Sunday April 13, 2014: "Surrealists in the classroom" by Susan Sullivan

posted Apr 20, 2014, 12:26 AM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 26, 2014, 1:24 AM ]

On April 13 Sue Sullivan gave an interesting and well-planned presentation cum workshop in which she showed us how to introduce and integrate elements of Futurism, Dadaism, Cubism and/or Surrealism into the general young adult EFL classroom. She has had success having her university students interpret poetry, especially, by interacting with their classmates. Students in her classes have used all four macro-skills and made creative visual mini-projects for review and discussion by other students.

From this writer's perspective, perhaps the most important linguistic value of Sullivan's introductions and explorations of these artistic and literary movements is the copious amount of students' negotiation of meaning that takes place when they try to apply what they've learned and then accurately explain their projects to numerous classmates. Students are required to expend quite a bit of effort so that others can grasp their intended meaning. The explorations of the history and circumstances of these pivotal movements would probably appeal to most curious students. The elements of her course as presented would likely be very well received in a general elective course, but might meet with resistance in more narrowly focused programs. 

Reported by Gregg McNabb

Hamamatsu JALT,
Apr 20, 2014, 12:27 AM