Young Adult Literature in the Classroom-Or Is It?
Bushman really defends the Young Adult novel in his article. Bushman writes that readers in schools are easier able to identify with the characters in the YA novels. In only choosing classics for the students to read they are turning children away from reading. But when teachers introduce them to YA novels and authors they will find books they will read and pursue outside of class and school. This hopefully will turn them into lifelong readers. The YA novel has lessons and messages the students can easily relate to their own lives, and gives them the skills they need to approach future reading. Bushman gave a questionnaire to different students and formed some really interesting and convincing arguments for the value of Young Adult literature.
Young Adult Literature in English Curriculum Today: Classroom Teachers Speak Out
My favorite line in this article is “‘The THAT of teenagers reading is more important than the WHAT'” which is exactly our case for this site (Gibbons 53). We want our students to fall in love with reading again and to learn how to become better readers. Through reading, students will also become better with vocabulary, and if taught to read as writers, they will also be able to learn how to recognize how to use proper mechanics and grammar.
In this article, teachers speak out and give reasons as to why using YAL (Young Adult Literature) is a good and helpful tool in the curriculum to allow students to simple want to read. At the very end of the article, Katherine, a high school teacher says, “I enjoy reading and teaching [YA books]; my students enjoy reading and learning from the books. That is a perfect combination.” (Gibbons 59).
Why not teach students how to learn to love reading? Our professor said in class the other day how starting off with YAL could easily lead students to become more intrigued with reading as they grow older and influence them to continue on to more diverse literature. I know that was the case for me. I personally started off reading the Harry Potter series and eagerly awaited the next book to come out. After that I headed to Barnes and Noble in search of another series I could read. Eventually, I found Twilight (before it was a big deal), and other fanticy fiction series. I fell in love with reading and later decided to become an English Major after taking a creative writing class and discovered how YA authors came up with such great tales to tell. Now, as I have learned to appreciate reading and set my television time aside for reading a good book, I lay down with Jane Austen to pass the time. Case and point?
Whether or not this has been your experience, we want to make our students life long readers; we want them to grow and actually want to read. This can easily start with YAL and eventually, before you know it, students are widening their horizons and willingly reading books and novels they never thought they would.
Teaching Young Adult Literature in Advanced ESL Classes
In this article, Yongan Wu brings the compelling argument for teaching YA Lit. to ESL students. The article describes why it is important and helpful to students in ESL to read YA Literature in the classroom because it helps them understand language, culture, gender, characters, plots, and so many other aspects of learning to read in a different language. This article also has helpful ways of going about teaching YA Lit. to the ESL students and how it is beneficial to them to read it.
This is great so do check it out!
Carol A. Pope and Joan F. Kaywell
This article speaks to the difficulty of defining exactly what YA literature is, and the problems that arise with what books count as YA novels. Young adult literature is relatively new and with the educational system moving towards preparing students for the test, the YA literature is being pushed out of the classroom. The article is arguing for the importance of YA literature in schools as it enhances the lives of the readers.
Young Adult Literature: English Teachers Are from Mars, Students Are from Venus (But YA Books Can Help Interplanetary Understanding)
The article by Chris Crowe in the English Journal argues that the reason students respond to classic texts with “this sucks” and do not think about or discuss books the way teachers do is because they are inherently different. Even though teachers know students are different they are still disappointed when they don’t like what they read or don’t read at all. The teachers need to find a way to approach the students who don’t enjoy reading. Chris Crowe writes, “But it’s the rest of them, the average Venusians, that I worry about. If we ignore their interests and needs, they’ll ignore our literature and may very well turn into lifelong nonreaders” (Crowe 120). Crowe also thinks that teachers forget that the students are so different and have different interests, and they have trouble relating to the literary canon that are about characters who are very different from the students.
The strength in using young adult literature is to foster a love for reading and prepare the student to obtain a love for the classics. Crowe writes, “I knew that I couldn’t expect Venusians to love Martian books until they first developed an appreciation for reading. So I encouraged students to use YA books as outside reading, and sometimes I included YA works in selected literature circles” (Crowe 121). In reading these YA books the students find a love for reading, and they felt like readers. When they feel like readers they are more prepared to read the classics.
His article makes some great arguments for using YA book in schools and Cris Crowe is a big advocate for Young Adult literature in general. Click here for Chris Crowe’s blog.