Sociolinguistics And Fairy Tales; An Integrated Approach To Adult Esl Classroom Practice

1801 words - 7 pages

Rationale

The purpose of this study is to consider the current materials adult ESL students’ use and incorporate authentic material (through the use of fairy tales) as a way of helping adult learners achieve proficiency in second language through a mock prospectus.
This study investigates the sociolinguistic, sociocultural and psychological features found in fairy tales, including Grimm’s tales, and the potential of using modern fairy tales as practice material for ESL learners. It explores various dimensions of fairy tales and demonstrates how they can be used as content to instruct and provide language practice to ESL learners.

Fairy tales are predominantly taught to native English primary school students. They are a ‘semi-logical’ language that is inherent to the English language. Teachers can use similar texts so that adult ESL students can benefit becoming familiar with certain grammatical structures and vocabulary. It is essential to discover whether adult ESL students can comprehend the language used in fairy tales. Therefore, the following hypotheses can be made;
Are the linguistic features in a modern fairy tales similar to standard/basic everyday texts?
Do these texts have the potential to be authentic enough for standard language use?
Can these texts allow students to be more active and confident in their English proficiency and self-development?
What problems can occur if the mock prospectus is implicated?

The main theory used in this study will be Krashen’s Input Hypothesis; the ‘i’ as the students’ familiarity with the stories and the +1 as the target language acquired. Teachers must provide students with opportunities to use meaningful language and, allow for immediate corrective feedback.
Storytelling is a powerful tool in language learning when combined with activities that encourage students’ expressions in language and feedback.

Firstly, the relationships between fairy tales, the linguistics of myths and semiotics will be examined. As fairy tales contain signs that can dictate cultural and social context, they allow deeper levels of interpretation; stated as ‘mythical language’ and aid meaning, sharing and bonding, while encouraging ‘self-discovery’. The also resolve conflicts through symbolic communications.

Secondly, Zinn’s (1990) five main theories of adult education is over viewed, concluding with how tales can be used as a means to integrating learning in adults ESL classrooms.

Thirdly, in the methodology, the description of the “prospectus” will be described, outlining objectives and lessons plan for the fairy tale Rapunzel, which will be shown to principals and teachers of two English language schools in the Milton Keynes area. It will contain suggestions, materials, questionnaires and interview questions.

Fourthly, in the results, the teachers’ interview responses and data collected from interviews will be analysed. Illustrating how the prospectus can help teach practical language skills,...

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