Literature Circles

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2.1.3 Students’ Roles and Responsibility in Literature Circles

One of the special aspects about literature circles is that every student has a particular role to play during the discussions. These roles allows students to approach the text from different perspective and look closely at specific aspects of the text (Brown, 2009). There are eight roles include four basic roles-a discussion director, a literary luminary, a connector and an illustrator as well as four optional roles-a summarizer, a vocabulary enricher, a travel tracer, and an investigator (Daniels, 1994). The information about eight roles is provided below:
1. Discussion director: The job is to make a list of thought provoking questions and maintaining flow of the discussion.
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9), are Macgillivray (1995) benefiting second-language learners and English-as-a-foreign-language learners (Dupuy, 1997). They have revealed that literature circles are effective for not only students whose mother tongue is English but also for who are learning it as a second or foreign language.
Literature circles promote EFL students’ acquisition and practice of both receptive (i.e., listening and reading) and productive (i.e., speaking and writing) skills. According to the transactional theory (Rosenblatt, 1988), readers approach a text from efferent stance and/or aesthetic stance. As Brown (2009) explains, the efferent stance is searching for information in the text by using the 5 W's: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. On the other hand, the aesthetic stance deals with more personal, affective, and qualitative aspects of the text. Unlike mature readers who can adopt either stance and often use both together, L2 readers only access to the efferent stance in many cases. Is it important to note that literature circles have the potential to move developing readers into more aesthetic interpretation of the text by breaking up the reading to be approached from several angles (Brown, 2009, p.
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Sometimes literature circles might become a monotonous and repetitive activity. For instance, Lloyd (2004, p. 115) and Calderón (2010, p. 27) complain that their students filled in their role sheets mechanically and some of them did not even participate in the discussions. Literature circles have to be lively and spontaneous, but above all, they should be in English. There is a possibility that EFL students use their first language to talk to each other, especially if the teacher is not present. For Hill (1992, p. 42), the students’ overuse of their mother tongue is one of the main issues of book discussions in EFL classes. It is necessary for the teachers to emphasize the importance of discussing the texts in English. Otherwise, the activity cannot be meaningful and helpful to improve the learners’ communicative competence in the foreign language. Furthermore, teachers could deal with conflicts or behavior problems that may emerge from group work. Literature circles may improve the class climate, but creating and maintaining a positive and respectful atmosphere is difficult. Clarke and Holwadel (2007) discuss the issues that arose in their sixth grade class. Their observation shows there was a pervasive feeling of hostility in the classroom and disagreeing, interruptions and role-switching dominated group

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