Sociolinguistics and Fairy Tales; An Integrated Approach to Adult ESL Classroom Practice

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The purpose of this study is to consider the current materials adult ESL students’ use and incorporate authentic material (through the use of fairy tales) as a way of helping adult learners achieve proficiency in second language through a mock prospectus.

This study investigates the sociolinguistic, sociocultural and psychological features found in fairy tales, including Grimm’s tales, and the potential of using modern fairy tales as practice material for ESL learners. It explores various dimensions of fairy tales and demonstrates how they can be used as content to instruct and provide language practice to ESL learners.

Fairy tales are predominantly taught to native English primary school students. They are a ‘semi-logical’ language that is inherent to the English language. Teachers can use similar texts so that adult ESL students can benefit becoming familiar with certain grammatical structures and vocabulary. It is essential to discover whether adult ESL students can comprehend the language used in fairy tales. Therefore, the following hypotheses can be made;

Are the linguistic features in a modern fairy tales similar to standard/basic everyday texts?

Do these texts have the potential to be authentic enough for standard language use?

Can these texts allow students to be more active and confident in their English proficiency and self-development?

What problems can occur if the mock prospectus is implicated?

The main theory used in this study will be Krashen’s Input Hypothesis; the ‘i’ as the students’ familiarity with the stories and the +1 as the target language acquired. Teachers must provide students with opportunities to use meaningful language and, allow for immediate corrective feedback.


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