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среда, 28 августа 2013 г.

Полезно ли чтение неадаптированных книг для изучения английского языка?

Caroline K. Germond, Ed. D.
Учащиеся обычно рассматривают чтение неадаптированной литературы как совершенно непосильное занятие, которое, плюс ко всему, не оказывает никакого влияния на овладение навыками разговорной речи. Интересно, особенно в свете трех предыдущих статей о воспитании детей-билингвов, что дети, которых обучают только устной речи, теряют навыки овладения языком гораздо быстрее, чем те, которые умеют читать и писать. Развитие речи невозможно без постоянного обогащения словарного запаса и освоения новых грамматических конструкций - навыки, которые мы приобретаем, читая книги. На этом блоге мы уже обращались к этому вопросу (см. раздел "Читаем неадаптированную классику на английском" на этой странице). В сегодняшней статье мы начнем разговор об изучении английского через литературные произведения, и своим опытом с нами поделится Кэролайн Жермонд, преподавательница английского языка на платформе OnlinEnglish. 

Reflections on Reading Fiction in the Second Language Program (Part 1).
Caroline K. Germond, Ed.D.
June 2013

Everybody Reads

Young children sit cross-legged on the carpet listening—and chiming in—to Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.1  Adolescents in a literature circle discuss the chapter they’ve just read in Carl Hiaasen’s Flush.2  An adult squeezes a few minutes from work or family to turn on her Kindle and return to Steve Martin’s Shopgirl3 on which she has recently become hooked.

The texts in which these readers are involved are written in a language that they are learning—their target language.

Language learners of all ages and at all levels can expand their language opportunities through literature.  School children may listen to stories carefully chosen for delightful language, presented by a fluent reader of the target language.  Sometimes beautiful illustrations enhance the experience. 

Children who have already acquired some literacy in the second language might select books of interest which they can read, albeit with some difficulty, and extend their learning by sharing ideas with fellow readers.

Older students and those with more oral fluency can enjoy listening to the “read-aloud” of a chapter book over a period of several days.  As a matter of fact, no reader is too old, mature, or sophisticated to be read to.  Audio books are not just for the sight-impaired or for listening to while driving.  Lucky is the author who is published not only in print or electronically, but on CD as well, whose text is delivered by a professional reader who makes it an audio page-turner.

And maybe even luckier, is the author whose novel has become a screenplay for a film version.  This is yet another way for all readers—and language learners—to engage with literature.

How Does Reading Fiction Contribute to Second Language Learning?

There are so many reasons to include literature in the foreign language (or second language) program:
-as a model of fluency in the target language;
-as an additional “speaker” of the target language;
-to introduce vocabulary in the context of a story;
-to provide an insight into behavior and culture outside the teacher’s and the learner’s immediate experience;
-because literature is a component of all of education;
-to provide subject matter for discussion and the sharing of ideas;
-to promote a life-long reading habit; and
-for pleasure:  “So many books, so little time!”4

What Does a Language Teacher Mean by Literature?

Reading curricula typically include publications with language that is contrived:  manipulated to present sounds or structures deemed critical by textbook authors.  While there is a role for these leveled materials, they cannot be considered authentic literature.  On the other hand, the term “trade books” refers to publications written for native speakers of a language, for entertainment and enlightenment.  They can be fiction and nonfiction, and are the source from which a teacher draws for authentic reading experiences for his or her language learners.

The literature included in a foreign or second language program will include classic as well as popular stories, familiar tales as well as recent bestsellers.  Illustrations will often play a part in choices for those who will need them to support the text in the target language.  But this is not to say that illustrations are merely support, as they are sometimes the “star” of the show.   Peter Catalanotto, for example, is an artist whose paintings enhance more than forty stories for children.5 

Young children who are still developing their first language can enjoy “reading” picture books.  They may be guided by a teacher to follow the story page-by-page; they may use their first as well as the target language to comment.  In any case, language is growing through the engagement with literature.

Graphic novels also, once better known as comic books, comprise a genre that can be perfectly suited to the language classroom library.

The literature pool available to adult language learners might start with works that have been identified for a “bestseller’s list” by a newspaper or book dealer.  Mystery stories—the detective genre—can be excellent for contemporary language and views of popular culture.

To Be Continued.