The course of understanding British and American prose and poetry by future managers

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1 4. Полат Е. С. Новые педагогические и информационные технологии в системе образования. М.: Просвещение, Гальцова Н. П., Мезенцева Т. И., Швадленко И. А. Использование электронных информационно-образовательных ресурсов поддержки научных исследований молодых ученых./вестн. Томского гос. пед. ун-та (Tomsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin). В.10. Серия: Педагогика, Кушниренко А. Г., Леонов А. Г., Кузьменко М. А. и т. д. Что такое Интернет? Информационные и коммуникационные технологии в образовании./информатика и образование, Щукин А. Н. Новый интенсивный метод обучения. Журнал «Иностранные языки в школе», Глазов Б. И. Ловцов Д. А. Компьютеризированный учебник-основа новой информационно-педагогической технологии./педагогика, Пассов Е. И. Коммуникативный метод обучения иностранному говорению.- М.: Просвещение, Полат Е. С. Инновационные технологии на уроках иностранного языка. Журнал «Иностранные языки в школе», Zorina Elena Evgenievna, the Saint Petersburg branch of Financial University Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages E mail: The course of understanding British and American prose and poetry by future managers Abstract: The article performs development of future managers professional competence in the process of studying prose and poetry regarding English-speaking countries. This course finishes with discussing the film Dead Poets Society where the issues of prose and poetry are taught in an inspiring way. The course evaluation is rated according to the activities the students are involved in. Keywords: professional competence, prose, poetry, the film Dead Poets Society, evaluation. Future managers face the necessity to develop their professional competence that does not only result in their being knowledgeable about the innovative tendencies in management and economy and developing their managerial skills, but also enhancing their intercultural foreign communication and applying various techniques of its realisation in different business situations. 147

2 Section 9. Pedagogy These outcomes are mainly achieved by studying the course English and Speech Culture and understanding prose and poetry by university students. The syllabus is designed so as to involve the students into the world of British and American prose and poetry by means of 1) making reports on the writers and poets; 2) getting engaged in mini-lessons related to understanding poetry better; 3) discussing the main idea of the short stories and poems in conversations and essays; 4) analysing the poetic devices which enhance the main idea of the poems; 5) creating their own poems in order to show how poetic devices support the main idea; 6) writing responsive annotations and giving the analysis to the pieces of writing. This course includes two major parts: understanding prose and understanding poetry. Each logical part is supplied with some aids to help the students get deeper into the world of prose and poetry regarding English-speaking countries. Let us consider the contents of each part separately. In order to succeed in understanding prose the students are to stick to the following strategies: 1) make notes on the information presented in each Lesson [1, 4 35]; be ready to write a quiz; 2) when reading the assigned short story at home, be sure you understand it, be ready to discuss it in class; 3) practise the strategies discussed in class on one of the short stories; 4) make a report about one of the writers; 5) prepare a book report. Each Lesson is supplied with strategies on the topics, such as Introduction to Analytical Reading, Functional Style, Précis, Structure, Point of View, Key Mood, Theme. They are thoroughly considered on the basis of the following short stories: A Cup of Tea by Katherine Mansfield, Everyday Use by Alice Walker, Haircut by Ring Lardner, The Storm by Kate Chopin and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Their discussion leads to reading for technique and interpretively, i. e. practising the given strategies on the short stories. Understanding prose can be fully implemented only when the basic facts about the writers are presented to the whole class in a form of a report. The reports are assessed according to the five criteria: 1) organisation; 2) facilitation of discussion; 3) a choice of language and grammar; 4) a manner of presenting; 5) additional sources [2, 67]. The course of understanding prose also focuses on choosing a chapter from a book for individual reading that proves to correlate with the students interests. The students decide on classical or modern pieces of writing by British or American authors. Among them there can be The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, Persuasion by Jane Austen, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, The Catcher in the Rye by Jerome David Salinger, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, My Sister s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Stand by Stephen King. The students work can be assessed by following these criteria: 1) organisation; 2) a choice of language and grammar; 3) a manner of presenting; 4) new words translated into Russian; 5) a summary of the chapter. 148

3 The effective understanding of poetry is achieved by the following strategies: 1) make notes on the information presented in each Chapter [2, 5 34]; 2) write out the definition for each term suggested in the Topical Vocabulary; be ready to write a quiz; 3) when reading the assigned poem at home, be sure you understand it, be ready to discuss it in class; 4) make a report about one of the poets; 5) get involved in a mini-lesson; 6) give the analysis of a poem discussed within the course; choose from «My Last Duchess» by Robert Browning, «Mirror» by Sylvia Plath, «As I Walked Out One Evening» by Wystan Hugh Auden; consult the critical questions for reading poetry [2, 33], arrange your ideas in a logical way to support your ideas. Each Chapter includes such topics as Pattern, Persona and Tone, Poetic Language, Play of Sounds and Words, Review. The additional sources help to ponder over more poetic issues in a form of mini-lessons ( Performing Poetry, Types of Poems, Punctuation, Personification, Allusions, Imagery, Symbolism, Paradox, How to Write a Sound Poem, How to Write Exaggerations ). They are assessed in the following way: 1) organisation; 2) facilitation of discussion; 3) a choice of language and grammar; 4) a manner of presenting; 5) additional sources. The poetic issues discussion results in the students analysing poems, which cannot be implemented without discussing the creative career of the poets who made a great contribution to British and American poetry as well as the main idea revealed in their pieces of writing. Among them are I m Nobody and There s a Certain Slant of Light by Emily Dickinson, On the Circuit by Wystan Hugh Auden, My Papa s Waltz by Theodore Roethke, One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker, The Road Not Taken, Out, Out and Mending Wall by Robert Frost, Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, O, Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman, Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks and Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. The actual topics revealed in both prose and poetry are discussed in conversations which are to be arranged according to these requirements: 1) narrow the topic suggested for discussion, make it problematic; 2) use brainstorming to provide solutions to the assigned problem; 3) decide on the context of your discussion: choose the venue and assign the roles; 4) present your discussion, minding the range of vocabulary and structures to deal with the topic, a choice of grammar, vocabulary and style, communicative effectiveness, listening comprehension, general impression. The discussions are based on the following issues: Social Justice and Human Rights, Cultural Heritage, Incongruities in Everyday Life, Interpretation and The Sound of Silence. The course of understanding prose and poetry finishes with discussing the film Dead Poets Society [3] where John Keating, an English teacher, inspires his students to change their way of life, while teaching prose and poetry. The film discussion is based 149

4 Section 9. Pedagogy on the assignments before, while and after watching it. The tasks contain a number of questions to be discussed in class. Some of them are revealed below. Before watching the whole film the students 1) discuss the principles of a conservative school (Why did the English teacher Mr Keating call the Welton Academy prep school Hell-ton and said, Yes, I too attended Hell-ton and survived?); 2) speak about teaching techniques at a conservative school (Can a teacher s free-thinking attitude lead to severe consequences?); 3) explain their attitude to the students (Can a student betray his own classmates because of the school s code of honour?). It is also necessary for them to pinpoint their attitude to the society mentioned in the title of the film as well as its purpose. While watching the students must make correlations with both the characters and events of the film. They are achieved by the following tasks: 1) What are the full names of the seven boys involved in the acting? 2) What are their dreams? 3) What pillars does the Welton Academy assert? 4) What unorthodox methods of teaching did Mr Keating resort to? What for? 5) What made the boys reconvene the Dead Poets Society? 6) What life opportunities did Mr Keating s free-thinking attitude reveal in the boys? 7) What made Todd be displeased with his own parents? What made Neil s father be displeased with his son? 8) Did Keating drop his teaching methods? Why? 9) Which student revealed the truth about the Dead Poet Society? Why? [4]. After-watching commenting on a number of quotes presented by the characters leads to the effective discussion of the main problems raised in Dead Poets Society. One of them is Mr Keating s explaining the essence of the Dead Poets Society: The Dead Poets were dedicated to sucking the marrow out of life. That s a phrase from Thoreau that we d invoke at the beginning of each meeting. You see we d gather at the old Indian cave and take turns reading from Thoreau, Whitman, Shelley; the biggies. Even some of our own verse. And in the enchantment of the moment we d let poetry work its magic We didn t just read poetry, we let it drip from our tongues like honey. Spirits soared, women swooned, and gods were created, gentlemen, not a bad way to spend an evening eh? [4]. The problem-oriented questions help the students ponder over the significance of the film: 1) What happened to the original Dead Poets Society? 2) Would Neil still have eventually committed suicide if Mr Keating had never come into his life? 3) Who really was to blame for Neil s death: Keating for starting the ball rolling, Mr Perry for being the archetypal 1959 father, Todd for not being strong enough to keep Neil from doing acting, Neil himself for taking carpe diem past the limits it was designed for? 4) With similarly screwed up parents as Neil s, why didn t Todd take the same way out? 5) In the initial screenplay, Todd specifically does not sign the paper at the end. In the movie, we are not told one way or the other. Did Todd sign it or not? 6) Who was really the bravest of Keating s boys? 7) What does the future hold for Keating and the boys? [5]. 150

5 The vivid discussion of the main problems is of great help for the students to begin writing an essay which reveals one of the urgent topics touched upon in the film. Among the topics are the following: Mr Keating in the eyes of his students, Free will vs discipline, Parents influence: improving or damaging a child s life?, Who is really guilty of Neil Perry s death?, To die or to follow your dream?, Poetry as a way of revealing students personalities, Mr Keating s future, Fates of the members of the Dead Poets Society. The structure of the essay must be based on one of the types: an opinion essay, for-and-against writing or an essay providing solutions to a problem. The course evaluation is rated according to the activities the students are involved in. The percentage for the term and pass-fail exam is represented as 40 % and 60 % respectively. Thus the term work includes quizzes (5 %), a report on a writer/poet (10 %), participating in a mini-lesson on understanding poetry (5 %), discussions (10 %) and essays (10 %). The activities for the pass-fail exam are a book report (20 %), writing an essay (20 %) and arranging a discussion (20 %). To crown it all, when understanding British and American prose and poetry the students as future managers gain worthwhile knowledge in the well-organised course and learn a lot from the course assignments due to clear evaluation procedures and a good learning experience. This way their professional competence is developed on the basis of enhancing intercultural foreign communication and applying various techniques to implementing it in business situations. References: 1. Аналитическое чтение: метод. рекомендации для студ. IV курса спец. «Иностр. яз.» англ. отд-ния фак. лингвистики ВятГГУ/[сост.: Н. Н. Кряжевских, О. В. Сычева, Е. Н. Шустова]. Киров: Изд-во ВятГГУ, c. 2. Читая поэзию: метод. рекомендации для студ. IV курса англ. отд-ния лингвистики, спец. «Иностр. яз.» (англ. яз.)/[сост. Е. Н. Шустова]. Киров: Изд-во ВятГГУ, c. 3. Dead Poets Society: Directed by Peter Weir. Touchstone Pictures, min. 4. Dead Poets Society: Final Script. Режим доступа: edu/~jkundert/drama3020/screenplays/deadpoetssociety.pdf. 5. Questions to Ponder about Dead Poets Society. Режим доступа: peterweircave.com/dps/questions.html. 151

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