Teaching Literature in Translation in the EFL Classroom

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Kathryn M. Tanaka, Otemae University

In this paper, I consider two topics of EFL research: the use of literature in the EFL classroom and the recent movement to incorporate nativized material into the curriculum. Combining the advantages of these pedagogical tactics, I argue for use of mirror texts—L1 texts and their L2 translations. I demonstrate several ways in which the use of mirror texts, by providing a scaffolding of familiar cultural contexts, can provide a grounds for students to interact with language at concrete and creative levels and allow for productive engagement with both form and meaning. Finally, I offer practical suggestions on how to incorporate literature in translation into the classroom, drawing from my courses in literature taught at Otemae University in Japan. 


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