The Role of Poetry in the Teaching of English to Social Work Undergraduates: An Exploratory Study in Macao Polytechnic Institute

 

Abstract:
This research investigated the significance of poetry in the acquisition of English as a second language for social work students at the undergraduate level. The study highlights the fact that poetry can expand the teaching options of the teacher of EFL, as reflected in the overall satisfaction of the students with this mode of language acquisition and the quantitative and qualitative effects resulting from its use. These effects include an improvement in writing skills and vocabulary, and the enhancement of students’ use of imagination and expression of feelings as applied to social problems. While challenges to the achievement of English language competence were disclosed by the students, these were found to be ameliorated by the enjoyment students had in sharing and listening to others’ poems and experiencing a deeper class dynamic as a result. Implications and recommendations are made for English language teachers intending to use poetry in the achievement of their course aims.

 

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