Scott Sherriff, a tutor at SCOLA, had an article published in the NATECLA News (No. 94 – Spring 2011) relating to a workshop given by Steve Bingham and Jeremy Harmer. The purpose of the workshop was to demonstrate how poetry related activities could be used in a language classroom.
Harmer and Bingham first met through their involvement with an amateur string group. Their ambitious project grew one evening when Harmer started to read some poetry he had written. Bingham picked up his violin and began accompanying. And so this ambitious project grew.
Harmer began by putting forward a passionate argument in support of the inclusion of poetry in language classes. Tutors were urged not to dismiss poetry simply because it sounds difficult. So much of ESOL gets caught up in the functionality of language, but Harmer argued that no overlook the beauty of poetry is to fail to utilise a wonderful medium for facilitating learners’ engagement with a language.
Scott said that he is sure that many tutors left Spring Gardens keen to infuse their language teaching with poetry and music following this uplifting and inspiring seminar.
The full version of the article can be found on the NATECLA website.