Diverse Learners in the Classroom and Community

  • “The Art of Pairing”

     —Samantha Bartholomew, Department of English - Teaching English

    Samantha BartholomewStudents who are either learning English as a second language or those with diverse learning styles, will benefit from the ways in which classical literature can be paired with contemporary literature, young adult literature, poetry, or film. Students will be able to connect better with the text if given the opportunity to relate to the young adult text being presented or the film that has a younger cast of actors and actresses. While relating to the text in a plethora of ways, the students may also benefit from how they are being taught the novel or play, whether it be their increase in the use of the English language, writing skills, reading skills, or social skills. In her essay “Easing the Pain of the Classics”, Kathy Porteus references the “five general categories” contemporary novels fall into, and how the use of these novels can enhance the reader’s experience with the classical texts. While there are still educators who may be against the assimilation of young adult or more contemporary pieces of literature, there are still ways that we can create a fun and inviting classroom for our students, while ensuring they are taking away the meaning of the original classical text.

    “Community Connections Revisited”

     —Tracy Lassiter, Department of English: Literature and Criticism

    Tracy LassiterIn the fall of 2010, several Lit Crit students and Lassiter began a book group that joined with another based at the Homer Center Public Library entitled “Community Connections.” The L&C students who participated in Community Connections were postcolonial literature scholars, and they used these texts to begin conversations on touchy issues like migrant workers in the US, faulty international development projects, depictions of Muslims in films, and xenophobia. Through the Issues in Diversity Series, Lassiter talks about what Community Connections set out to do, what they succeeded in doing, and where they failed. From the attendees, she took their suggestions for theoretical frames by which she can situate this project so she can eventually publish an article about it.