JAMES JOYCE in the ELT classroom

liviu magda

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I am a James Joyce aficionado. For the last year I’ve seriously thought of teaching my Advanced English Class “Ulysses”. I know it might sound a bit pretentious thinking how difficult and complex the novel is. My goal is not to teach the book as a ‘whole’, but only The Plot, The Characters, The Style and Narrative Techniques, The Themes and Molly’s Interior Monologue. What I want to really focus on is to teach the novel by portraying Dublin as the most important character of ‘Ulysses. I have to admit that I am really stuck and there is almost no information on the web.
I would be much obliged if anyone could help me with any resources, activities, lesson plans, any advice or suggestions.
 

GoesStation

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Hi, and welcome to the forum. :hi:

I'm afraid this reminds me of the bad experience I had in my university French class. I didn't stick with it for more than a term because the second-year course focused on translating poetry. This was asking the students to do infinitely more than we were equipped for.

I did eventually return to studying French, but that class left a very bad taste in my mouth. My advice is to teach material your students can understand.
 

jutfrank

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It's not at all clear what you want to do. What do you mean by 'teach the novel'? Is this an English Literature class or an EFL class? If the latter, forget about teaching the novel. Use the novel to teach the specific language and skills that you have in mind.

As always, start with your outcomes and work from there.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Ditto all of the above. I don't think exposing them to Ulysses will instill a love of Joyce - probably just a fear of him.

Have you considered using Dubliners? It has a lot of the same themes, some beautiful writing (who's ever topped the last two pages of "The Dead"?) And if Dublin isn't the lead character, it's still a character.
 

emsr2d2

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Doing Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for 'O' Level English certainly served to put me off reading another word of Joyce for the rest of my life.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Doing Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for 'O' Level English certainly served to put me off reading another word of Joyce for the rest of my life.
Almost did for me, too. Portrait was just pointless when I was in high school. I mean, who cares what green and orange symbolize? And how wound up about Parnell do English teachers expect us to get?

Gave him another shot later, though. Glad I did.
 

jutfrank

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My English Lit professor at university was a Joyce scholar and probably the world's foremost expert on Finnegan's Wake. I can distinctly remember him admitting to me during a tutorial that he had "little idea what any of it is about".
 
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