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Learning a new language has always been a challenge that many have faced in the world today. These challenges have arisen due to several factors. Some of these factors are;
-the lack of personal monitoring and care to learners,
-lack of follow up by the tutors,
- Lack of challenge systems to enable learners to learn on their own as well as lack of proper learning plans for the learners taking part in the learning activities.
-Lack of proper learning plans for learners results in a jumbled up learning process where learners end up missing out on key language concepts that may act as pillars for proper use of the languages in future. Due to this, many students complete language courses while still not sharpened enough in the languages that they were supposedly learning.
However, this can be countered by making sure that attention is given to detail by tutors to their students as well as proper feedback given for assignments handed out to students. Also, practical lessons should be in the learning curriculum to accommodate for more interactive learning methods for students.
Planning a language learning lesson is also different from other lessons. The plan ought to assist participants develop with each lesson for language learning. It also ought to introduce them to the steps of a language learning lesson (H. D. Brown, 2001). Lesson plans ought to provide an effective learning experience for their students. This makes sure that time spent in class by students, learning, will help them achieve the goals that they intend to (Schaffer, D. & C. Van Duzer, 1984). It is also a time saving activity that helps the tutors avoid wasting time as well as reduce frustration, analyze and improve time spent tutoring.
I was assigned to three students who had joined the English class late and hence were having trouble catching up with the rest of the class. They were all newbies in learning English hence were all beginners in the class. From their registration information, I learnt that two of the students had just moved as part of an exchange program from Japan (Akinari) and Germany (Pia) while one was from Senegal (Didier). The class dynamic was two boys and a girl. Akinari and Pia, required close attention and help learning new languages.
This was largely due to the fact that Akinari’s and Pia’s native languages were Japanese and German respectively. They are languages that are relatively more difficult to use as a reference for some words as compared to Didier’s native language, French. All their English speaking skills were close to zero. They only understood basic greetings such as “Hello” or “Hi”, to which they gave same word replies. The Japanese student, I learnt later, had a previous attempt at studying English which had failed terribly. He had learnt almost nothing which he attributed to poor teaching in his previous class. Pia was a student who went out of her way to learn new things when something was taught to her. It was, therefore, no surprise that she proved to be the fastest learner in the class.
Hunter (1982) states that effective lessons emerge from learning objectives that are specific and that contain a unified set of learning activities. Needs assessment assist teachers in determining the communication needs of their students that is the situations in which the students need to understand, write and read English. In this case, since the students are in the beginner level, a simple needs test can be accomplished by showing learners photos or pictures of several situations such as a doctor’s office or a job site and asking them to consequently number the pictures in order of their need to understand, speak, read and write English. For advanced level students, the most appropriate needs assessment method would most likely be a questionnaire asking them to specify the situations in which they need to learn to speak English.
In addition to student needs, tutors have to consider other information regarding the students. This information includes and is not restricted to; the English proficiency level, educational background and the language of origin. Plan lessons can then begin once information about their backgrounds and language proficiency has been gathered. There are many styles of teaching and likewise, many ways to plan a lesson. However, the most effective lesson plans must have each of the following five components. The topic which can be gleaned from information gathered regarding a student’s communication needs. In the scenario of the students that I was assigned, I could choose ‘communicating with health personnel’ as the topic for a group of lessons if the students’ response to the pictorial quiz was a doctor speaking to a patient.
There also must be a learning objective which is the goal for a lesson or a group of lessons (Hunter, 1982). An objective that is well written tells learners what they will be able to do when the topic is over as opposed to telling them what they will have learnt. They should relate to the topics chosen by students during the needs assessment. For example, in the context of my class, if the topic of the lesson chosen was Communicating with health personnel, one appropriate beginner-level lesson objective might be, ‘by the end of this lesson, students will be able to describe symptoms to medical personnel.’
A good lesson plan also needs to have enabling skills which include grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary which should assist the students to accomplish the lesson objective (Hunter, 1982). For the topic such as ‘communicating with health personnel’, vocabulary might be, doctor, nurse, chest and headache. In the case of my class where the students had no prior English knowledge, vocabulary would be taught using interactive pictorial slides which associate photos to a meaning. Sound would also be used in the slides to assist the learners in getting pronunciation right.
A good lesson plan would also divide a single lesson into stages. The stages in the context of my class would for example include; warm-up or review, introduction, presentation, practice, evaluation, and application stages to assist students to achieve the desired objective. As teachers plan lessons, they can select activities for each stage that will move the students a step closer toward accomplishing the lesson objective. For example, with the health objective picked from my students needs assessment, ‘communicating with health personnel’, a teacher might demonstrate a dialogue between a patient and a doctor for the presentation stage, have students work with the dialogue as an assignment (substituting various symptoms) as part of the practice stage, and then do a role play activity as group work (working without the dialogue in front of them) for the evaluation and application stages of the lesson.
A crucial part of a good lesson plan would be having materials, equipment and technology to ensure that lessons are carried out as planned. For example in the context of my class, a projector or a monitor for slideshows would be instrumental in helping my students meet their lesson objectives. Other pieces of equipment that would come in handy would be flipcharts, markers, handouts that are tutor-made, DVD players and computers. They would make the learning process much easier than would be otherwise possible (Hunter, 1982).
The process described above worked for my students because, at the end of the tutorial or lesson, they were all able to animate a doctor patient dialogue to perfection. They also took it upon themselves to learn complex vocabulary not taught in class on their own. This was because this process of learning was centered on the student. In Akinari’s (the Japanese student) case, he stated that his previous class was too big for the tutor to pay specific attention to one learner. This also seemed to be the case with Pia (the German student) and Didier (the Senegalese student).
The different approach that I settled on was because the class consisted of three students which was manageable. Student specific tasks could be assigned as well as progress monitored through a whole exercise. The student centered approach also meant that they learnt what they wanted to know first from the needs assessment. This proved to be motivational. They seemed to enjoy the learning process and more so the application parts of the lessons where they simulated dialogues among themselves. The use of slideshows from a projector proved to be invaluable in helping the students learn new vocabulary and pronunciation. I thought that my method of learning would help because it did not rely heavily on memorizing. Visual stimulants and situational applications were used to ensure that the students would use the knowledge they gained successfully.
-Speaks German as a first language
-.very eager about learning English.
-She knew English on a light level. She could only speak very few greeting words.
-Scores 84%, rated as exemplary.
-French was his first language.
- Would find it relatively easier to learn English than the other two because of the similarity between English and French.
- Only knew a few greeting words
-Scores 92%, also exemplary.
- Had taken English lessons before to no avail.
-He knew English lightly as well, albeit slightly better than the others. He could not construct English sentences though.
- Scores 68% which was rated as average.
The method I used was the direct method. the leaner’s refrained from using their first language and were only permitted to communicate in English. We used slides of conversations, list of pictures of objects, their names and pronunciations; while the learners learnt grammar rules from the oral and written presentation of the language.
All the instructions to the students were given to the students in English, while I paid greater emphasis on listening and talking. They learnt concrete vocabulary from the picture in the slides while they learnt the abstract vocabulary from the interconnection between the earlier vocabularies. They were highly encouraged to ask whatever questions they had; while the other students were encouraged to answer the questions that their classmates had asked.
I also paid attention to one on one quizzing and appraisal in order to sufficiently handle their personal needs in a more personal manner.
I found this to be very effective as the students were not only learning to speak in English, but also think in English. In the end, they ended up performing very well in their grade, proof that this was a very effective method of teaching.
-Warm up / review: a list of the vocabulary to be encountered as well as their spellings and pronunciation.
-Introduction: Billy has a bad cold and has gone to Getwel Community Hospital for treatment. All that he sees there as well as the conversation he has with Dr. Risper is the material that will be used for teaching.
-Presentation: Indicate dialogue between patient and a doctor
-Practice: Have students work with the dialogue as an assignment (substituting various symptoms) as part of the practice stage
-Evaluation: carry out a role play activity as group work (working without the dialogue in front of them
-Application: similarly carry out a role play activity as group work (working without the dialogue in front of them
Checklist of the equipment required equipment:
-Handouts ( made by the tutor)
-DVD players ( computers with DVD drives may also do )
-Projector or monitor for slide shows.
Exemplary (70% - 100%) Average (50% - 70%) Poor (< 50%)
oral Should be able to name every item in the slideshow as well as animate the doctor
– patient conversation flawlessly Should be able to name most of the items in the slideshow, and reanimate the doctor
– patient conversation superficially well Only able to name very few items in the slide and incapable of reanimating the doctor
– patient conversation satisfactorily
Be capable of spelling most words from the slide well; be capable of writing the conversation satisfactorily.Be able to spell some words correct; and be able to write an essay of the doctor – patient conversation superficially well. Be incapable of spelling the words dictated; nor write an essay of the conversation.
1.Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Longman.
2.Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. (2005). Practitioner toolkit: Working with adult English language learners. Washington, DC: CAELA.
3.Hunter, M. (1982). Mastery teaching. El Segundo, CA: TIP Publications.
4.McMullin, M. (1992). ESL techniques: Lesson planning. Teacher training through video. White Plains, NY: Longman.
5.Schaffer, D., & Van Duzer, C. (1984). Competency-based teacher education workshops in CBE/ESL. Arlington, VA: Arlington County Public Schools.
Around 950 million people worldwide speak English as a second or foreign language. This is in addition to around 430 native speakers of the language. The first stage of the global spread of the language was a result of the British Empire. This stage is often known as imperialism, the second stage was a result of political, cultural and economic preeminence of the United States often known as neo-imperialism. The British Empire reached its height in the year 1922, where it covered a quarter of the entire Earth’s land area. This was a population of around 450 million people. It is here where the primary aim education in the British occupied colonies became the acquisition of the English language. Therefore, the future financial and academic success of those living in the colonized countries became to depend mainly on the English language ability.
Further, it is important to understand that after World War II, countries began to gain independence and most of them maintained English as their official or national language. This was because most of the leaders of these nations were themselves products of the English colonial education. These factors by the British Empire has made English to become the sole dominant language, being an official language in over 75 territories that have a combined population of over 2.2 billion persons.
The American Empire has also played a major role when it comes to the propulsion of English as the dominant language in the world. The United States economy is the largest in the world and it remains the only World superpower after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Therefore, the global reach of America’s economic, cultural and political influence has contributed significantly when it comes to the bolstering of English as the dominant language in the world. Further, American has spawned a large number of musical influences. It is also imperative to understand that in the information age of the 21st century, a reported 46% of the Web pages are written in English.
I believe that those who are native speakers of the English language often experience easier life when it comes to academia and science (Crystal 12). When one works with a non-native English speaker is when one realizes the extra obstacles that they have to overcome learning to write and read as a scientist is often hard in one’s own language, and therefore, one can experience the difficult that comes with learning it in another language. However, on the upside, English has become the official language of business making it easy for people to transact business worldwide.
I believe that there are several downsides to English being the dominant language in the world. The first is that English language dominance can be said to exacerbate and create inequalities between people, organizations and institutions (Crystal 38). This often happens between those who can afford to employ expensive Anglophones, translators or even send their employees abroad to be trained versus the people who cannot. There has also been a ripple effect in science, as those who write their research in English are often favored for publication as compared to those that do not.
Further, in regards to science and academics, most people have to play the international journal publication game in order for them to land a permanent job. Therefore, most at times, the best research does not often get published in the local language but rather it is published in English. This therefore, means that it is less likely to filter into the different and diverse policy documents and consequently influence local and national policies.
Lastly, my biggest worry about the dominance of English language is the cognitive hegemony that imposing English on the world might bring. Language is often acquired in the first years of life when the brain architecture is laid down. However, it is important to understand that while persons remain capable of learning more languages across life, the maternal tongue often affects how people think. Bilingual individuals according to research have been known to express different parts of their personality and culture depending on the exact language that they are using (Crystal 98).
Therefore, as a cognitive process, language often affects how people string their thoughts together. Consequently, language affects the process of knowledge production and scientific construction. Therefore, with these thoughts in mind, one question is whether indeed it is desirable for English to be the language of academia and science. If this happens, it can be argued that it imposes a huge limitation on the incredible abilities of humans and it is a step backwards.
It should not be confused that communication equates to language. Just because one can use English to communicate to and with the world, does not mean that one’s internal language and thought processes are dictated by any chance by the English language or the different and diverse cultural faucets that are linked with the language. Therefore, by providing university courses in English across the globe and by forcing scientists to learn and write in English, we as a people are surely limiting the access of knowledge via one knowledge.
Crystal, David. English As a Global Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Print.
Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ is both is a great work-transcending period through its age and culture demonstrated in the poem. Among many scholars, they consider Frankenstein’ as one of the great and influential works during the romantic period. The novel has strong relevance while teaching English as it introduces students to the complexities of romantic arts and thoughts. The great role played by the novel in the English language attributes to its wide use in colleges and secondary schools (McCutcheon 739). Despite the strong romantic theme focused by the author in the novel, while studied in these educational institutions levels, the novel introduces students to science fiction, women’s literature and as well film and popular culture during the romantic age.
Unlike other literature works used in these institutions, Frankenstein proves some difficulties to teachers. Problems encountered by teachers are often while introducing the book and studying the themes presented in the novel. Similar to other stories written in the 18th century, Frankenstein raises some questions about a scientist ability of producing a monster (living creature) from human parts. Being part of fictional literature prior to the 19th century, ensuing debate on the rage of both congress and culture prevails.
Challenges faced while teaching the novel in schools begin with the attempt of understanding the conceptual beginning of human life. Similarly, based on the controversial ending of the story, questions on human rights over science prevails. These questions on the right of pursuing science over ideology relies on the balance between the gains and sacrifices underwent during pursue of science.
Apparently, when Dr. Frankenstein abandons his creation, the living creature monster, due to the engulf of horror and remorse, the creature sets out its quests in the society on its own with an attempt of connecting with the rest of humankind. Both Frankenstein and the monster take parallel journeys in the society. Their quests for the parallel journeys lead to a question on the nature of humanity in both leaders and characters. Similarly, while readers continue with the novel, questions on the rights of living and responsibility of science in the society arise.
Among all other readers, the novel places high school and college students in a unique position of appreciating these questions facing some issues in the present world. Issues such as, role of technology and humanity in the society are some of the prevailing quests that arise to these students (Scott et all 104). In addition, search for self-identity and personal responsibility to other society members remains as issues linked with the questions in the story. Based on the controversy attributed to Frankenstein’s novel, students who remember Frankenstein as a monster are bound to finding themselves re-visioning their view of the creature, as they develop some contemporary connections while exploring the role of parent-child attachment in the novel.
While teaching the novel in schools, teachers are bound to using different teaching approaches based on the difficulties posed while introducing the text. The discussion paper objects at evaluating different teaching method approaches used by teachers in schools.
1. Decision-making teaching plan
In some schools, teachers introduce their students to the novel on a decision-making scope. Often, while on the decision-making context, teachers emphasis on the end of chapter 16 where the monster demands Frankenstein to make him a mate. The dilemma facing Victor at the end of the chapter prevails to the next chapter where he deliberates on whether or not to make a mate for the monster. At this moment, teachers leave the students the role of making a decision based on the monster’s demands. Apparently, while using the teaching approach, some scholars use the following important steps while developing their teaching plans.
Defining the character’s goals – It is an essential step while visualizing the desired results before beginning the decision-making quests based on the demands. In most cases, teachers discuss the results Frankenstein wants from the demands made by his monster (Aslan 73). Some class discussions evaluate that Victor want to protect his family from the monster fully and to end the destructive actions of the monster.
Listing the possible decisions that Frankenstein can make along listing the possible pros and cons. While teaching the decision-making lesson, most teachers use a whole classroom discussion or individual assignments to their students. The following are some of the major implications made from the demands from the monster.
Choice 1. Making the mate
It is the most obvious decision made by many students based on the destructive actions presented by the monster on the society.
Possible pros- after making a mate, the monster might go away and stop killing Frankenstein family. Similarly, Frankenstein’s guilt of abandoning his creature might as well end.
Possible cons – the monster could be lying to Frankenstein. Conversely, owing to the destruction caused by the single monster, two monsters could lead to more destructions in the society. In addition, maybe the monster wants children. Thus, it could lead to a race between humankind and monsters that would lead to the destruction of the former.
Choice 2 – refuse making a mate
Owing to the possible cons from the first choice, scholars have the opportunity of devising an alternative response to the monster demands. The possible pros from the choice that it might prevent the race between humankind and the monster creatures.
On the other hand, this choice might make the monster continue killing Frankenstein’s family in the quest for a monster mate.
Choice 3 – Frankenstein might agree to make the mate and fail to make it
Pros; making this decision gives Victor time of developing an alternative plan for dealing with a monster. Meanwhile, the monster will stop its destructive actions on his family giving him time to sojourn it.
Cons; as Frankenstein buys time on a monster with his plan, in case the monster realizes, it will be full of wrath. Its destructive actions might be fuelled by the anger.
Forcing students to make their personal decisions based on their devised goals (Scott et all 55). It is the third step used in the lesson plan advocating active engagement of students in the decision-making based on their personal goals.
Persuasive essay. As a last step while teaching decision-making from the novel, scholars have the role of solely stating and supporting their recommended decision based on their goals. It is a buildup of the previous step.
2. Visualization of the monster
The novel integrates high levels of fiction and allusion. While reading the novel, it is essential for students to have a visual connection between Frankenstein’s monster and the popular depictions of the monster in the real world. During the classroom lesson, teachers require their students to discuss their knowledge of the monster noting the response on the board. Additionally, teachers as well encourage their students to describe other characters aiming at evaluating the student’s visualization ability.
Prior to teaching allusions, most teachers ensure that their students comprehensively understand allusion and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses as a figure of speech. It is an essential introduction to the novel since the author has an assumption that the readers are familiar with the figure of speech (McCutcheon 740). Since Frankenstein is among British romantic literature, most teachers set off their lessons by familiarizing their students with the British Romantic period. Often, in this lesson, literature instructors require their students to read and summarize the novel highlighting on the continued use of allusion. In the quest, for facilitating the lesson, students have the responsibilities of developing the significance of the allusion in the novel.
According to the description made on the full title of the novel, it emphasizes Frankenstein as an overreach ascending above his ability. On a modern perspective, he creates a species of a monster creature. As a form of allusion, readers perceive Frankenstein as a creator of his own humankind creature.
3. Theme teaching approach
In some situations, teachers tie their students with their daily lives ideas of the novel. While pursuing the teaching approach, they use major themes developed in the story and relate them with the present real world of these students. Major themes used include beauty, revenge, ambition, science, family conflicts, pursuit of knowledge friendship and nature. While using the approach, teachers require their students to reflect on their daily experiences jotting down ideas related to these themes. Later, teachers give their students opportunities of evaluating the importance of the theme highlighting whether the theme is good or bad or is a combination of the two aspects. It is among the most commonly used method of teaching the novel in many high schools and colleges as it stimulates active participation of students in the heated discussions.
In other scenarios, as reported by teachers, they use periodical writings such as journals and newspapers and ask their students to evaluate some good and bad themes presented in the introduction (Aslan 66). Later, having evaluated the aspects of the themes presented in the novel, students develop a factual analysis of the novel and its moral aspect (McCutcheon 738). The verdict involves drawing two columns in their books where they list at least three facts about the novel. In the second column, students make predictions of the moral lessons taught by the novel while making real-life observations about their lives using the facts developed from the themes.
Lastly, in some schools, while teachers are introducing the novel to students, they give them a list of features encountered in their life experiences characterized as romantic. Through the list, students have the role of discussing Shelley’s life. It is an evolutionary conceptual introduction to the novel as teachers set off their students by highlighting to them the story resulted from challenges of writing a ghost story. While using the approach, teachers and students read the introduction of the novel developing the reasons why the author wrote a novel. Teachers and students report that the study is interesting. While finalizing their literature lessons, the teacher takes the initiative of listing the themes developed while starting the lesson and asks the students to work in groups. While in their groups, students evaluate how the author presents the themes in the novel.
4. Discussion Questions
Among some scholars, Frankenstein’s novel is a central piece of developing arguments against cloning technology (Scott et all 97). In high school setting, teachers use the discussion question; “using examples from Frankenstein, discuss the negative impacts of cloning technology to the society.” In other arguments developed by scholars, they highlight that the sole problem developed in the novel did not result from Frankenstein’s scientific methods but resulted from his responses to his creatures. As an implication, they have an argument that cloning technology is important, but should be used wisely. Cloning technology is among the trending technology aspects in the medicine industry (Aslan 70). Its application has both positive and negative impacts to the victims. Apparently, while teachers are concluding their literature lessons having have read the novel, they develop a debate on whether the novel is for or against cloning technology (Rutten 112). They leave the task to their students to evaluate whether the novel supports cloning or not.
In addition to the cloning technology argument questions, other high school teachers use nature as a basis of introducing students to the novel. In their argument, they require their students to discuss the role of nature in the novel. In their discussion, students draw comprehensive examples from the novel while supporting their argument. Nature discussion question often contributes to overall understanding of the novel as students as it relates to their perception to culture and religion.
On the other hand, failure of recognizing the monster as a full human being adds up to the discussion topics. While using the aspect of having characteristics of a human being, teachers engage their students actively by brainstorming them with questions on qualities of human beings. Later, teachers require their students to develop the qualities of the monster comparing them with the developed qualities of full human beings. Conclusively, students develop an evaluation of the differences between human beings and the monster creature.
5. Using generalized and randomized topics
Frankenstein’s novel has a strong relevance to in modern literature. Its continued use in English literature is increasing thus promoting its significance (Aslan 72). In some schools, while teachers are introducing a novel, they use randomized ideas reflecting on the setting of the novel. In poetry literature classes (McCutcheon 742). Teachers may request their students to develop poems on a monster point of view while demanding a mate from its creator. More so, they may demand their students to develop poems from Frankenstein point of view while soothing the monster to abandon its destructive actions. These are some of the essential applications made in literature classes while teaching the novel.
In other scenarios, aiming at evaluating the students’ creativity, teachers may ask their students to make predictions of the monster’s actions in the proceeding chapters prior to reading them in class (Scott et all 65). The approach is vital as it creates enthusiasm and boosts suspense on students in their quest of developing the monster’s actions in the proceeding chapters. Similarly, teachers may as well request their students to develop a diary or a journal of the monster’s actions that follow its birth. It is an approach that can help students maintain a comprehensive track of the monster’s actions in the novel.
Films are vital literature teaching materials. Often, they are important while developing a visual analysis of the characters used in the novel. In some instances, while teachers are using randomized ideas teaching method, they may ask their students to determine a movie demonstrating Gothicism and relate it to Frankenstein’s novel. The approach not only enhances understanding but also promotes the ability of relating other Gothic literature works with Frankenstein’s novel.
Since the novel is among the British Romantic literature, some teachers ask their students to choose art or music during the Romantic period and relate it to the Frankenstein’s novel (Aslan 71). In other instances, teachers ask their students to create a song that would act as the soundtrack of the novel’s film. While asking their students to develop a song or identify an art, teachers mostly focus on evaluating the students’ ability to relate the theoretical literature and their daily life. Finding a newspaper article on the other hand and evaluating a bioethical issue is a teaching plan used in high schools.
6. Reading texts Lesson plans
The lesson plan on reading texts is essentially suitable for the high school scholars. The main goal of the teaching method of the novel aims at empowering the students to develop imagination and creativity (McCutcheon 736). Similarly, it focuses on exposing students to the 19th-century fiction, which is an important aspect of English literature. The lesson plan is similar to empowering students approach focused on increasing their competence of working with electronic text. It exposes students to the 18th-century literature and empowers them to work as scholars.
While using this lesson plan on high school, students learn how to read a literary text and analyze it in using different approaches. During this teaching approach, teachers evaluate the students’ oral and written communication skills while responding to the literature works.
An example of the application of reading texts while using reading texts as a Frankenstein teaching plan is when analyzing some dilemma situations such as when Shelley states that the creature reads Frankenstein’s diary of its creation. Interestingly, the author does not comprehensively demonstrate the contents of the actual diary of its creation. Teachers at this instance engage their students by asking them to recreate Victor’s diary while creating the monster (Aslan 68).
While recreating the diaries, teachers ask their students to reflect on the outstanding character traits of Victor in the novel. Similarly, these diaries could as well reflect on Frankenstein’s beliefs and attitudes towards human nature (McCutcheon 731). After recreation of the diaries, teachers share them among other students by either reading them aloud in class or uploading them in a course management that allow other students access them. More so, teachers may ask their students to print their diaries and sharing them in the classroom (Rutten 25). It is an essential aspect of learning literature especially Frankenstein’s novel as it promotes personal initiative of developing ideas and understanding literary texts.
The teaching plan may require students to dig deeper from the novel. Example, in the text, Safie’s and Felix’s letters are missing. Therefore, the teaching plan can be applied in the missing texts of the novel.
Among st the themes that are most prevalent in Shelley’s Frankenstein are the themes of idolization of the poor and fate vs. free will. These two themes have a direct relation to the high school students particularly those who are from underprivileged backgrounds as well as those students who are faced with other significant issues in their daily living. Through the Frankenstein family, Shelley makes a statement regarding the blind acceptance of fate. As the family falls victim of the monster’s actions. They do not seem to have any control whatsoever regarding their personal safety (Aslan, Bondy, &Adams 72). They blindly believed that fate controlled life, plunging them with murders.
Victor, who was interested in science from a very tender age through the perverted literature of Cornelius Agrippa states that the fate had already set him to find out about the myth of life. By this, Victor insinuates that it was not his choice to have created a monster. In the opening letters of Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor states that “Nothing can alter my destiny: listen to my history, and you will perceive how irrevocably it is determined.” In Shelley (41) victor also explains that “Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.” Using this excuse of fate, Victor goes ahead to find a solution about human body, life and death by creating a monster which is gigantic, muscular and strong. Regarding the creation of the monster, he states that “my attention was the structure of the human frame, and indeed, and animal endured with life" (Shelley, 50). However, as the novel unfolds, Victor Frankenstein is seen to stand more for the bizarre mix of fate and free will. In a way, he represents the real aspects of humanity. He continuously makes the decisions that decide his life course yet surprisingly, chooses to allow fate to take control. In his decision to remain quiet regarding the monster’s existence and escapades, he allows the monster’s to govern his life yet he possesses free will and a capacity for a meaningful moral choice. Victor should and could have abandoned his pursuit for the "principle of life," and cared for his creature or protected Elizabeth and the other family members.
Because of his capricious nature, he tends to blame himself for the trivial problems and blames fate for anything that is too consequential or horrible. By doing this, he uses fate as a scapegoat for the problems he has created for himself. Similar to this situation are the students who come from less privileged backgrounds or the students who come from backgrounds that are marred by other issues. The majority of them may blame fate for the state of affairs in their lives, without acknowledging the effect of the decisions they make in regard to the potential course of their lives (Mark, 737).
On the other hand, the monster has complete control over its life. Although at first it is somewhat seen as being naive, the monster is able to make its own decisions and takes control of its own life. He has no ties to the natural world to slow him down. He eats when he wants and goes wherever he pleases. All his actions are done knowingly and willingly. Once the monster discovers that De Lacey's misery emanates from poverty and hunger, he vows not to steal any more of their stored food and chooses to help the family by repairing the garden and the house as well as gathering and chopping up fire wood (Laura 151). He comprehends the risks associated with each single one of his endeavors and becomes disappointed and saddened with himself solely when events do not play out as planned. In addition, unlike humans who incessantly curse an unknown, all-potent god for every misdemeanor, the monster blames his creator. He understands that Victor is a human being who is weak-willed at times.
Except for his creation, there is no other time during which the monster seems to have been driven into his personal state of affairs. However, it is this ability to choose his course of behavior that brings him the largest share of his woes. He ponders over the possible consequences of his actions and has the responsibility of their eventual outcome. When his inventor passes on, the monster sobs over his body and narrates to Captain Walton about his immense agony, solitude, abhorrence, and remorse over his death. Captain Walton is also another character in the novel that is seen to exhibit a sense of free will. In asserting his confidence that he will succeed at discovering the North Pole, he exclaims "What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?” He asserts a belief in free will and the power of man to impose his will upon nature. Like Captain Walton and the monster, the students who are from the underprivileged backgrounds have a choice in regard to the direction of their individual lives even though their backgrounds may present certain challenges. Everyone is a master of his or her own destiny.
In Shelley’s Frankenstein, poverty is also a theme that is majored in. The aspects of this theme are relevant and applicable to the underprivileged students or the students who have other kinds of backgrounds or issues. By analyzing this theme, the students can gain a better understanding of the various situations they have gone through and recognize various ways through which they can deal with those situations better. The Delacey family of peasants is a reflection of the material poverty described in the Frankenstein. The struggles which are experienced by the family can be related to the challenges experienced by students who come from less privileged backgrounds. In Frankenstein, poverty is also developed into the absence of love, family and friendship. These three aspects are meant to shape an individual and instill values into their personalities. Poverty is evidenced by the monster’s constant rejection from the people he wishes to be accepted by the most. To human beings, the monster is considered to be hideous, deformed and terrifying. The monster’s physique gives human beings the notion that the monster could never be a wealthy companion. This is after the monster had even spent a considerable amount of time watching the Delacey family and helping them out in various ways such as chopping off firewood and desisting to eat their stored food. The monster had therefore learnt a lot of values necessary to become a good companion. He had hoped that the family would look past his physical appearance and acknowledge him for who he really was inside. However, when the monster finally mustered up courage to face the Delaceys’, their response is both painful and shocking. Agatha fainted as Safie darted out of the door. Felix charged at the monster violently. The monster states that “I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.”This lack of acceptance is poverty in itself. In another instance, the monster was shot after by a stranger after saving a girl who was drowning. Rejection is also a common problem faced by some students.
Victor’s thirst for knowledge in science through the creation of the monster is also a contributing factor to poverty (Cutchins, Raw &Welsh 146). The monster later on turned on Victor’s family members and on his beloved Elizabeth and mauled them to death. Through his creation, he had robbed himself of the joys which arise from being a part of a family unit. The lack of knowledge that is portrayed by Victor’s father is also a factor that leads to dire consequences as the novel unravels. However, even the most devoted parental care cannot prevent pedagogical mistakes. By following through with the monster creation, Victor experienced a lack of love and friendship. This lack is a portrayal of a kind of poverty as well. Ultimately, his life lacks meaning and Victor devotes the remainder of his life into chasing after the monster and exerting his revenge. By going through the theme of poverty through the various aforementioned teaching methods, the students who are faced with various rejection and other poverty situations may be encouraged in the quest of conquering the various challenges (Melissa 110).
After its publishing on 1818, the novel has faced mixed reviews from several scholars. Initially, not everyone understood it nor enjoyed its fiction. However, today, scholars consider it as a classic novel. From the conceptual analysis of Frankenstein’s teaching, is may be seen that affective literacy and introduction of a fictional literature novel is a practice containing broad educational implications. Emotional content in the story guides the pedagogic choice of teachers and focus laid on students (Scott et all 48). The main intention behind the approach is to increase engagement of students during reading and to work on a creative aspect of English literature.
Strategic teaching of Frankenstein has a concern of increasing pleasure of reading making it enjoyable and interactive with the high school students. Whilst these objectives contribute to a positive subjective productivity of the teacher, decisions made by the teacher on the teaching method should be embedded on social and cultural values. On the other hand, students should have the ability of making connections between the teacher’s choice and their daily experiences in terms of values and relevance of the teaching models.
It is essentially noting that effective literacy has distinctions from critical literacy due to its implementation of cultural and social values. The discussion above is a relevant guide for English literature teachers applying principles of affective Frankenstein pedagogy in their practice. The framework developed is flexible and open in terms of encouraging teachers to include their own teaching approaches related to the ideas developed.
In summary, principles guiding effective Frankenstein pedagogy include; working with affective themes from the novel, and increasing sensitivity to the social and cultural contexts of issues surrounding the students’ daily experiences. In addition, encouraging pleasure and love for the novel while reading at the high school level boosts its introduction and teaching. Lastly, promoting active interactions in classrooms, writing clear purposes and understanding as visualized by mind links to effective teaching of Frankenstein’s novel.
Aslan, Tutak F, Elizabeth Bondy, and Thomasenia Adams. "Critical Pedagogy for Critical Mathematics Education." International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. 42.1 (2011): 65-74. Print.
McCutcheon, Mark. "Frankenstein As a Figure of Globalization in Canada's Postcolonial Popular Culture." Continuum. 25.5 (2011): 731-742. Print.
Scott, Kitty, Barbara Fischer, Teresa Gleadowe, Francesco Manacorda, Cuauhtémoc Medina, and Lourdes Morales. Raising Frankenstein: Curatorial Education and Its Discontents. Banff, Alberta: The Banff Center Press, 2011. Print.
Rutten, Kris, Ronald Soetaert, and Geert Vandermeersche. "Science Fiction and a Rhetorical Analysis of the 'literature Myth'." Clcweb: Comparative Literature and Culture. 13.1 (2011). Print.
Bissonette, Melissa B. "Teaching the Monster: Frankenstein and Critical Thinking." College Literature. 37.3 (2010): 106-120. Print.
Cutchins, Dennis R, Laurence Raw, and James M. Welsh. The Pedagogy of Adaptation. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2010. Print.
Runge, Laura. "Teaching Eighteenth-Century Women Writers." Literature Compass. 7.3 (2010): 145-159. Print.
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