Developing poetry pedagogy for EAL learners within inclusive intercultural practices

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Developing poetry pedagogy for EAL learners within inclusive intercultural practices. Dr. Vicky Obied Goldsmiths, University of London Poetry Matters September 2011. Bombing of Poems. 80 poems printed on 100,000 bookmarks ( 40 Chilean Poets and 40 poets native to the city) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Developing poetry pedagogy for EAL learners within inclusive intercultural practicesDr. Vicky ObiedGoldsmiths, University of LondonPoetry MattersSeptember 2011

  • Bombing of Poems 80 poems printed on 100,000 bookmarks (40 Chilean Poets and 40 poets native to the city)

    Santiago, Chile: 2001: Dubrovnik, Croatia: 2002; Guernica, Spain: 2004; Warsaw, Poland : 2009; Berlin, Germany : 2010; Nagasaki, Japan: ?.

  • EAL linguistic diversity Pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in Secondary Schools in England

    2005 - 9%2006 - 9.5%2007 - 10.6%2008 - 10.8%2009 - 11.1%2010 - 11.6%

    EAL learners still have no National Curriculum entitlement to EAL teaching and learning.

  • Whos prepared to teach EAL learners?

    The Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) survey (TDA, 2008)

    The survey found that only 37% of NQTs felt that their preparation to work with children learning English as an additional language was good or very good.

  • Whos prepared to teach poetry? With regard to the teaching of poetry, confidence, capability and familiarity with the genre was said to have been impeded by limited prior exposure to poetry in the trainees own earlier schooling and at degree level, where poetry is reported as being often avoided by undergraduates studying Literature (Blake & Shortis, 2010: 26).

  • Whos prepared to develop intercultural practices? Are national policies, are schools, is teacher education more oriented towards a monocultural or intercultural approach (see table)?

    By contrasting monocultural and intercultural perspectives the table seeks to shed light on these tensions and to make transparent the choices facing educators at all levels. (Anderson & Obied, 2011: 21)

  • Intercultural communication and ideology It is at the level of discourse that individuals are able to negotiate, make sense of and practise culture; and it is within this process that imaginations about culture are generated and ideology is both experienced and manufactured (Holliday, 2011: 1).

  • A Recipe for Me!

    Take a hearty slab of Yorkshire, A morsel of Poland, A pinch of London and A good dose of humour.

    Add a dash of drama,A huge helping of happinessA slice of sensitivity and A tablespoon of tenderness.

    Enrich with enthusiasm and Allow to bubble away beforeSprinkling with Sparkles to Serve.

  • Year 7Bring lots of humour to the boil withSome Iranians and Arabs,A healthy part of China,A bit of India,A chunk of France,A slab of Sri Lanka and a tablespoon of Tanzania.

    Add a blend of Harrow, London, England,Nepal, South Africa and a pinch of Ireland,Before stirring vigorously.

    Fill up the pan with Ecuador.

    Sprinkle some pinches of Japan,Video games and a touch of fun sports.Before garnishing with chopped up friends,On top of the dish.

    And serve with Dalek bread.

  • The language of literature A one-year funded research project that was carried out in London secondary schools from 2009 2010.

    The research question looked at how teachers support bilingual pupils academic language development with a focus on the language of literature; and how teachers can design pedagogies that effectively support language learning for bilingual pupils.

  • Language, power and pedagogies The challenge for educators is to open up ideological and implementational space for multilingualism and social justice (Hornberger, 2010: 563) and challenge existing relationships between language, power and pedagogies.

  • Developing poetry pedagogy: Poems for One WorldComplementarios - Octavio Paz (1914-1998)En mi cuerpo tu buscas al monte,a su sol enterrado en el bosque.En tu cuerpo yo busco la barcaen mitad de la noche perdida.

    CounterpartsIn my body you search the mountainfor the sun buried in its forest.In your body I search for the boatadrift in the middle of the night.

  • Sharing Personal ReadingHalf-Caste John Agard Them and Uz Tony Harrison Ruins of a Great House Derek Walcott It Aint What You Do, Its What It Does To You Simon ArmitageHarlem Langston HughesBearhugs Roger McGough Ozymandias Percy Bysshe Shelley Composed Upon Westminster Bridge William Wordsworth Sunny Prestatyn Philip Larkin Digging Seamus HeaneyWorn Out Lizzie SiddalThe Fly Christopher Reid

  • A contested educational landscape

    At the time, the shocked reaction of his teacher left him thinking hed done something wrong. Of course, he had.

  • The Red FlagThe people's flag is deepest red,It shrouded oft our martyred dead,And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.

    Then raise the scarlet standard high.Within its shade we'll live and die,Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,We'll keep the red flag flying here.

  • Poetry in schools The poems and songs which are taught in school, which we interpret, perform and commit to memory have always been part of a contested landscape, one in which ideological viewpoints are put forward and reinforced, and in a school which enthusiastically celebrated Empire Day, a call to workers unity and solidarity was jarringly off-message.

  • The poetry anthology in the classroom an artefact of an English educationThe Dragon Book (Dragon, 1935)

    He remembers the name of almost all the poems in the book (sometimes with horror), but despite its almost weekly usage during five years of lessons, there is not a single annotation on its pages.

  • A coherent poetry curriculum A question of relevance: Does relevant, with regards to a poem, mean a text which young students can relate to the realities of their lived experience, in which they can see reflected some of their own interests, expectations and anxieties? This raises questions about the student-readers appetite for poetry and how far their diet should be prescribed. ... in the clich of encouraging inner-city kids to read and write poems about knife-crime.

  • The contemporary worlds most popular poetic form Concerns about the way poetry is taught in school and the disconnection of teaching practice from contemporary culture.

    Could rap open a radical way of teaching poetry? one of the most important contemporary forms of linguistic art, and certainly the most popular and commercially viable form of poetic expression. its history in providing a form of cohesion for socially and economically marginalised groups.

  • Rap in the poetry curriculum I do consider that it provided an opportunity for pupils to discuss their listening interests and preferences and to sustain collective listening for pleasure as well as for those who rapped or performed their own poetry to develop speaking for pleasure. The lack of comparative emphasis on independent speaking and listening for pleasure (and even for writing) identifies a key weakness in the national curriculums approach to poetry.

  • Poetry for the C.V.: How does it solve a problem like Career? The importance and relevance of poetry teaching in developing key skills required to compete for jobs within a modern, hi-tech work environment. Skills identified as being essential to the future workforce:Critical thinking and problem solving;Effective communication;Collaboration and team building;Creativity and innovation.American Management Association (2010)

  • At the forefront of the exploration and development of language Through poetry we are continuously developing language mainly due to this playfulness and its experimental nature. Without poetry we might merely be conformists to the rules of language rather than instruments of change. Poetry writing allows us the freedom of expression often denied us by formulaic prose writing and, in todays multi-lingual and multi-dialectic society, it also qualifies and affirms individuals voice regardless of it being correct or standard English.

  • Language, power, identity and the plurilingual learner The student-teachers were engaged in carrying out research over a period of 5 months into how theory in the field of multilingualism could inform policy and professional practice.

  • Rhyming with reason The role of poetry from different cultures in empowering students to use home languages and promote their own cultural identity within the English classroom

    It seemed to me that for many student teachers from ethnic minorities, studying poetry from different cultures had had a profound effect on their educational journeys and I was fascinated to find out why this was.

  • Year 7 students views of poetry Some of the good things about studying poetry from different cultures:You can find out about how other people live;You learn more about their beliefs and lifestyles;You can learn about others backgrounds;Learn new things and cultures;Different languages;You can hear a different language;Learn more about a different country;Learn more about the world.

  • Year 7 students views of poetry Some of the bad things about studying poetry from different cultures:You dont understand some things;Sometimes I get a little confused;Unable to understand the language;Different languages;We dont need to know about them, we need to know about us;You might get something wrong, say something and offend someone;I might change religion.

  • English teachers views of poetryThe study of poetry from different cultures has been criticised as being inferior poetry promoted over greater poetry simply because it comes from a different culture. What is your response to this?How important is poetry from different cultures in negotiating students identity?What is the usual reaction of white British students towards studying or writing poems relating to culture? How does it differ (if at all) from ethnic minority students?To what extent do you feel home and community languages should be promoted within the mainstream classroom? Why?

  • Who am I?Who am I?I am AsianMa Nepali hoI am proud

    Who am I?Ma momo, choicho ra bhatt khanchoI hate miceBut I love rice

    Who am I?This is me

  • Thats my nameJaveriaThats my name,Live in LondonLifes not lame.

    Family religion,Its all there,In my values,That I share.

    Eid Ramadan,Dont forget New Year,Fun and Fasting,But unclear.

  • I am just meMy name is Sydney,I live in ThamesmeadLondonSome may say Im a bit blondeBut really I am just me

    First name SydneyLike Sydney AustraliaOf which mums mate called me

    Middle name GeorginaMy nans nameRest in peace nan

    Last nameRuns in the family

    Coz thats me!

  • Bilingual Poetry After I had distributed the poems and was expecting to hear a chorus of other languages, the class was struck with a sudden silence. Approaching one of the bilingual students, I asked what was wrong and was told that she couldnt read the Punjabi script as she could only speak it. Another student raised her hand and said the same for Vietnamese, Nepalese, and so on. Before long I was left with just one student who could confidently read in Albanian and who had confided in me that she found speaking her home language embarrassing.

  • Exploring classroom discussion of poetry What contribution do multilingual pupils make to the classroom discussion of idiom and metaphorical language in poetry and literature written in English? It will explore whether pupils do indeed make more responses that are more original and elaborate (Garcia, 2009) than their monolingual colleagues when discussing literature it will evaluate the creative and divergent thinking abilities of multilingual pupils to see if it can indeed be applied to the creation of meaning and understanding from literary texts.

  • What is poetry for? In exploring pupils contributions regarding idiom and metaphorical language, it is necessary to study pupils ability to see and understand that texts are representational rather than seeing them as evidence of language in use. It is this ability to seek out representation and to then apply creative and divergent thinking that allows pupils to develop their meaning creation skills. The suspension of belief and the activation of imagination are key skills in building meaning.

  • Chart1



    Vocal Contributions: case study participants versus other class members

    Chart 1: Vocal Contributions: case study participants versus other class members


    Vocal Contributions: case study participants versus other class members

    Case study participants329

    Other class members316

    To resize chart data range, drag lower right corner of range.


  • Innocent candles shine wailing goodbyes

  • EAL learners and poetryInterpretation of results:

    EAL pupils are more likely to seek clarification of context and contextual use of language.EAL pupils are more likely to play with words than their monolingual counterparts.EAL pupils are more likely to be able to infer meaning from texts, if they have experienced an active meaning creation event.

  • Professional Development for staff working in multilingual schoolsSupporting language acquisition and development.Linking language and learning.Language policy and social justice. The Resources: This section collates existing resources which can be used to support teachers and managers working in multilingual schools. Jim Anderson, Christine Hlot, Joanna McPake and Vicky Obied Presented at the forum in Geneva (2 - 4 November 2010)

  • ReferencesAnderson, J., Hlot, C., McPake, J., Obied, V. (2010) Professional development for staff working in multilingual schools. In Council of Europe (Language Policy Division) The linguistic and educational integration of children and adolescents from a migrant background. Studies and resources: Number 5. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Anderson, J. and Obied, V. 2011. Languages, literacies and learning: from monocultural to intercultural perspectives. NALDIC Quarterly, 8:3.Blake, J & Shortis, T. 2010. Whos prepared to teach school English? Garcia, O. 2009. Bilingual Education in the 21st Century A Global Perspective.Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Holliday, A. (2011). Intercultural Communication and Ideology. London: Sage.Hornberger, N. (2010). Language and Education: A Limpopo Lens. In N. Hornberger & S. McKay (Eds), Sociolinguistics and Education, (pp. 549-564). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Obied, V. 2011. The crossroads between language and literature: developing an EAL pedagogy and intercultural learning. In 43rd British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Conference Proceedings:



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