’ texts at their core), 7 volumes of poetry, and 4 books of literary criticism. In 2013 he received the Asia Pacific Brand Laureate International Personality Award for ‘paramount contribution to the cultivation of literature [that has] exceptionally restored the appreciation of poetry and contributed to the education of students in Asia.’ Wikipedia

2) Quenby Hoffman Aoki: Coffee, Coyotes, and Creation: Oral Tradition and Modern Society in the Poetry of Native American Writers

Abstract: Native Americans play an important role in the history and cultural identity of the United States, but are often overlooked in literature and English language classrooms. Although the indigenous population was decimated due to five centuries of colonization, they have by no means disappeared. Native cultures are a diverse, vital part of U.S. society, and students in the U.S. and abroad deserve to know more about them than the stereotypes shown in Hollywood movies, advertising, and culturally-appropriated fashion. It must be emphasized that, while works by American Indian authors often draw upon the oral traditions of their people, these writers do live in the modern world: working, teaching, and, most relevant for teachers, writing. This interactive presentation focuses on the poetry of Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), best known for her novels including Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead, and Luci Tapahonso, first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation.

Bio: Quenby Hoffman Aoki holds degrees in Japanese Language and TESOL, and teaches in the English Literature Department at Sophia University. She includes fluency practice and social justice issues, especially gender and race, in her classes, along with (of course) literature. She is recently remembering a lot of Spanish vocabulary, after being distracted by Japan for 26 years.

3) Jane Joritz-Nakagawa: Gender, disability and literature

Abstract: What images, thoughts and feelings do you have when you hear the word “gender”? “Disability”? Is there any connection between the two? Are gender and disability appropriate themes for the classroom?In this presentation we will look briefly at some stereotypes and myths of gender and disability, as well as look at works of literature which have gender and/or disability as a major theme. Finally as time allows we will discuss some teaching techniques and activities for using literary works presented.

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa has over 25 years of teaching experience, nearly all of it in Japan. In the 1990s she studied cooperative learning in order to better her teaching. Since then her major research interest has been feminism and literature. She is a very widely published poet whose ninth full length poetry collection is forthcoming in 2017 with Theenk Books (USA) as is an anthology of adventurous poetry and essays by women living in a country other than that of their birth titled “women: poetry: migration [an anthology]”.