EDITORIAL WELCOME FOR VOLUME 6 ISSUE 2 [Special Issue] (OCTOBER 2012)
There is no question of the close interaction between language learning, literature and culture. Literary scholars and applied linguists have taken a different stance to such a symbiotic relationship for years. On one side, there have been scholars who claim that the difficulty, complexity and multilayers of the literary texts make the job of language learners more daunting; on the other side, there are enthusiastic literary theorists and linguists who support the inclusion of literature by maintaining that literature provides authentic materials, develops personal involvement and cognitive and metacognitive strategies, lead to learners’ cultural enrichment. Carter and Long’s popular three folded model in integrating literature into language learning comprises Cultural, Language and Personal Growth models, which see literature as an invaluable resource to realize the cultural enrichment, language development and personal growth successfully. Apart from these merits, literature fosters language acquisition and learners’ interpretive skills while enhancing vocabulary expansion, reading skills and discourse features.
In this issue, the first article by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Yasemin Kırkgöz deals with how short stories can be integrated into an English language curriculum in order to consolidate students’ knowledge of the English language – grammar and vocabulary – and to promote their creative writing skills. The other study is by Assist.Prof.Dr. Derya Bozdoğan who tries to conceptualize how pre-service English teachers perceive the world of stories for young learners. Within the framework of study, stories prepared in the digital form using Moviemaker, multimedia authoring program by the sophomore students were uploaded to the Facebook course group. The results revealed that in their digital stories, ELT students highlighted “friendship” based on helping and supporting others followed by “philanthropy” while the heroes were largely characterized as male children or animals. The third article by Assist.Prof.Dr. Askin Yıldırım explores and sheds light on the representation of elements related to literature and English culture in the reading texts at elementary and upper-intermediate levels of three ELT coursebook series, Speak Out, New Headway and Global. It also endeavors to display the place of literary texts in comparison with other text types as well as that of English culture compared to other cultures. Assist.Prof.Dr. Amanda Yeşilbursa’s study is concerned with a lesson plan for approaching Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shallot by making use of the available images and music with the aim of developing the language skills of a group of students. Lastly, Assist.Prof.Dr. Salim Razı shows the long and challenging path to construct an inventory on culture and components of the target culture.
Finally, we wish to thank all the scholars who have submitted their manuscripts to this special issue of Novitas-ROYAL and we hope that this topic will keep on drawing attention from all related areas and inspire teachers to expose their students to authentic material, language acquisition, reading skills, values, customs, and culture by stimulating language activities through literature.
Dokuz Eylül University, TURKEY
University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, FRANCE