Language Arts in Asia: Literature and Drama in English, Putonghua and Cantonese

This volume is the first of a series contributing to the academic study of Language Arts, as an English-language teaching paradigm. Language Arts has been widely used in native English-speaking countries including Australia and New Zealand. Its recent adoption into the second-language teaching curriculum in Hong Kong, as well as similar initiatives within secondary and tertiary education in mainland China, enhances its interest to scholars studying second-language teaching and learning in Asian contexts. This book offers many papers and discussions of interest to teachers, language professionals, scholars and administrators. Its chapters explore current topics in Language Arts research including trends in the rapprochment of stylistics and linguistics, teaching approaches and learning outcomes. At the same time, they offer diverse theoretical and methodological aproaches, of interest to the practitioner and policy-maker as well as the researcher. The value of this volume lies particularly in strengthening the theoretical and methodological foundations of Language Arts.

The use of literature and the arts in humanist education has a long history within Europe, being traditionally appreciated for its ability to transform leaders, instill finer sensibilities and question social ills. In its postcolonial incarnations, as the traditional subject areas were informed by critical and linguistic theories, language arts subject areas were less often used, as they were understood to offer opportunities to analyse their functions as apology for leaders, coopting the young, and pacifying dissent but less often used to teach second language skills. Language Arts curricula arising since the 1980s have increasingly embraced authentic voices, styles and genres. Contemporary Language Arts curricula use literature to teach reading-based and communication skills, in conjunction with critical and creative thinking. The movement of English-language education beyond native English shores has placed Language Arts into a World Englishes frame, and therefore its curricula have included the teaching ethics, civics and intercultural sensitivity. The explosion of media and digital communications of the 1990s led to the adoption of media literacy as a crucial Language Arts skill. As digital innovations continue to impact the teaching of English, Language Arts has adopted multiliteracies. These developments are represented in the papers included in this volume.


Dr C. A. DeCoursey received her doctorate in History from the University of Toronto. She did her post-doctoral fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. She is currently the Programme Leader for the MA in English Language Arts at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research interests include using literature, drama and popular culture in the English language classroom, multimodality and mutliliteracies, and Confucian learning styles.

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ISBN: 1-4438-3669-9

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-3669-2

Release Date: 8th May 2012

Pages: 445

Price: £49.99

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