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Av x y - 23 december 2016 10:45

 Literary analysis might sound scary or difficult but it actually isn't when breaking it down into smaller parts. Which is what we are going to do. We are going to break down the literary analysis into four basic parts and take a look at what should be included in the four points.


1. Plot

The plot is basically the story itself, the events that occur and how they are organised. Are the events put into a chronological order or not? Explain what happens in the novel, film, you name it and in what order the events happen.


2. Characterisation

Characterisation might be e bit more difficult than plot since characters can be difficult to understand fully. The basic things included in characterisation is of course the characters and how they are represented, i.e what do they look like? What are their personality? You could also say, how the characters are portrayed.


3. Setting

Setting is built up of two different parts, (1) the location, where does the story take place? and (2) time, when does it take place? To identify the setting you should look after descriptive language, meaning, descriptions how is the environment surrounding the characters described? Is it described at all?


4. Themes

Themes is the most difficult part of literature analysis since literary work seldom has only one theme, they often contain several themes and it is not always easy to spot the themes. A theme is basically the main subject or message of a literary work. Lets use an example, Harry Potter, which I asume most of you are familiar with has multiple themes throughout the series, but the main ones are love, friendship, evil vs. good and so forth. 


When analysing literature try to use these four basic points and your analysis will be great, but keep in mind not all novels has all of these four points included. Sometimes the setting isn't described at all and then you omit that part, sometimes a novel might not have any characters then you omit that part. In order of making students' lives miserable a literary work ALWAYS has a theme.

ANNONS
Av x y - 21 december 2016 12:45

As you might know most teachers teches two different subjects. These subjects are at times possible to combine with each other and thus get more teaching time for a project. For myself I will be teaching English and History and these subjects are easy to combine with each other. Novels or film or any kind of literature you are going to use in English you can connect with what you are teaching in History. This kind of combination is possible to make between other subjects as well, it doesn't have to be English and History it can be English and Swedish, Religion and Swedish, History and Religion and so forth. Even if you don't teach both of the subjects it might be possible to combine your teaching with anohter techer and work together.


The possibilites are endless when it comes to teaching and only your own imagination decides what is possible to accomplish. Working togheter and connecting the different subjects I believe is important since it gives more context for the students. They might understand more about the subjects if you help them make the connections between History and Religion or Social Sciences and History. We shouldn't take for granted that the students can see these connections themselves, we should help them see the connections and make sure they understand them. Connecting the subjects with each other also lessens the workload for the students. Who says they can't hand in the same paper in both Religion and Swedish? The teachers are looking for different things in the texts and it is completely possible for the students to work both on the content and the language of a text. Otherwise the students might think that they only need to think about one thing at a time, while it is important to always think of the language and how they express themselves.

ANNONS
Av x y - 20 december 2016 10:30

I've decided to broaden my blog and write a bit more about how to analyse novels, poems, films and so forth. I will go through some important aspects and terminology. I will also include references to some literature I believe is useful when analysing texts.


I believe students and teachers might benefit from the ideas I provide and maybe thorugh a not so academic explenation people acutally understand what it is about. When I learnt about analysing poetry I did it at university and we had a book not even one student understood, which wasn't that helpful since we had 2 weeks to master the art of analysing poems and it is not that simple but we came out at the other end and had actually learnt something. When I studied poetry at least I felt that it was very heplfull with explanation found on the internet about the terminology I was supposed to learn and then just practice, practice and practice until I understood all the poems that could occur during the exams.


The same book was used when moving on to drama and narrative and yeah, lets just say it wasn't that helpful. It was really tricky to understand what the hell we were supposed to learn and well quite frankly it wasn't that much help to have to read 3 novels and analyse these during the a course of 4 weeks. :P

Av x y - 19 december 2016 10:45

 
O Rose thou art sick. 
The invisible worm, 
That flies in the night 
In the howling storm: 
 
Has found out thy bed 
Of crimson joy: 
And his dark secret love 
Does thy life destroy.
 
The Sick Rose, a poem written by William Blake is one of my favourites. It's really beautiful and has a lot of different meanings. The thing about poetry at least according to me is that every poem has its own meaning and it is up to the reader to interpret this meaning. There isn't any right or wrong answer as long as you can explain why you think the poems means what you think it means.
 
Interpreting Blake's poem one option is that it is a love poem. Worms often symbolise death and decay while roses are symbols of love. From only these two symbols one could argue that the poem is about someone who is in love but that love is not returned and thus it becomes a persons decay and maybe even a secret from the rest of the world, refering to the last lines in the poem. This is just a short interpretation of the poem and there are a lot more one could discuss such as, the rhyme, metre, form and so forth. We are going to dig a bit deeper into this terminolgy in a later post and explain a bit what these things are.
 
 
 

Av x y - 18 december 2016 15:30

Instead of studying I spent the day shopping for Christmas gifts and a little something to myself. I also baked a gingerbread cake since I ate the last saffron bun a few days ago and I crawed something sweet and didn't want to buy something in the store. Well the rest of the day I will spend both working and studying.


I work as a translator and I have a job to finish until Monday, it's not long only a 1000 words but still it has to be done and then I need to finish Burnt Shadows. The novel is amazing and I can really see the potential it has. I'm pretty sure I will use that novel in my exam for this course but I still have two more novels to read before I decide. Well, at least one since the last one we wont be discussing it until January and yeah, that's  a bit late since the exams are on the 13th of January and I need to prepare a presentation and write a few lesson plans.


Well, that's it guys, I have to get back to my books and keep reading and finish my job. See you later!


Av x y - 16 december 2016 10:45

 

I watched one of the most beautiful but at the same time the most horrible film I have ever seen yesterday. The film is called Desert Flower and is based on the self-biography with the same title written by Waris Dirie, and tells the story of a young girl from Somalia and how she made it through the world and became a fashion model. The story does not only tell of her days as a fashion model but how she had to travel through the desert to get away from an arranged marriage to an old man when she was only 13-14 years old. The story continues in London where she lives on the street until she meets Marilyn a women who agrees to help her and at last she tells the story of women in Somalia how they get circumsiced at a young age.


This is a film I believe can be very useful in the classroom since it deal with political and societal issues as well as human rights and women's rights. Using Desert Flower in the classroom can initiate discussions about inequlities in other cultures and how different life can be for people. This is particularly portrayed in the scene where Waris, the girl from Somalia, believes that all women in the world get circumcised and is very confused when she realies that this isn't the case. She has a hard time understanding why it has happened to her but not to other women.


Today almost all classrooms are multi-cultural and understanding other cultures makes it easier to understand the people and what they believe in. It also takes away the stereotypes we have of other cultures, which is beneficial for our multi-cultural society today.

Av x y - 15 december 2016 10:30

I've been out for a while studying and writing exams. Unfortunately the blog is not a priority at the moment since I have a lot to do at uni. To some good news, I will be reading a lot of novels for the next coupple of weeks, it's included in the literature didactics course I'm takeing, so I will write a bit about those.


First one out is The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins. Personally I really like the trilogy and the first book is my favourite. This novel is really easy to adapt and use in the classroom since there are a lot to discuss and it's easy to connect to todays society as well. You can talk about democracy, human rights, utopia/ dystopia and so forth. There are several different themes in the novel suited for discussion in the classroom with many connections to the syllabus for English 5, 6 and 7. The novel itself isn't hard to understand and the langauge is fairly easy, therefore I believe it can be used from English 5. The novel might also appeal both to the boys and the girls in the class since there are characters of both genders to relate to in different ways and showing the students there are novels that aren't girly even though the main character, Katniss, is a girl.


 


Since The Hunger Games has been made into a film, you cna use that as well as the novel. First reading the novel and then watching the whole film or only excerpts of the film to highlight different aspects that you want to discuss. This will make it more interesting for the students and maybe even easier for them to connect everything togheter since everyone isn't good readers and everyone won't understand everything that happens between the lines in the novel. Therefore, using the film to highlight important aspects might be beneficial. As a teacher you just have to be sure to only use excerpts that are between 3-to-5 minutes long in order of compling with the copyright laws.

Av x y - 8 december 2016 20:03

When talking about grades and grading students often get nervous, scared, anxious and so forth. What grades they get can be the difference if they will get to study what they want at uni. The higher the grades are, the higher are the chances the students will be accepted to the univeristy they want to go to. But then, are grades fair? Do all students all over Sweden get graded in the same way? Do they have the same opportunity to get good grades or the grades they deserve? The simple answer is no, grades are not fair and all students don't get the grade they deserve or they get higher grades than they deserve. This is a huge problem and the fault is not the teachers but the system at many times.


 


We do have a national test and there has been discussions about having them corrected and graded externally but as many has pointed out this will not help if the national test doesn't decide what grade the students will recieve at the end of the term. If the national test will be graded externally then the national test should be a bigger part of the final grade than what it is today. But is this fair? One test you write, should that decide what grade you get? What if the student fails the national test but has shown during the semester than he or she actually knows what he or she has to know? Should we then fail that student?


Grading isn't simple and it shouldn't be either, but I believe that teachers and preservice teachers need more education in how to grade and what to think about when grading. Grading should be a part of the teacher programme but it isn't, the few times we talk about grading is during the teaching practicum and that isn't enough, the univeristy shouldn't put teaching about grading on the mentor a student have during the practicum, grading should be discussed at the university to.

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I'm a 21 year old student at a university in the southern parts of Sweden.

In this blog I will write about parts of my life at university, about my studies and some reflections about teaching.

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