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RUNNING HEAD: Materials Design and Lesson Planning

Critique on Materials Design and Lesson


Planning: Poetry
By Prof. Jonathan Acua Solano
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Twitter: @jonacuso
Post 175

Have language teachers ever been challenged with the teaching of poetry in the
language or literature class? Well the answer is a resounding yes! Many an instructor,
who has or had to deal with this particular subject matter, has probably endured anxiety,
despair, discontent, distress, and even exasperation at the thought of how to go about
teaching poetry in the language classroom. Lazar (1993), in her book Literature and

Language Teaching has a straightforward answer for any teacher who is about to embark
him/herself in the teaching of the art of poetic composition.

Prof. Jonathan Acua Solano

RUNNING HEAD: Materials Design and Lesson Planning

Lazar (1993) devised a series of reading tasks to help literature instructors to


better design and develop truthful activities within a task-based instruction orientation.
Basically, there is no reason why poetic literary pieces cannot be included in a regular
language class. Lazar (1993) proposes the following to work with poetry: exploiting
unusual language features in grammar, pronunciation or word choice; helping students
with figurative meanings, something that is common for poetry, how to use poetry with
low levels, how to use it to develop oral skills in a pronunciation class, and how to
challenge higher level learners with poetry, too.

The best section of Lazars article is her proposal in regards to what kind of
activities should be used within a task-based instruction cycle. Lazar (1993) insists on
working with poesy in terms of pre-, while-, and post-reading activities, which indeed
makes sense when it comes to planning and producing an enjoyment effect in a poetry
class. Her suggestions, as the ones included in her article (p. 127) are indeed great
departure points when the teacher is clueless and has basically- no idea whatsoever of
what to do with a poem. As a starting point, the instructor can design how a given poetic
piece can be taught, then develop the necessary activities for the whole TBI cycle, and
then think of a consolidation activity.
Lazars suggestions for poetry teaching are worth-while trying in the classroom.
They are indeed great help when planning and devising the right strategy for teaching
poetry or for using a poem to teach grammar, pronunciation, word choice, dialects,
literary devices, collocations, etc.
Prof. Jonathan Acua Solano

RUNNING HEAD: Materials Design and Lesson Planning

Lazar, G. (1993). Materials Design and Lesson Planning: Poetry. Literature and
Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP

Prof. Jonathan Acua Solano