Learning literature by talking

by / Tuesday, 25 November 2014 / Published in Articles, Featured

More students learn literature better by allowing them to talk instead of being talked to.

This is according to writer-lecturer Isagani Cruz, who recommends that the better way to teach literature is to allow students to talk at least half of the time.

Cruz said this method is being developed in a series of literature lessons he has started for teh Foundation for Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE) through its Continuing Studies via Technology (Constec) program.

The La Salle Unviersity literature teacher, [b]Philippine Star[b] columnist, critic and playwright, said the discussion of the text should occupy 40 percent.

“That leaves a mere 10 percent of the time for the teacher to lecture, to five instruction, of to answer questions,” Cruz said.

“One of my advocacies in teaching literature teachers is to bring back the focus on the the author,” he said.”I advocate, instead of teacher-centered teaching techniques, student-center learning and author-centered lessons.”

So, Cruz said, he first “feeds the text by talking abouth the author and the tradition to which the literary text belongs.”

He said he asks the teachers to read the text in class as “reading is important, becuase it not only enables thea uthor to ‘talk’ but also allows students to hear the words (if the text is a poem, to feel the meter and appreciate the rhymes, if any).”

“Then the teacher has to enhacne the text which really means giving students insights into the text that may be derived from literary theory, pedagogical experience, or current events,” Cruz said.

Finally, he said, the students can enjoy the text as they reread it with greater understanding.

Cruz works as a volunteer in FUSE, which has trained 14,141 teachers, distributed free 400 video compact discs and 21,000 education journals, and invited 157 experts and resources to its general assembly, which now total 159.

FUSE was organized on Dec. 1, 2004 by Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, Rep. Salvador H. Escuder III and Dr. Lucio Tan. It is a major benefiriciary of Tan Yan Kee Foundation.