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Teaching English Through Bible

11 Desember 2022   23:45 Diperbarui: 11 Desember 2022   23:45 54
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I want to discuss that presenting English language within the Biblical context is worth trying with teenagers as they are far more reasons for studying the Bible than simply getting a better grip on the English language. For many millenia, the Bible has been the book that has inspired people of many generations.

Moreover, the Bible opens up a treasure store of insight and reflection upon human nature and upon the meaning and purpose of life. I would like to suggest that to study the Bible is to set out on a discovery of history, culture, and language. Yet, it is also to set out on a discovery of not only the world around us but also the world within ourselves. Thus, the teenagers learn about hope, joy, peace, forgiveness, truth, justice, and mercy. They learn about life.

In the theoretical part of the final project first, I shall give reasons for teaching English language items within the Biblical events as a meaningful and communicative context, I shall justify the pros and cons of using original or modified texts and emphasize the importance of stories in our lives. Second, I shall prove that the knowledge gained from the Bible-based stories can go as far as enriching and strengthening linkage and co-operation with other subjects. Third, I will reveal who teenagers are and why working with the Bible material may be useful for them. Then, I shall give reasons why we should encourage improving reading skills such as skimming and scanning as well as usefulness of visual literacy and importance of illustrations while presenting the Bible stories as they are effective in terms of getting the teenagers' interest and help the teenagers interpret and remember the content of the illustrated text. Lastly, I should prove that reading comprehension activities promote the teenagers' self­ expression and make the learning process more interesting and amusing.

Why The Bible?

MariAnne Dibbley states that the Bible is a book like no other. However, according to the statistics, the Bible is the world's bestselling book. The Bible's influence is not limited to Christians; Jews and Muslims also consider the Bible to be a sacred text. It is said that more than half of the world's population consider the Bible to be a major influence on their culture (Dibbley 2012: 4).

Contrary to all above mentioned facts, the Czechs are becoming increasingly pluralistic, secularized, and biblically illiterate. Many people today have little sense of how their language and culture have benefited from Christianity's influence. They do not realize that there are many phrases from the Bible that have become part of everyday language (Crystal 2010: 4). Moreover, the Bible has affected many poets, artists, painters or musicians and has also been a co­ creator of the moral development of human beings.

In other words the knowledge of the Bible is necessary for appreciating and deeper understanding of culture, language, literature, history, art, music and politics. The influence of the Bible on society has been important throughout history. Therefore, it worths mentioning Bible stories also in English lessons not just as a language input but as well as reinforcing other subjects connection and showing students that the linkage between the subjects can lead to better understanding of the matter. The Bible consists of many books and stories thus I want to stress the positive impact of stories on students.

The Importance of Stories:

Story-telling is as old as time. According to Ruth Wajnryb "we need to go no further than the stories that make up the bibles of any of the world's major religions to see the persuasive power of narrative (Wajnryb 2003: 1)." Further, she says that stories are important in terms of regeneration and maintenance of culture. She mentions the example from the Old Testament when Moses encouraged the Israelites before they reached the promised land to tell their story from generation to generation (Wajnryb 2003: 4).

Ruth Wajnryb states that stories are all around us and can sneak into our life and help us to identify who we are as many of them have a moral aim that can be perceived for instance in Biblical parables. Besides amusement, stories can also contribute to our emotional and intelectual development (Wajnryb 2003: 1). A similar idea is also supported by Andrew Wright who claims that stories help to distinguish people good and evil (Wright 2008: 13) and "offer values, perceptions, and behaviours which can act as sighnposts and paths for people to live by (Wright 2008: 144)." Moreover, he believes that teenagers with a good command of English would go into much deeper and intensive discovering and perceiving the story values than younger students (Wright 2008: 146). Eleanor Watts sufficiently concludes all the above mentioned ideas by saying that "stories are also invaluable to students learning a second language because stories set language in a meaningful context, link well to topics and cross­ curricular work, teach about ethical behaviour, develop fluency and enable students to make critical judgements and express opinions (Watts 2006: 6-7)."

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