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Exploring The FOG MACHINE: College/University Classrooms

 

  

 

EN-429/EN-216 “Literature, Culture, and Didactics”—taught by Professors Jan Erik Mustad and Eva Burwitz-Melzer at the University of Agder in Norway—illustrates possibilities for exploring The FOG MACHINE with college/university students.

This masters’-level course prepares students to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Norwegian classrooms by:

·        Introducing selected topics and works in American and British culture and literature

·        Applying didactic/methodological theories to conflict perspectives & multiculturalism/ethnicity

·        Investigating pedagogical and didactic classroom utilization of these perspectives

Novels studied are:

·      The FOG MACHINE  

·       Carnegie Medal-winner Siobhan Dowd’s Bog Child

·       Glen Patterson’s The Rest Just Follows

Why These Novels?

“Pre-service training for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in Norway emphasizes literature, history, language, and critical thinking. EFL courses cover the American Civil Rights Movement and the Northern Ireland conflict in both middle school and high school.

“It is therefore useful to read historical novels that cast light on issues Norwegian students can identify with and learn from: What was it like to live and grow up with conflict? With social injustice? With segregation?

The FOG MACHINE, Bog Child, and The Rest Just Follows each interpret one or more of these issues. Through the different perspectives offered in these three novels, I hope my teacher training students will learn to recognize nuances and unacceptable treatment of human beings and appreciate that history is powerful in illuminating our understanding of contemporary society.” 

JAN ERIK MUSTAD, Sr. Lecturer/Assoc. Professor, Department of Foreign Languages & Translation, Faculty of Humanities & Education, University of Agder
 

Added Advantage with The FOG MACHINE

“Ms. Follett’s willingness to engage with students made the classroom experience with The FOG MACHINE very different than with the other books on our syllabus. Students were able to bring new perspectives to the discussion after asking questions of the author and digesting additional information not available in the story itself. Q&A encompassed authorial intent and choices, historical context, and relationships between the time of the story and today.”  JAN ERIK MUSTAD

 


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