Developing Critical Thinking and Human Compassion with English Short Stories in the Korean EFL Classroom
- 장선영(Seon Young Jang)
- 영미문학교육 제23집 2호
- 등재여부 : KCI등재
- 155 - 178 (24 pages)
This essay begins with problematizing the commercialization of English education in Korea that usually emphasizes economic profitability whether it is of private education expenses or of national competitiveness in deciding the national policy of English education. Instead, it introduces Martha Nussbaum’s idea of education that insists, education’s deepest purpose is not in teaching students to be economically productive but in helping them to be citizens who can think critically and sympathize with the underprivileged. She argues that the humanities and the arts are still essential in fostering citizens’ critical thinking and human compassion that is the basis for building the healthy democracy. Hence, this essay pronounces that teaching English literature occupying the shared space of English language and the humanities is crucial to developing students’ critical thinking and its accompanying human compassion, and plays a central role in bridging English education and democratic citizenship. It deals with four English short stories, Nadine Gordimer’s “Town and Country Lovers” and Doris Lessing’s “Through the Tunnel,” “A Woman on a Roof,” and “The Habit of Loving,” to investigate how teaching English literature to Korean students could be a fruitful experience in developing both critical thinking and English proficiency. It shows that short stories themselves instigate thought-provoking questions in mutual dialogue and interaction between the instructor and students and among classmates. Besides, this essay applies intertextuality across literature, social issues in newspapers and film, and interculturality between England /or South Africa and Korea, as class methods to motivate students to participate in class discussion from a multi-dimensional perspective.
II. Class Procedure: From Comprehension to Discussion
III. Class Journals and Conclusion