ID 1252
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On Using Harry Potter as an English Composition Text
Lundmark, Leonard
Journal Title
Bulletin of the Faculty of Education, Wakayama University. Educational science
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Abstract Alternative
This paper will basically describe my experiences over the last three years using the first three of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels as English Composition course texts with third and fourth year university students. The students in question are mostly English Department majors as the course is required as part of the program for certification as junior high school and senior high school English teachers. The paper will describe the basic reasons for choosing Rowling's novels as texts, general class procedure, and course requirements, setting it all very briefly in the context of Japanese education and society. The basic finding is that although Japanese university students have little experience in extensive reading, especially in English, they are willing and able to read a full length book as well as read and write weekly page-long comments on the various chapters of the book. They are also able to write page-lon weekly diaries on matters of personal interest as well as two-page movie reviews on an average of four movies per school year (the movies in question deal with themes related to the Harry Potter novels). In general, however, the students seem to have little knowledge of what one would call the basic classics of Western civilization and literature as well as topic-related books such as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Another finding over the past several years has been that Japanese university students have very little knowledge of any works in the field of children's or juvenile or young adult literature. Most university English Departments likewise do not have courses or specialists in this area, whereas they are commonly included in English Departments in universities in at least the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Content Type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
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Accession No.