Integrating fairy tales into Taiwan’s EFL
and art classes at the elementary level

Ya-Chen Su, Saturday 13.00-13.30

A college teacher and two elementary teachers in Taiwan worked together as an action-based research team for promoting children’s literature. The purpose of the study was to develop an understanding of (1) how the research team worked together to use three fairy tales—“Rapunzel,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty”—to develop lessons which integrate English with art; (2) how class activities (e.g., group work, children book design) help students improve their language skills as well as their creative thinking skills; and (3) how students’ perceptions toward EFL and art classes have been changed. 35 grade-six students agreed to participate in the study. Data were collected by interviews with students, classroom observation, and various written documents (e.g., lesson plans, teachers’ journey entries, students’ exercise sheets, and students’ written works). Results found that (1) through using fairly tales, teachers created a variety of interesting, fun, and authentic activities to help students increase their learning interests in English and art. (2) Students enjoyed reading English versions of fairly tales. They comprehended the content and the story structure easily because they felt familiar with these stories. Repeated language patterns in texts along with activities also help students understand how to use these patterns appropriately in real life. (3) students’ English language skills and their creative thinking were enhanced when they created their children’s books in English. Students also changed their learning attitudes in art and English classes.

Ya-Chen Su received a Ph. D. from the Department of Curriculum Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. She is an associate professor in the Department of Applied English at Southern Taiwan University, Tainan, Taiwan. Her specializations are second language acquisition, EFL reflective teaching, and textbook analysis.