How to Teach Poetry Effectively: Insights from a Filipino University Teacher
Strategies in Teaching Poetry Sharing of Experiences: A Filipino Perspective
Poetry is a form of literature that expresses emotions, thoughts, and feelings through the use of language, rhythm, and imagery. Poetry can be a powerful tool for learning and teaching, as it can develop creativity, critical thinking, communication, and cultural awareness among students. However, teaching poetry can also be challenging, especially in a diverse and multicultural context like the Philippines.
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In this article, we will explore some of the strategies and experiences of a Filipino teacher who teaches poetry at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), a private institution that offers courses in business, economics, technology, humanities, and education. We will also discuss some of the benefits and challenges of teaching poetry in the Philippines, and how poetry can contribute to the development of Filipino identity and culture.
Who is Moreal Nagarit Camba?
Moreal Nagarit Camba is a teacher of Filipino literature at UA&P. He has been teaching poetry for more than seven years as part of the course Filipino 103 Panitikan ng Pilipinas (Filipino Literature), which is the third and last Filipino course that students take at the university. He is also a poet himself, having published his own collection of poems titled Ang Mga Tula ng Buhay Ko (The Poems of My Life) in 2010.
Camba believes that teaching poetry is not only a matter of imparting knowledge and skills, but also of sharing experiences and emotions with his students. He says that poetry is a way of expressing one's self and one's worldview, and that teaching poetry is a way of inviting his students to explore their own selves and their own views. He also says that teaching poetry is a way of connecting with his students and building rapport with them.
What are some of his strategies in teaching poetry?
Camba employs various strategies in teaching poetry to his students, depending on their level of interest, background, and proficiency. Some of these strategies are:
Conducting a survey at the beginning of the class to assess the students' attitude and disposition towards poetry and literature in general. He says that this helps him to know his students better and to tailor his approach accordingly.
Using multimedia resources such as videos, music, images, and online platforms to introduce and illustrate different aspects of poetry such as form, style, theme, tone, mood, etc. He says that this helps to capture the students' attention and to make poetry more accessible and relatable to them.
Encouraging the students to read and write their own poems in Filipino or in English, or to translate poems from one language to another. He says that this helps to develop the students' creativity, language skills, and appreciation for poetry.
Organizing group activities such as discussions, presentations, workshops, and recitals to foster collaboration, interaction, and feedback among the students. He says that this helps to create a supportive and engaging learning environment for poetry.
Inviting guest speakers such as poets, writers, critics, and scholars to share their insights and experiences on poetry with the students. He says that this helps to expose the students to different perspectives and influences on poetry.
What are some of his experiences in teaching poetry?
Camba shares some of his experiences in teaching poetry to his students at UA&P. Some of these experiences are:
He says that he has encountered various challenges in teaching poetry such as lack of interest, motivation, or confidence among some of his students; difficulty in finding suitable materials or resources for teaching poetry; and dealing with cultural differences or biases among his students.
He says that he has also experienced various rewards in teaching poetry such as seeing his students improve their skills and knowledge on poetry; witnessing his students express their emotions and opinions through poetry; and receiving positive feedback or appreciation from his students.
He says that he has learned various lessons from teaching poetry such as being flexible, patient, and open-minded; being creative, innovative, and resourceful; being passionate, enthusiastic, and empathetic; and being humble, respectful, and professional.
What are some of the benefits and challenges of teaching poetry in the Philippines?
Camba reflects on some of the benefits and challenges of teaching poetry in the Philippines. Some of these are:
He says that one of the benefits of teaching poetry in the Philippines is that it can help to promote Filipino culture and identity among his students. He says that by exposing his students to different forms and genres of Filipino poetry such as tula, balagtasan, dalit, kundiman, awit, etc., he can help them to appreciate their rich literary heritage and to express their own voice as Filipinos.
He says that another benefit of teaching poetry in the Philippines is that it can help to develop critical thinking and social awareness among his students. He says that by introducing his students to different themes and issues that are relevant to Philippine society such as history, politics, religion, gender, environment, etc., he can help them to analyze their own situation and to engage with their own community.
He says that one of the challenges of teaching poetry in the Philippines is that it can be difficult to balance between local and global perspectives on poetry. He says that while he wants to emphasize Filipino poetry in his class, he also wants to expose his students to other forms and traditions of poetry from other countries and cultures. He says that he tries to find connections or similarities between different poems or poets across time and space.
He says that another challenge of teaching poetry in the Philippines is that it can be hard to compete with other forms of entertainment or information that are more popular or accessible to his students such as social media,
What are some of the forms and genres of Filipino poetry?
Filipino poetry is a diverse and rich literary tradition that reflects the history, culture, and identity of the Filipino people. Filipino poetry can be classified into different forms and genres based on various criteria such as language, structure, theme, style, etc. Some of the forms and genres of Filipino poetry are:
Tula - This is the general term for poetry in Filipino. It can be written in any language, but most commonly in Filipino or English. It can also have any structure, theme, or style, but most commonly follows a rhyme scheme and a meter.
Balagtasan - This is a form of poetic debate that originated in the early 20th century. It is named after Francisco Balagtas, a renowned Filipino poet who wrote the epic Florante at Laura. It involves two or more poets who argue on a given topic using witty and eloquent verses. It is usually performed in front of an audience who judges the winner.
Dalit - This is a form of devotional poetry that originated in the pre-colonial period. It is usually written in Tagalog or other regional languages. It consists of four lines with seven syllables each, and follows an AABB rhyme scheme. It is usually sung or chanted during religious ceremonies or rituals.
Kundiman - This is a form of lyrical poetry that originated in the 19th century. It is usually written in Tagalog or other regional languages. It expresses love, patriotism, or sorrow through melodious and sentimental verses. It is usually accompanied by music and sung as a serenade.
Awit - This is a form of narrative poetry that originated in the 16th century. It is usually written in Tagalog or other regional languages. It tells a story of romance, adventure, or heroism through verses that have twelve syllables each and follow an ABAB rhyme scheme. It is usually recited or sung as a ballad.
What are some of the themes and issues that are relevant to Philippine society?
Filipino poetry can also address various themes and issues that are relevant to Philippine society, such as history, politics, religion, gender, environment, etc. Some of these themes and issues are:
History - Filipino poetry can reflect the historical events and experiences of the Filipino people, such as colonization, revolution, independence, martial law, etc. Some examples of historical poems are Mi Ultimo Adios by Jose Rizal, Ako ang Daigdig by Alejandro Abadilla, Tulang Isinulat ni Bonifacio sa Kaniyang Asawa Bago Siya Bumaba sa Balintawak by Andres Bonifacio, Lualhati by Amado V. Hernandez, etc.
Politics - Filipino poetry can also express the political views and opinions of the Filipino people, such as nationalism, democracy, human rights, social justice, etc. Some examples of political poems are Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa by Andres Bonifacio, Kung Tuyo na ang Luha mo Aking Bayan by Amado V. Hernandez, Ako'y Isang Pinoy by Florante de Leon, Bakit Kailangan ang Himagsikan? by Jose Maria Sison, etc.
Religion - Filipino poetry can also explore the religious beliefs and practices of the Filipino people, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, animism, etc. Some examples of religious poems are Dalit kay Maria by Francisco Balagtas,
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