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Performing poetry in the foreign language classroom: Pedagogical and language program considerations

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Title:Performing poetry in the foreign language classroom: Pedagogical and language program considerations
Authors:Levine, Glenn S.
Roots, Jaime W.
Date Issued:01 Jan 2015
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Levine, G.S. & Roots, J.W. (2015). Performing poetry in the foreign language classroom: Pedagogical and language program considerations. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 151-169. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69751
Abstract:This chapter addresses the theory and practice of poetry performance in the
German
language classroom, as well as the collaborative development of projects
of this sort by the language program director and graduate student instructors.
Drawn from scholarly work on the roles of poetry in language learning, the focus
is a curriculum component called the Wortkonzert (“Word-Concert”) project,
in which the students select and learn to perform a German poem during the
academic
term. Activities include individual exploration of the sounds and rhythms
of the poetic work, one-on-one mentoring with the instructor, consultation with
an advanced German speaker in person or through digital media, collaborative
work among the students, investigation of the poet’s biography, the epoch and the
particular lyric genre, and, of course, performance of the poetry in the classroom.
Involving as it does extended, playful use of language in a performance mode, and
privileging aesthetic over literary-analytic aspects, the project serves as a foil to
the often primarily quotidian uses of language typical of the language classroom.
Data from a set of surveys of student experiences are presented, which identify the pedagogical paradox that poetry is considered “off-putting” by many students,
though it also serves as a gateway to cultural knowledge and other insights not
as easily accessible through other genres. The chapter then details key language
program concerns, such as articulating the project with the curriculum overall,
and justifications and considerations for graduate-student instructor involvement
in all phases of the project.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/69751
Volume:2015
Appears in Collections: 2015 INTEGRATING THE ARTS: CREATIVE THINKING ABOUT FOREIGN LANGUAGE CURRICULA AND LANGUAGE PROGRAM DIRECTION


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