How to use children’s poetry in young-adult EFL classes
Burcin Kagitci, Friday 16.00-16.30

What comes to your mind when we utter the word ‘literature’? For many people, the visual image is an old distant library with dusty shelves which shelter thick difficult books, commonly thought to be appropriate only for advanced learners. However, being easier to comprehend and having less complex language structures, children’s literature is a significant part of English language literature and is advisable to use in EFL classrooms with students from all ages, having such benefits for learners as being authentic material, encouraging interaction, educating the students in terms of the outside world, and being highly motivating as students take it as an accomplishment. While preparing a lesson including a literary work, the important thing is to decide ‘what kind of literature’ to use at which level and in which class. Apart from the works of drama, short story and novel, ‘poems’ are undoubtedly very practical to use and easy to analyse in English language classes, being the most personal fiction form, focusing more on pronunciation, stress and intonation and giving the students a better chance to create their own versions. Since English poems may seem to be too challenging for learners, it is a good idea to introduce them with slightly simpler but more comprehensible works of children’s poetry, of which we can find many good examples to use in our lessons.
In this brief presentation, I will talk about the benefits of combining children’s poetry and English language teaching in young-adult classes, mainly dealing with the works of Christina Rossetti, who is one of the most well-known Victorian poets writing for children. Giving a few examples from her works, I will share my opinions on how to exploit these great children poems in a young-adult classroom and provide our young learners with a more enthusiastic approach to poetry.

I graduated from English Language and Literature Deparment of a respected university in Turkey in 2006. I got the Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults in London in 2008. I have worked as an English teacher at nursery schools, primary schools and am currently teaching at a university preparatory school.