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Articles on literature

Ideas on how to use literature in your classes with all ages.

Using Dickens in class

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and the British Council has been helping to celebrate his 200th birthday. One way that we have done this is by making teaching materials which can help teachers introduce Dickens into their lessons.  If you go to http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/dickens you will find a lot of material.  There is a performance of readings from Dickens with music.  This is 1 hour 27 minutes, and you could use it all, or sections.  There is a series of short (up to 5 minutes) videos about some of the characters from Dickens’ novels, the ‘Heroes and Villains’, and there are 14 lesson plans with materials to use in your classes.

Using poems to develop productive skills

You and your students might already enjoy reading and listening to poetry in your own language and perhaps in English too. Poems are, after all, authentic texts.

Writing picture books

A Spice Island

Our guest walked down the aircraft steps onto the tarmac and was greeted by a small band and a few dancers dressed in traditional costume.  I wondered if I should tell him that we hadn’t arranged the reception and that it wasn't for him. I mumbled an explanation, but I don't think I was heard.

Get lit up: literature as a teacher's best friend

Literature. Quite a divisive word, that. Throw it through an open window into a room full of language teachers and most will dive behind furniture, fingers in their ears and looks of horror on their faces.

Complete poetry resuscitation

A lot of teachers get the same look - the sigh, the rolling eye, the slump. "We're going to be doing poetry in the next few classes". You cringe through it, they cringe through it.

Using poems to develop receptive skills

I like to bring poetry into the classroom because I believe that it is important and motivating for students to work with authentic texts.

Creating a class play

In this article a teacher reflects on his experiences of creating plays and using them to help motivate students to develop their English.

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Motivating pupils to read 2

This is the second of two articles that look at ways to apply the process model of motivation as proposed by Dornyei (2001) to a number of suggestions and techniques for making the challenge of reading authentic literature accessible and motivating.

Using poems to develop receptive skills

I like to bring poetry into the classroom because I believe that it is important and motivating for students to work with authentic texts.

Learning English through children's literature

This article is about the British Council's Young Learners Centre in Paris and how they use children's literature in their teaching of English

Using drama texts in the classroom

In this article, I try to define what I mean by language learning through drama/theatre texts, outline some of the benefits it can bring to the language learning classroom and some of the differing methods and approaches that can be utilised to fully exploit the potential of drama and theatre texts.

Writing picture books

Storytelling - benefits and tips

We often give stories to our students to read, but how often do we tell them a story? This article looks at the benefits of storytelling and gives advice on performance skills

Using Dickens in class

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and the British Council has been helping to celebrate his 200th birthday. One way that we have done this is by making teaching materials which can help teachers introduce Dickens into their lessons.  If you go to http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/dickens you will find a lot of material.  There is a performance of readings from Dickens with music.  This is 1 hour 27 minutes, and you could use it all, or sections.  There is a series of short (up to 5 minutes) videos about some of the characters from Dickens’ novels, the ‘Heroes and Villains’, and there are 14 lesson plans with materials to use in your classes.

Motivating pupils to read

This is the first of two articles that look at ways to apply the process model of motivation as proposed by Dornyei (2001) to a number of suggestions and techniques for making the challenge of reading authentic literature accessible and motivating.

Pages

A Spice Island

Our guest walked down the aircraft steps onto the tarmac and was greeted by a small band and a few dancers dressed in traditional costume.  I wondered if I should tell him that we hadn’t arranged the reception and that it wasn't for him. I mumbled an explanation, but I don't think I was heard.

Complete poetry resuscitation

A lot of teachers get the same look - the sigh, the rolling eye, the slump. "We're going to be doing poetry in the next few classes". You cringe through it, they cringe through it.

Creating a class play

In this article a teacher reflects on his experiences of creating plays and using them to help motivate students to develop their English.

Get lit up: literature as a teacher's best friend

Literature. Quite a divisive word, that. Throw it through an open window into a room full of language teachers and most will dive behind furniture, fingers in their ears and looks of horror on their faces.

Learning English through children's literature

This article is about the British Council's Young Learners Centre in Paris and how they use children's literature in their teaching of English

Motivating pupils to read

This is the first of two articles that look at ways to apply the process model of motivation as proposed by Dornyei (2001) to a number of suggestions and techniques for making the challenge of reading authentic literature accessible and motivating.

Motivating pupils to read 2

This is the second of two articles that look at ways to apply the process model of motivation as proposed by Dornyei (2001) to a number of suggestions and techniques for making the challenge of reading authentic literature accessible and motivating.

Storytelling - benefits and tips

We often give stories to our students to read, but how often do we tell them a story? This article looks at the benefits of storytelling and gives advice on performance skills

Pages

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