Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Benefits of Teaching Foreign YAL

I noticed that a variety of blogs deal with young adult literature and what we may or may not teach to our students in the classroom. I think that as a teacher I would definitely be open to having my students read some foreign young adult literature. It would open up a new found appreciation for other countries and their cultures as well as create a new learning experience for students. You could also connect it to other classes that students may have. Some of the titles that I would be interested in teaching are Crutches in which a German boy is separated from his mother after the war and befriended by a legless German soldier. Another title is Hand Full of Stars in which a teenager from the Middle East keeps a diary detailing his involvement in an anti-gov newspaper. Shizuko's Daughter is another novel about a young Japanese girl who resides in America after her mother kills herself so that her daughter can have a better life free from her father and stepmother. There are many benefits to teaching foreign YAL to students. The hardest part is actually being able to obtain these books. It is best to look for them with small publishing co. and university presses.


  1. Interesting. I read a lot of foreign YAL growing up so I too am a big fan of at least having some of those titles available for students

  2. I know in a lot of grad English Ed programs they offer a course in Multicultural Literature. I'm not sure why that's not offered in undergraduate programs. I know Balok introduces you to some, but I would love to get some feedback from you all on this. Do you feel you would benefit from having a class as an undergrad in multicultural lit? Could more be embedded in YAL? or do some of the College of Ed professors provide opportunities to read some?

  3. i know you take some courses in English, such as Native American Lit, but is that enough? Should the course be an English requirement or would it be better as an English Methods course?