About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6358-6365
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

THE POETRY PORTAL: MOVING ALL ENGLISH LEARNERS THROUGH A FORCE FIELD OF LANGUAGE

B. Tramonte, D. Mahar

SUNY Empire State College (UNITED STATES)
In an educational climate enamored of science and math and the quantification of knowledge, poetry can offer students a boost on the ladder of language understanding. When a powerful interface between poem and reader is achieved, the poem is apprehended by both the mind and heart. This type of learning often has staying power and sparks higher electrical activity in the brain (Henry, 2013). How can teachers combat the negative reputation poetry has developed for today’s English Language students? Pop culture is rife with poetry. Even tweets use a condensed form of language having a derivative foothold in the land of poems. Clearly, hip-hop, rap and spoken word capture the imagination of young audiences around the world. Under-served communities of learners, English language learners and reluctant students can be opened to poetry in the English classroom with the use of spoken word, visuals, performance and classics from many traditions. In this paper, we will present learning activities for student-based success with the poetic form and will show how frequent poetry exposure increases reading fluency (Rasinski & Zimmerman, 2013). We will show how the classroom can become a vibrant mash-up of virtual performance, the lone human voice, voices in unison and words on the page. English Language Learners embrace poetry for its underlying musical qualities and all learners can open up to reading and writing in this genre which can be politically ardent and sometimes fraught with the emotions of our human condition.

Our global challenge includes being able to communicate with one another and to understand a multitude of perspectives. How do we achieve precision in our speech and in our writing and understanding of what we are trying to say? All humans have suffered from the frustration of not feeling understood or what William Wordsworth calls, “The sad incompetence of human speech.” (Wordsworth, 1917) Do we as educators have a mandate to keep our species moving toward eloquence and understanding. If so, how do we accomplish this? With poetry as a vehicle we are catapulted to levels of empathy and incisiveness. In poetry this happens by means of repetition and the direct manipulation of sound and imagery so that the brain experiences bursts of insight.

This paper critically examines the meaning and use of the “heightened” language of poetry. How does intensity in language differ from exaggeration? Do we, as humans, have a psychic need for originality? Can we recognize original thought or are we losing touch with it through the repeated bombardment of media clichés? These questions will be addressed in more depth in the paper.

References:
[1] Rasinski, T., & Zimmerman, B. (2013). Policy into Practice, Issue 4. A poem a day can keep fluency problems at bay. Retrieved from:
[2] http://www.lcosu.org/documents/pdfs/3GRG-PIP-04.pdf
[3] Henry, J. (January 13, 2013) Shakespeare and Wordsworth boost the brain. The Telegraph. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9797617/Shakespeare-and-Wordsworth-boost-the-brain-new-research-reveals.html
[4] Wordsworth, W. (1917). The Prelude. Retrieved from: http://www.bartleby.com/236/68.html
@InProceedings{TRAMONTE2014POE,
author = {Tramonte, B. and Mahar, D.},
title = {THE POETRY PORTAL: MOVING ALL ENGLISH LEARNERS THROUGH A FORCE FIELD OF LANGUAGE},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {6358-6365}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Tramonte AU - D. Mahar
TI - THE POETRY PORTAL: MOVING ALL ENGLISH LEARNERS THROUGH A FORCE FIELD OF LANGUAGE
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 6358
EP - 6365
ER -
B. Tramonte, D. Mahar (2014) THE POETRY PORTAL: MOVING ALL ENGLISH LEARNERS THROUGH A FORCE FIELD OF LANGUAGE, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 6358-6365.
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