Improving Language Proficiency and General Knowledge: A Case for Free Voluntary Reading. (Published)
Free voluntary reading is just as its name states. It is free reading; free in the sense that students chooses what material they want to read, choose to read or not to read and to report in class on the reading they have done or not. It is purely reading with no strings attached. This is a strategy voiced by Stephen Krashen and quite a good number of language educators have decided it is worth a short. Research reports support the assertion that those who read more do better in a wide variety of tests. They become better users of language and have a wider horizon of life. They are also reported to have a greater general knowledge. It is in view of these that this paper recommends FVR as a probable solution to the lamentably poor standard of English in schools and the general poor academic outcomes.
This paper has focused on the three crucial issues of teaching literature among the undergraduate students of Saudi Arabia. First it has explored the selection criteria of the literary texts: which texts are the best at tapping the motivations of the students. This selection is important to create “a highly motivating, amusing and lively lesson” (Hismanoglu, 2005, p. 65). Secondly along with eliciting contexts from the students, the study has reviewed the appropriateness of the major academically established contexts (for example, historical, formal, reader response, postcolonial etc.). It has emphasized that choosing the appropriate context for analysis is vital to avoid Saudi students’ alienation with the “methods and styles which are unorthodox and incomprehensible, when compared to their upbringing” (Springsteen, 2014, p. 11). Since the class room activities are often found “different, sometimes challenging, and often marginalizing” (Shaw, 2009, p. 225), the article has identified some relevant and effective motivational strategies that work in consonance with the students
FICTITIOUS CHARACTERS IN THE CLASSROOM- USING LITERARY CHARACTERS IN TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE (Published)
The aim of this study is to explore the ways in which literary characters can be used in teaching English to speakers of other languages. The study is an interpretive qualitative in nature. The findings indicate that there are numerous ways to make use of literary characters in English language lessons. There are a lot of activities that can be used to develop students’ writing, others enhance reading skills. However, all these activities can be utilized to practice and develop listening and speaking as well. So they have to be as interactive as possible. For this reason class work is supposed to be conducted in pairs or groups. Some activities are in a form of interviews, others produce posters or letters. The ones compiled in this article are but prototypes subject to adjustment, modification, simplification or a combination of several ideas, so as to suit different teaching and learning situations. The main recommendation, however, is not to let characters go without being exploited to the maximum for the benefit of the language learner