THE POWERFUL EFFECT OF POETRY IN THE WL CLASSROOM

I have been teaching for over thirty years and not a day goes by when my students don’t surprise me! Some students already know that I have published my first book of poems and just today at the end of my level 5 class, I was asked to read one of the poems.

I explained that all poems are related to school life. That in them I try to give voice to the way teenagers live their relationships of friendship and love.

I chose the poem “The perfect boy.” Of course the title of the poem made them laugh. I began to read the poem and heard the occasional laugh because at the beginning the “perfect boy” is described.  

Shortly they realized that the poem was written by a shy girl that spend a lot of time in social media, didn’t have real friends and who secretly loved the “perfect boy”.  When I got to that part of the poem, the class was silent. I couldn’t even hear their breathing. It was such an intense moment that I suddenly felt very sad while reading the poem. I realized that each student connected with the poem in their own way. Maybe some felt like “the perfect boy” and realized that without knowing it they could be hurting someone else’s feelings, or maybe some felt like the quiet and lonely girl.

I hardly was able to finish reading the poem because my eyes watered. I closed the book and asked them why there was so much silence. With a very serious and thoughtful face they told me that the poem was very deep.

Never before have I been able to generate such a connection with my students. Suddenly they felt that we do see them, that we care about their world, that we love them. This is the power of poetry in the Comprehensible Input second language class.

Just imagine the possibilities! You can start or finish the class with a poem, you can encourage your students to write their own poems, or you can have a deep and interesting discussion based on a poem´s topic.

Below I share the poem that is part of my first book Corazón sin borrador. Ther eare 26 poems that range from Novice Mid to Intermediate High second language proficiency level. Every poem in this book also comes with activities.  You can read more about Corazón sin borrador HERE.

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@Copyright 2020 Diego Ojeda,  this material is intended for educational purposes and it’s free.  It is prohibited to profit from it in any way or form. For questions contact Diego Ojeda @ diego@srojeda.com

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2 Comments

  1. Wow! What a powerful poem. And written in very comprehensible language. You have a beautiful gift. Muchas gracias por copartir tu poema tan especial con nosotros.

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