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RE: [ExtensiveReading] Reading translations from L1? - B

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  • John Paul Loucky
    Dave is quite right in pointing out that despite the familiar background knowledge one may be able to tap into from using translated L1 Lit, there may yet
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 22, 2007
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      Dave is quite right in pointing out that despite the familiar background knowledge one may be able to tap into from using translated L1 Lit,
      there may yet remain vast tracts of TOTALLY UNFAMILIAR VOCABULARY. As he says it could be way more than i+1.
       
      Besides, for fluent independent reading text should be at i or less. Above that level puts it at a learner's Instructional Level, which is fine for other types of reading, but not for free, extensive reading by definition.
       
       

            John Paul Loucky      jploucky@mx22.tiki.ne.jp

       

      Check out our Virtual Language Learning Encyclopedia at: www.CALL4All.us

       

      Explained briefly at these pages:

      http://www.geocities.com/johnpaulloucky/AllLanguages.html or

      http://www.geocities.com/johnpaulloucky/LanguageLearningLibrary.html.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of dk
      Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 9:29 PM
      To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [ExtensiveReading] Reading translations from L1? - B


      More disagreement with Ronald Gray[1].

      Let's take a look at the example of literature Ronald Gray uses with his
      third-year undergraduate English majors, Dream of the Red Chamber. This
      is a Chinese classical tale. It is one of the three books that every
      Chinese student is supposed to read. It is VERY long. Ronald Gray
      recommends it as a text for students to read in English. Below is an
      excerpt of the text. As you read it, ask yourself how much do you think
      students would get out of it. I think it could only be useful to
      advanced students who are capable of reading almost anything. I fear my
      students would miss vast tracts of the language.

      For extensive reading to be most effective it should be at the level of
      i+1. I believe this text would be i+3 or i+4 for my upper-intermediate
      students. Of course, they could "skip" what they don't know but they
      would be skipping about 50% of the words and about 80% of the meaning.
      In other words, the 2nd paragraph below would look something like this:

      "Sir Priest," replied the stone, "what you say is XXXXXX true; and what
      is more, my poor story is XXXXXXX by no XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX
      XXX. Still, the world of XXXXXXX being what it is, and its XXXXXXXXXX XX
      XXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXXXXXX, X XXXXXX XXX XXXXX that the
      tale XXXX XXXXXXXXX may be of some use, if only to XXXXX X XXXXXXX XXXXX
      around the banquet hour, or to aid in XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX
      XXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX'X XXXXXX."

      Here is a portion of the actual text. I have capitalized portions that I
      think my students would have trouble with.

      ------------ -

      "Brother Stone," said the priest, "YOUR RECORD IS NOT ONE THAT DEALS
      with the DEEDS OF HEROES AMONG MEN. It does not STIR US with stories
      either of VIRTUOUS STATES MEN or of DEATHLESS PATRIOTS. It seems to be
      but a simple tale of the loves of maidens and youths, HARDLY IMPORTANT
      ENOUGH to attract the attention of the great busy world."

      "Sir Priest," replied the stone, "what you say is INDEED true; and what
      is more, my poor story is ADORNED by no RHETORICAL FLOURISH NOR LITERARY
      ART. Still, the world of MORTALS being what it is, and its COMPLEXION SO
      FAR DETERMINED BY THE PLAY OF HUMAN PASSION, I CANNOT BUT THINK that the
      tale HERE INSCRIBED may be of some use, if only to THROW A FURTHER CHARM
      around the banquet hour, or to aid in DISPELLING THOSE MORNING CLOUDS
      WHICH GATHER OVER LAST NIGHT'S EXCESS."

      Thereupon the priest looked once more at the stone, and saw that it BORE
      A PLAIN UNVARNISHED TALE of Beauty and ANGUISH walking hand in hand, THE
      DOWNWARD SLOPE TO DEATH, telling how a woman's ARTLESS LOVE had
      developed into deep, destroying passion; and how from the THRALL of a
      lost love one soul had been raised to a SUBLIMER, if not a PURER
      CONCEPTION of man's mission upon earth. He therefore copied it out from
      beginning to end. [2]

      ------------ -

      The problem with a lot of literature is that it reaches for the extreme
      use of words. That is what makes prose so attractive. But this reaching
      often makes the prose out of reach for learners.

      Dave Kees

      ============ ========= ========= ========= ========= =======
      Guangzhou, China - davekees@gmail. com - skype: davekees
      INSIGHTS-INTO- TEFL.blogspot. com DAVEKEES.blogspot. com

      [1] Using Translated First Language Literature in the Second Language
      Classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. XI, No. 12, December 2005
      http://iteslj. org/Techniques/ Gray-TranslatedL 1Literatue. html

      [2] http://www.wsu. edu/~dee/ CHING/DREAM. HTM

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