Literature matters at IATEFL

Starting with the Literature, Media and Cultural Studies Pre-Conference event on Tuesday. We had a full day reading and discussing World War II in literature, film and song. It was a very moving and at the same time entertaining day. Alan Maley and David A. Hill guided the 25 participants through many pieces of WWI poetry and a reflection of the lasting influence of the conflict in politics, policies, and our views of the world. Papers and classroom activities used in the workshops will soon be published in the LMCS SIG Newsletter, so if you want to have access to a number of fantastic activities to explore WWI in literature with your students, join the SIG to get your copy.


The LMCS SIG Day was on Friday and you can see the presentations that were part of the programme below. Presenters will also be writing papers based on their presentations  which will be then published in forthcoming issue of the SIG  newsletter.

Literature and learning technologies: an experience in pre-service teacher education
Mariel Roxana Amez (IES O. Cossettini – ISPI San Bartolome, Rosario, Argentina)
Mariel showcased tasks and activities, based on digital technologies, implemented in
literature classes in pre-service teacher education in Rosario, Argentina, and the selfassessment of online performance through criterion-referenced instruments. She also
invited reflection on the contextualised development of e-competencies in new learning
environments as a means to contribute to learner autonomy. Very interesting indeed!

Graphic narratives: ideal choice for both reluctant and ambitious readers
Janice Bland (University of Vechta) The traditional skills that can be exercised with literary texts include text analysis, literary interpretation and learning to change perspective. Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, remediated as Scorsese’s prize-winning film Hugo, offers the EFL classroom more. Janice discussed the narrative and cinematic devices employed in the book, and how and why they appeal to the EFL student.

Versatile beginnings Elsbeth Mader (Private School, Switzerland) In this hands-on interactive workshop, Esbeth tapped into your own creative potential and find out how the beginnings of novels can help you to exploit your students’ imaginations, while providing them with practice in all four skills and raising their language awareness.

Remembrance and memorials: constructing cultural memory. Alan Pulverness (NILE) Warhorse or Regeneration? Birdsong or Blackadder? How have novels and films  contributed to the construction – or reconstruction – of national memory? Focusing on the gap between the experience of war and its memorialisation, in this workshop Alan showed showed ways in which the classroom can develop critical reading skills and awareness of key cultural concepts.

Reading for pleasure: a path to learner autonomy? Amy Brown (International House Newcastle) Through the experience of establishing an extensive reading (ER) library within the Personal Study Programme (PSP) at International House Newcastle, this talk Amy reflected  on how we can use ER to promote and support learner autonomy as a whole. She discussed the practicalities and pitfalls of such an approach and review experimentation with a reading-aloud group.

Mariel and David on the LMCS SIG Day
Mariel Amez and David A. Hill on the LMCS SIG Day

We also had our SIG Open forum on Friday when the SIG committee members told participants about the SIG’s current finances and state of affairs and about the initiatives for the year ahead. A sad note was to say goodbye to David A. Hill as the coordinator of the SIG. David has guided us for six years and is now stepping down to take care of personal issues. I want to publicly thank David for his support and for being such a great friend. The good news is that David will keep supporting us from a little bit afar and also keep writing his literature column for Voices.

I am now at the helm and counting on the support of both my current colleagues in the SIG committee and the new members coming aboard. More SIG news soon.