Rose ... |

This is obviously fascinating for me as a keen linguist and an EFL teacher. The poet inside me dreams about ways of experimenting with such an intriguing style of expressing reality, even at elementary levels of language proficiency. From a linguistic point of view, all the students need is the name of an object, an appropriate article and the verb to be.

... is a rose ... |

It's interesting that in her writing, Stein threw away the traditional rules of grammar, and she made her words act in a completely new way. For her, each word is a completely independent existence. She didn't use generalizations, and unlike other writers in the 19th century, she wasn't interested in causes, purposes and explanations. In fact, her language had no past and no future - only continuous present - because she wrote about reality which she found directly in front of her eyes. This may sound like good news to a language learner, but by no means does this mean that her language is simple or easily understood. Here is how Stein would describe a scene:

Here Stein doesn't organize the experience for the reader. Things speak directly and immediately. Each object and event has the same importance, and each of them is complete in itself. What would happen if you let your students describe a place (classroom, park, room, playground) in the same way - as it is, without generalizations, causes, purposes and explanations?

.... is a rose ... |

There's no complicated or complex grammar here but a great potential for lots of colourful vocabulary. Students describe what they can see right there, on the spot. There are no limits to imagination, and interesting word combinations can emerge. The door to creativity is wide open.

ELT is not just about plain language instruction. Our job is to provide students with various kinds of experience related to the target language. By working with poetry, students will become familiar with alternative ways of expression, and they will broaden their cultural horizons. This may ultimately motivate them to read and explore literature outside regular English classes. Some may even find the courage to try and write their own poetry.

By the way, this is my 100th post. But this is not how Gertrude Stein would put it. She would probably say this is a post number one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one.

Because according to her, this is the reality of the term One Hundred....

... is a rose. |