‘Suddenly, I am part of the poem’: texts as worlds, reader-response and grammar in teaching poetry

Ian Cushing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article draws on research into using reader-response theory as a way of thinking about teaching grammar and poetry in the English classroom. Framing my discussion around world-based models of reader-response such as Transactional Theory (Rosenblatt 1938, 1978) and Text World Theory (Gavins 2007; Werth 1999), I argue that this approach is useful in that it foregrounds the creative nature of reading whilst providing a systematic way of analysing language. I analyse data from a series of Key Stage 3 poetry lessons, showing how world-based approaches provide a “concept-driven pedagogical tool” for the teaching of grammar, giving KS3 students the opportunity to build and develop on KS2 grammatical knowledge. I also show how this approach helped to produce authentic responses to literature and generated meta-reflective discussions on the reading process. I argue that this approach offers an intuitive, accessible and contextualised method for exploring how language and grammar work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalEnglish in Education
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: ‘Suddenly, I am part of the poem’: texts as worlds, reader-response and grammar in teaching poetry, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1080/04250494.2018.1414398. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • grammar teaching
  • poetry
  • reader-response theory
  • text world theory
  • transactional theory

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