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December 21, 2005
Multimedia and Teaching of Literature
One of the potent forces that can be used in the classroom nowadays is the use of multimedia for the teaching of literature. One such thing is the use of film clips to supplement the reading of a text. Since students in India are more computer-savvy than they were in my generation, this tool can be used quite effectively for the following reasons:
a) Use of multimedia enhances both visual and auditory aspects of the language in question
b) It brings the world outside inside the classroom, since use of films were for a very long time a taboo in the classroom (unless it was the boring video-type)
c) It helps contextualize the text within a given framework that can be made explicit through out the course (for example, teaching Shakespeare and supplementing it with Shekhar Kapoor's Elizabeth gives the students a feel about the socio-cultural context that we are talking about)
d) It can lead to more extended discussions on the possibilities of the text (for example, teaching Romeo and Juliet can be supplemented by clips from Franco Zefferelli (1955) version of the film, Baz Luhrman (1995)version, _The West Side Story _etc.)
e) It makes the class more interactive since it is no more limited to reading but also includes listening, speaking, and development of cognitive abilities.
f) And finally, the possibilities of multimedia for developing self-access materials is immense. This can help a smooth transition from a teacher-fronted class to a more learner-centred classroom.
Any thoughts on this?