Need of teaching poetry publishers (Aims and method)

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   Need of teaching poetry publishers

         Some people regard the teaching of poetry as unnecessary. They say that our school children cannot understand the charm and beauty of English poetry. They also argue that teaching of poetry does not help in the learning of language. Moreover, the foreign background of most of the English poems is unknown to Indian children. It is also difficult to find a teacher who can do justice to teaching of poetry and teach it with full mastery over the skill.

       But, their arguments against the teaching of English poetry do not justify the exclusion of poetry from the secondary school levels. It tends to develop the emotional, imaginative and aesthetic sides of the student’s personality. The students are sure to enjoy and appreciate English poetry if it is taught well. Hence, teaching of poetry must be · included in the English school course.

Methods of teaching English poetry

       There is no particular method of teaching poetry. Each poetry needs an exclusive method and treatment. For teaching poetry, teachers · should plan before hand. After this, the following steps may be followed-

       (1) First of all, the teacher should tell the students about the general aims and specific aims of the poem.

       (2) Secondly, the teacher should give appropriate introduction to arouse the interest of the pupils and create proper atmosphere for the poem which he is going to teach. The introduction differs for every poem and depends on the life of the poet. It requires a biographical sketch of the author. In case the poem is historical, introductory talk should be about its historical background.

       (3) After introducing the poem, the teacher should read it aloud. This is an important step because the message and beauty of a poem can be conveyed to the pupils only when he reads it well.

       (4) After reading the poem, the teacher should ask two or three pupils to read it. He should help them to recite it rhythmically, taking care of their pronunciation, intonation, rise and fall of the voice. This will enable them to feel the music and beauty of its language.

       (5) When the pupils finish the reading of the poem, the teacher should come to the study of the poem. He should explain the difficult words but his explanation should be only so much as may enabl the pupils to have a general understanding of the poem. While making a study of the poem, he should point out its beauty and force, clarify the reference involved, bring out the beauty of the figures of speech and throw light on the ideas involved.

       (6) When the poem has been fully explained and discussed, the teacher should read the poem again. This reading will have a greater effect on the pupils because much has already been said about the poem.

       (7) When the teacher finishes his reading of the poem, he should ask the pupils to read it again for the sake of enjoyment only.

       (8) In the procedure of recapitulation, one or more of the following devices can be adopted-

(i) Questions by the teacher on the phraseology, figures of speech allusions and beauties of the poem

(ii) Question by the pupils and their answers by the teacher

(iii) Discussion about the effect of the poem

(iv) Discussion about the feelings and thoughts aroused by the poem     ·

(v) Comparison of the poem read with other poems on the same themes

(vi) Recitation of lines liked most by students

(vii) The last step in the teaching of poetry is the final reading of the poem by the teacher. He should read it aloud in order to leave the students in a poetic atmosphere.

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Aims of teaching poetry

  1. Aims-The aims can be put under two headings-

(i) General aims

(ii) Specific aims

(i) General Aims

       (1) To enable students to understand the passage and group its meaning.

       (2) To enable the pupils to read English passage loudly with correct pronunciation, stress, intonation, pause and articulation of voice.

(3) To enable them to get knowledge contained in the lesson.

(4) To enrich their active and passive vocabularies.

(ii) Specific Aim

       Specific aims vary according to the subject matter of the prose- lesson,  such as-

Story-(a) to give knowledge of some facts through the story.

(b) To train students’ character.

(c) To teach some lesson through the story.

Essay-(a) To get students to receive knowledge.

(b) To make them curious about the subject of the essay.

(c) To enable them to arrange ideas in a systematic way.

       Preparation-For preparation, the lesson of, four points should be considered.

       (1) Material aids-The teacher should use various materials; aids to make the lesson interesting.

       (2) Previous knowledge-He should ask few questions to test the knowledge of the students.  , ·

(i) Introduction of the subject-matter.

(ii) Statement of different aims of the lesson.

      (3) Presentation-This is the main part of the lesson plan. To present the lesson before pupils interestingly and efficiently, the teacher should teach the lesson in two or more units. If the lesson is very short only one unit should be made. The following steps should be followed in both units-

       (1) Model reading by the teacher should be done.

(2) Loud reading should be done by students.

(3) After model reading, there should be pronunciation drill.

      (4) After loud reading, exposition and explanation should be done. The teacher can employ the following methods for exposition of words-

(a) Direct method

(b) Usage method

(c) Translation method

(d) Contrasted word method

(e) Derivation method

(f) Reference method

 

        (4) Recapitulation-After teaching the lesson in one or more units, there should be recapitulation of the lesson.

        (5) Black-board work-It contains the following

(a) Marginal entries

(b) Words of pronunciation drill

(c) Table of exposition work.

      Black-board can be used for removing reading difficulties, writing the comprehension and recapitulatory questions and their answers. The assignment can also be written on the black-board.

      (6) Assignment– Students should  be  given  some  such assignments.

(a) To remember the meaning and spelling of new words.

(b) To write the gist.

      (c) To answer questions on the page.

(d) To give the synonyms and antonyms of the new words.

      (e) To explain words, phrases and idioms.

Difference between teaching of prose and poetry

      We should know that a lesson in poetry is not to be taught, the Way a lesson in prose is taught. Poetry and phrase are distinct forms of literature. The nature, aims and methods of teaching poetry are quite different from those of prose. The points of difference between teaching of prose and poetry are given below-

       (1) Difference in aim of teaching-The aims of teaching prose and poetry are quite different from each other. Poetry is not to be taught for developing the language. Skills of the students. – This purpose can be better served by prose. The of teaching poetry is to give emotional pleasure to the students by appealing to their aesthetic sense and power of imagination.

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      (2) Difference in teaching procedure-While prose is designed to improve the vocabulary of the students, poetry is taught to train their aesthetic sense. While teaching a prose lesson, the teacher concentrates upon making the pupils grasp all language items, such as vocabulary and structures. But in teaching a poem, he only aims at enabling the pupils to have a general understanding and appreciation of the poem. Drilling the structure and teaching of grammar are considered important steps but in poetry, they are not emphasized. In it, the main thrust is on making the language enjoyable. Hence, the poem should be taught in such a way that the students enjoy the beauty of the language. The teacher should create conditions and situations in which a poem may have its fullest significance for the student. The teacher should follow the following steps in order to enable the students to enjoy it fully-

  1. The first step in teaching a poem is to give an appropriate introduction to it. It should be brief and to the point It should consists of giving the background of the poem and a clue to the historical and mythological references in the poem. ·
  2. If there are certain words or lines which are yond the understanding of the students, they should be explained before teaching ·’ the poem, but as little an explanation should be used as possible .
  3. This should the followed by the reading of the poem. The best way to read a poem is to bring out the charm of its sound. The voice, the tone, the rise and fall of tone and the rhythm should be in perfect order. The teacher should read it in order to express the actual feelings of the poet.
  4. After it a couple of boys should be asked to read the poem. Students can also be made to read the poem silently. It will create a love for poetry in the mind of the students.
  5. Then some pertinent questions should be asked by the teacher in order to enable the students to understand the poem fully. The teacher should ask carefully prepared questions. The whole art of teaching poetry lies in the skill of asking right type of questions. The teacher can assess the response of the students to the beauty of the poem as it is not the teaching that is important but the response.
  6. The teacher should read out the whole poem once again. This

Should be followed by loud reading by the student.

  1. The students should be asked, at the end, to learn the poem by heart.

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