Review Teaching English literature / Shorties: Flash fiction in English language teaching (a review)

original work by ENGELBERT THALER reviewed by ROBERT WILLIAMS

Let me start by saying this is not just a training manual for English teachers interested in the teaching of literature in primary and secondary school or university but any language teacher interested in the teaching of literature. The examples are from English literature, but can easily be substituted by equivalent examples from literature in other languages, although the English literature examples are frequently fascinating. The book encompasses a comprehensive comparative study of theories of literature and is divided into five broad areas: the basis (definitions of literature and why study it), competences that students should acquire through literature classes, the different genres of literature and finally the relationship between literature and modern media and how to assess students’ LCC (Literary Communicative Competence). In Thaler’s opinion the study of literature is a relatively new field. Although literary criticism (‘lit.crit.’ to the lovers of abbreviations) has been around since the 19th century, the domain of literature has been dramatically expanded by the growth in media, offering new styles and approaches to literature and in particular the spectacular growth of online reading.

ROBERT WILLIAMS. Former chair of the ICC. Has over 30 years’ experience in language education as a teacher, teacher trainer, materials writer, assessor and consultant. Also trained as a conference interpreter and for the past 15 years has been involved in teaching intercultural communication directly in company and within trainer training. Currently a principal lecturer in the Dpt of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Westminster. Teaches on the MA TESOL (leading modules on Testing and Materials Development) and is course leader for the MA International Liaison and Communication, a pioneering course training people to be the bridge across communities and between language groupings. Currently the internal quality assurance member for CoMoViWo – a project designing intercultural communication training material in English and Spanish, with a specific focus on e- communication.

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