Accentuating the Importance of Teaching Poetry in an ESL Classroom

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Dr. Huma Zaidi
Ariba Zainab


With the sudden growth of English Language Teaching (ELT) programmes in India during the last few decades and more specifically towards the last decade of the past millennium, the role of linguistics came to be quite often over emphasized in ELT. They became the obiter dicta in all aspects relating to ELT from curriculum designing to evaluating the terminal and expected achievement results. These linguistic experts went in the other extreme directions as the experts of literature had done earlier. The literary experts had looked with disdain at teaching language items separately from literary text and strongly disfavoured language drills at the under-graduate level. The teaching of grammar, independent of literary text, was considered almost anathema. Where the situation favoured, the linguists tended to go in the direction where only language items could be taught without any aid from literary text. However, when these linguistic enthusiasts realized that drill-oriented classes, especially with adult learners, could be monotonous and eventually counterproductive, they conceded to use prose pieces for teaching language items. Teaching of poetry for learning English or augmenting the already acquired expressive power of the learner is still not widely favoured. The focus of this paper is to emphasize the importance of teaching poetry to second language learners. It discusses how poetry helps in learning the features of modern English, and enables the learners to see how English linguistic system is used for communication.


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Dr. Huma Zaidi, and Ariba Zainab. “Accentuating the Importance of Teaching Poetry in an ESL Classroom”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 2, no. 3, Aug. 2017, pp. 318-24,
Research Articles


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