A study of university students in Japan: poetic engagement and English language learning

McIlroy, Tara (2020). A study of university students in Japan: poetic engagement and English language learning. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Poetry is widely considered to be challenging for second language (L2) learners but recent studies have suggested that the use of poetry in the second language classroom can provide opportunities for authentic and meaningful interaction and learning. This thesis argues that learners in Japan have had specific cultural experiences with poetry which can be more fully exploited in the use of poems in L2 learning. Drawing on sociocultural theory and learner engagement, the thesis explores the benefits of encouraging Japanese university-level learners of English to engage with poetry in their English language programmes, reveals how such learners draw on their existing experiences with poetry in Japanese, and makes suggestions for pedagogical implementations.
The investigation reports a questionnaire about prior poetry learning and two ‘poetry response’ studies in which students were asked to respond orally (study 1) and in written form (study 2) to a series of poems in English. The findings from the questionnaire and both studies show that discussing poetry creates opportunities for authentic reading and language use, and that writing responses to poetry can be a particularly engaging activity, both cognitively and emotionally. The findings from this thesis suggest that poems have the potential to be used as engaging, fluency-nurturing texts in the L2 classroom.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American and Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10469


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