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Studying the poetry of Philip Larkin in the tertiary-level ELT classroom: a twofold approach.

Author(s): Andy Dixon

Journal: Tarih Kültür ve Sanat Araştırmaları Dergisi
ISSN 2147-0626

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 235;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Philip Larkin | ELT classroom | language skills | appreciation of poetry.

The paper explores the advantages gained from combining the thematic study of selected works of a significant poet - in this case Philip Larkin - and the exploitation of these works for the purpose of developing the four language skills. A detailed analysis of poems illustrative of the main themes of a particular poet's oeuvre not only provides opportunities for a wider understanding of his or her work than might be the case if the poet is being studied solely, as often occurs in tertiary-level classes, to demonstrate his or her historico-literary position and significance in the canon, but can also lead to numerous possibilities for language acquisition. As a by-product of a thematic approach, students will hopefully also be led to discover in the poetry areas of experience relevant to themselves, and this should, in turn, lead to reflection which will be given verbal or written expression. A selection of a poet's works, then, can usefully be read with a thematic focus in the context of a course in literature and simultaneously utilised as a language teaching and learning resource.
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