English Literature in EFL classes

Teaching ESL to adults

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English Literature in EFL classes

Unread postby chasc » 22 Oct 2009, 14:42

I have some students (about FCE level) that would like to work on authentic English or American Literature texts in lessons. I am a Literature graduate myself and am very enthusiastic about the idea. So far I've found some extracts from novels by Margaret Atwood and John Fowles in coursebooks. I also know about the Penguin readers.

Does anyone know of other good texts, especially if they've got activities to go with them? I was thinking that it would be good to use short stories, poems or (short) plays - you can only do extracts from novels, unless the students agree on a book to study longer term, but several shorter projects would be much better, more varied, than a longer one, I think. The material could probably be at CAE level too.

I thought that a modern version of the Canterbury Tales might be a good idea, but the ones I've found seem to keep the word order close to Chaucer's original style, which is a kind of back-to-front version of modern English and might end up being a bit confusing and teach bad habits (might still have a go with one of them though).

Any ideas?

Peter Easton
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Re: English Literature in EFL classes

Unread postby Peter Easton » 26 Oct 2009, 09:54

Edgar Allen Poe is good.
Hemingway is not bad.
Another good one is 'The Little Prince'

I have a list of suitable texts somewhere. Let me see if I can dig it out...

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Re: English Literature in EFL classes

Unread postby DavidB » 09 Jan 2010, 23:18

I just taught The Outsiders to my high school ESL class. It is short, and not so difficult to read. It wold be a good read for an FCE class.

It is only about 150 pages, and is something the students can get through. It also has all the literary devices you may wish to teach, like allusion, simile, metaphor, symbolism, etc.

There is a movie too, which is a good companion.

I find the shorter novels are great because it is something the students can achieve, and they get that confidence of completing a genuine English novel.

Animal Farm would be another example.

Good luck

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