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Making connections : On fantasy, applied linguistics and outcomes-based education

Maledette piramidi

Abstract

It is argued in this article that literature is a resource for exploring constructs in non-literary fields of study. More specifically, we selected a fictional account of an “assessment event” in Terry Pratchett’s “Pyramids” as source material for teacher training. Pratchett’s fictional rendition of authority-based facilitator-learner interaction in an “oral assessment event” indicates that the novelist has a firm grasp of the interactional rules that govern this kind of exchange. The discourse in the fictional event follows the traditional Initiation-Response exchange pattern, with Feedback (IRF) suspended until the learner has successfully concluded the entire assessment process. Moreover, the assessment event is analysed from an outcomes-based education (OBE) perspective. The fictional interactional exchange (and the subsequent hands-on performance-based assessment in the novel), with Pratchett in satiric mode, provides sufficient information for prospective teachers to define (hypothetical) specific outcomes, assessment criteria and range statements that could apply to the training of assassins in the Assassins’ Guild on the Discworld. Several worksheets are presented to illustrate how this particular fictional text may be used to examine practical aspects and theoretical constructs in English Language Teaching (ELT).

Greyling, W. (2001). Making connections : On fantasy, applied linguistics and outcomes-based education. Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif Vir Taalonderrig, 35(4), 259-277.

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Teaching resources for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

New Windmills – 2004 – Resource sheets –
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

By Terry Pratchett
Activities by Alan Pearce

© Harcourt Education Limited, 2004

The following pages consist of teacher’s notes and classroom resource sheets for The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett.

These pages can be downloaded and printed out as required. This material may be freely copied for institutional use. However, this material is copyright and under no circumstances can copies be offered for sale. The publishers gratefully acknowledge permission to reproduce copyright material.

Study Areas

This is a very entertaining novel, with some extremely amusing moments. However, there are also dark moments when, for example, some of the educated rodents are killed. The novel will definitely encourage students to consider their attitude towards animals. Possible areas for study include:

Persuasive writing: Write Maurice’s speech to Bad Blintz’s town council, persuading them that rats should be treated as equals. …

Creative writing: Imagine a pet could record his or her thoughts. What would they think of their owners? …

Informative writing: Write an article for a nature magazine, about the educated rodents found in Bad Blintz. …

Independent research/information writing: Produce a leaflet about keeping rats as pets. …

Personal view: Who would you identify as the hero of the novel? …

Group discussion/presentation: Imagine you are members of the Bad Blintz town council. Debate the advantages and disadvantages of treating the educated rodents as equals. …

Collaborative drama: Dramatise significant scenes from the novel: …

This material is found at Pearsons Schools and FE Colleges

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