Poetry in the language classroom

Poetry has numerous uses and benefits in the English language-learning classroom. Besides adding to the range and variety of uses of English, poetry provides cultural insights and forms a basis of discussion. Poems are often thought-provoking and help teachers to break away from routine exercises; they are often humorous and add a motivational buzz to classroom activity.

Poetry also provides good practice in developing correct pronunciation and intonation. Rhythms and rhyming patterns not only develop technical language skills; they add fun and vigour to the process!

The teacher of modern English usage has to be selective otherwise there is the danger that students will focus on archaic or literary forms that are not relevant for typical modern English in general or business contexts. ‘Poetic licence’ is an important concept in the use of English but needs to be used at the right time and in the right place!

Poems, with English language teaching notes