Topic 15C – Times, authors and genres suitable for application in teaching English class. Types of texts.

Topic 15C – Times, authors and genres suitable for application in teaching English class. Types of texts.

1. Introduction

Before analysing the literary periods,authors or genres more suitable for their application and use in English class it´s necessary to study the student body´s needs, their preferences and expectations in facing and English class first.

The pupil of this age always desires inmediate results. It is possible that they will go out being able to speak something in this language ,being anxious to show what he has learnt ,without worring about mistakes and he´ll be prepared to use this language according to his needs,experimenting with sounds and words or using ,gestures.Therefore it is easier to acquire a language by being expposed to it than learning a series of rulers which involve a series of complicated mechanisms of the language.

Other characteristic of this stage is restlessness

We shoould desing activities:

-Which can keep their attention – an overlong activity leads to boredoom

-and understandable to the pupil .They should be near the reality of the pupil which will facilitate starting mechanisms of expression.

Literature would suppose a good way of approaching these interests and it would give an inexhaustible soource of resources to satisfy the pupil´s needs of this stage.

Before analysing periods,authors or genres we have thought about pupils´

underlying needds in the classroom .Now wwe have to decide the linguistic and extralinguistic characteristics of thr text which will allow us to use it to develop the basic aims.

The emotional factor plays a main role in everything we do,read think or say , and literature transposes us to all kind of real or imaginative situations ,and it close us to all kinds of characteres -reallistic or fictional- and seeing ourselves reflected in situation bring us close to literature .If the literature is in a foreing language in a pleasant form.

The vocabulary should be contextualise and should be a kind of language easy to imitate:by rhythm or by intonation, it has to have frequent repetitions ,and it also has to be composed of words which can be used in a natural form in the organitation of the class, in games ,…which suggests that it has to be presented in simple sintactic structures.

Lastly , if pupils can anticipate what comes next,they will have more confidence, because their problems of comprehension will be reduced ,which helps them to learn with less effort.


According to what has been stated above the traditional tales ,fairy tales,picture stories,nursery rhymes,jokes,modern or traditional songs and limericks are considered as Literary Genres more ssuitable to the pupilss of this stage.

Normally ,we can take texts (oral or written )from popular tradition so the text is as important or more than the authors,especially in the case of the traditional tales,which are -in most cases-compilattions of tales and oral traditions which have been translated to the different european languages (Perrault,Andersen,Grimm,..).

The tales

The use of the tale offers an ideal system of introduction to foreing language and culture and it creates a possitive atmosphere so that the pupil wants to carry on learning.

In the psychological field ,the tales exercise the imagination and they offer an inexhaustible source of experiences and emotions and if the tales are related by the teacher ,they offer a collective experience of feelings,laughter,sadness…,which makes the pupil feel integrated in the group ,develop self-confidence and mature emotionally and socially.

One of the characteristics of tales is the natural repetition of certain elements of vocabulary, if they are narrated in class .the intonation ,the sense of the rhythm and the possibility that pupils want tohear the whole story again,this allows the teacher to use these resources to get a larger number of repetitions of certain elements of interest without the problem of saturation of the student body.

Respecting the narration of the tales we have the dilemma of the teacher as narrator or the use of the cassette .The latter has some advantages such as music,however,the teacher can give to his narration the human factor ,and the pronuntiation and the intonation can be improved through recordings.Teacher as narrator facilitates the intervention of pupils with questions when they have not understood something ,the repetition of fragments which they have not understood or the slowing down of the narration when it is necessary.

Respecting the suitability of adapting tales in class ,for children from eight years old, we should thinK of the techniques which are used when tales are narrated for the first time and howthe narration developes slowly.One of the characteristic of tales is that they can be narrated in a thousand different ways,which facilitates the adaptation of the same tale to different levels .The tale is a flexible tool in our hands.

If we think of tales as reading instead of as narration ,there is a wide range of tales for English -speaking children of these ages,in addition to a series of simplified versions directed at children who are learninig Engllish as a Second Language.

Normally ,we consider that the former are better than the latter ,especially because of the ilustrations done by drawers ,which gives a greater degree of satisfaccion in the reading .A careful selection of the texts for the E-class in relation to vocabulary ,structures and themes of interest could permit that the tales which are read in class are the same that Englissh children read at this age .

As for the most suitable works ,there is a great varieety ,from the traditional tales (Little Red Riding Hood; Puss in Boots or other tales from Perrault) to the most modern tales,in which their protagonistscan be animals -which are good for snowing the daily llife of children (The tale of Peter Rabbit,by Beatrix Potter , and whose contexts are as British as the language itself )-or the heroes can be personages of daily life (Postman Pat) or familliar elements of our modern civilization (Thomas , the Tank Engine).Excepting the series by Beatrix Potter ,which needs be adapted ,either Thomas ,the tank Engine, or Postman Pat in original version,with a suitable guide woould be easily accesible to children from eight years old.

We should not forget famous authors ,whose novels and short stories althought not intended for children ,can be adapted .

-Gulliver´s Travels by Jonathan Swift

-Huckleberry Finnby Mark Twain

– A Christmas Carrol by Dickens

-Alice´s adventures in Wonderland and Alice through the looking -glass by Lewis Carrol.

And even authors who are not British ,such as

-Julies Verne :Journey to they centre of the Earth

-Fairy tales in which the conventions of the same are parodied .Ex.

The Rose and the Ring by Thomas Thackeray .

-School stories ,such a Tom Brown´s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes.

-Family sagas ,such as Little Women by Alcott.

-Of animals : Black Beauty by Sewell.

-Of adventures ,such as Treasure Island and King Salomon´s Minesby Haggard or the Jungle Books by Kipling .

The concept of children´s Literature as fun wasn´t a cultivated genre until the end of the XIX century Children´s Literature before was Literature with didactic end.Books for adults, ex. Ae sop´s fables,were a resource to try to amuse children through Literature .In the XVIII century with Locke and Rousseau Books for the entertainment of children appear ,which begin to abandone the didactic intention .

It is in 1883 when the first adventure book without dictatic intention appears :Treasure Island.

In the first book of a series of ilustrated tales appears :Little Black Sambo by Helen Banner,who next to Beatrix Potter was a milestone in reference to the importance of ilustrations in tales for children.

In the beginning of our century there appear various authors and tittles which today are considered classics of modern children´s Literature and have been adapted for television, such as:

The Wind in the Willows by Grahame ,The Secret Garden by Burnett,Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard by Farjeon ,Winnie-The Pooh by Milne and finally in 1937 the fantastic genre emerges with the aparition of The Hobbit by Tolkien.

From the decade of the 50 ´s, the importance given to Children´s Literature foments the appaerance of a great industry and the clear definition of concepts such as Literature for Children and the distintion between Literature for boys and for girls.

Children´s pleasures of today have changed ,however ,the tales of fantastic or ecologic themes like especially.

Among the authors of oour days ,who have had special aceptation among the child´s public because of the themes which they treat is ROALD DAHL,,an authentic master of the short story :

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Magic finger

-Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator


-The wonderful story of Henry Sugar and Sisx more.

All these are stories of modernthemes .The narration is quick and attractive .The cultural variety that they show is atractive .

In our hands is to do the adecquated adaptations for that their application is succesful.


N.R.have some characteristics of the tales :

-Use of exclamations and linguistic elements of dayly use ,which is a very rich resource in the class .

-They have musicality , too.

-Strong rhythm.

-They introduce -the same as the tales-cultural elements ,such as foods,timetables ,animals ,..

Repetitive use of words and structures .But N.R.have adifferent charactheristic:brevity ,which increases the proportion of repetition.

Classic Examples:Twinkle, Twinkle,Little Star.

The use of this genre in a language class gives the opportunity to learners to move in class ,because it can include activities such as jumping or dancing .When there´re problems of space,those ones which involve playing with hands can be used:”Two little monkeys fighting in bed (use two fingers),one fell out and hurt his head (the hand on the head),the other called the doctor (telephoning),and said the doctor (open and close the hand),that´s what you get for fightingin bed”(move a finger).

Rhymes that accompany games can also be selected aand they can be used in the school:

“Teddy Bear,touch the ground, tum around, walk upstairs, turn out the light, say goodnight”.

The reduced vocabulary that they use,the repetition,the rhythm and the intonation permit learners to learn them quickly.

It is a popular genre ,although it has been cultivated by prestigious writters:in the early XVIII century Divine songs for children by Watts,was published.In this time ,the first collections of N.R were also published, and in18O4 appeared original Poems for Infant Minds by Ann and Jane Taylor ,which includes Twinkle ,Twinkle ,little star.

In 1942 The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browing was published .

In1846 A book of Nonsense by Edward Lear appears and in 1885 Stevenson publishes A Child´s Garden of Verses.

In our century A.A Milne,Robert Graves…stand out


Ridles are an universal genre too .Their characteristic are -as in N.R.-the following:

-Brevity and intonation and rhythm very marked .

Ex:”I´m a very big animal you see at the zoo.

I´ve a very nice trunk

Ican squirt water through”


Limercks are funny five -line stanzas whose popular origin had place in the festive meetings , in which every fellow dinner had to recite or sing a poem ,which are called “nonsense verse” following line :Will you come up

to Limerick?.

The first Limericks collected in a volume appear in the History of Sixteen Wonderful Women in 1820.

In the book Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear appear examples too.

In the compositions by Lear and Rossety, the first and last line usually use to finish with the same word ,hoewer ,in more modern examples a third word which rhymes is added :

“There once was a man who said :” god

Must think it exceedingly odd

If he finds that this tree continues to be when there is no-one about in the Quad”.

Most Limericks are anonyms, given their popular origen .

This genre is very useful for the pronunciation of several sounds which present difficulties such asthe different tiation between/i:/and /i/.

“There once was a man from Darjeeling who travelled from London t Ealing .

When it said on the the door:

“Please don´t spit on the fllor “

”The carefully spat on the ceiling”.


antes de – before analysing

alumnado- student body


analizar – previous to analyse

enfrentarse a una clase de inglés por primera vez -In facing an english class first

ansioso -anxious

preocuparse- worry


por esto -there fore


actitud demasiado larga -an overlong act,

conducir (llevar)-lead

aburrimiento -boredoom

comprensible -understanble

puesta en marcha -starting






transportar -transpose

imaginarias-imaginative fictional


acercar-bring close




por último -lastly

a continuación -finally,next

confianza -confidence

de acuerdo conlo expuesto anteriormente-accordingto what has been stated above


continuar -carry on

ejercitar -exercise

caudal -source





confianza en si mismo -self confidence

madurar -mature

narrar -narrate

saturación -saturation

repecto a -respecting

dilema -dilema

el 1_…el 2_ -the former,the latter

fidelidad -fidelity



fragmentos -fragments

ralentización-slowing down


pensar en -think of

de mil maneras -in a thoousand different ways

dirigir a -direct at


en cuanto a -as for

obras (novelas)-works


cotidiana -daily







sagas familiares-family sagas

literatura Infantil-Children´s Literature

divertimento -fun


abandonar -abandone

junto con-next to


fábulas de Esopo-Aesop´s fables

al principio-in the beginning




aparición -appearance

gustos -pleasures

público infantil -Child´s Public

maestro – master(no de escuela ,maestro en su género)

narración corta -short story

musicalidad -musicality




destacar-stand out

quintillas -five line stanzas

origen -origin

reuniones festivas-festive meetings

comensal -fellow diner

recitar -to recite

estribillo- refrain

surgir -come up







a principios de siglo-in the early century ?

Cercano a –near acercarnos -bring us close ,close us  tanto..como…-neither…or ni……….ni- -neither