Teaching the novel The Quite American requires that teachers employ various techniques in the teaching process to help in the delivery of the goals thereof. In this manner, one of the teaching processes that the teachers can employ in the teaching is to give away assignments to students to give them the opportunities to examine the book in great details. Lesson Topic: The Quiet American (novel)
Objectives: the students are expected to:
Be conversant with the political and historical settings in which the novel was published.
Identify the various motivating factors of the main participants.
To identify the social and political happening described in the book.
To describe the reviews and critiques of the novel.
To identify the themes discussed in the book.
Watching a film, TheLittle Dieter Needs to Fly or The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, which deals with the Vietnam War and the American role
Reading- the students are expected to read part one.
The students should discuss in small groups of four to five individuals what do they know about Pyle, and how is he different/similar from/to Fowler?
4. New word assessment: I will ask the class whether there is any student familiar with these words in relation to how they have been used to explain the Vietnam War. (1) Indefatigable, (2) Incongruously, (3) Monstrance, (4) Premonitory, (5) Surreptitiously, (6) Vermouth
Novel memorization- I would require the students to come up with a simple method to help them remember the contents in the book. This may be a play or an act where they imitate different characters.
Reading part 2
Vocabulary Quiz: The student would identify at least three unfamiliar words used on the board and find their meaning in relation the context which they are used. I will play a guiding role by helping students practice saying and writing the words.
Class Discussion- a. Pyles proposal to Phuong. b. How Fowlers perspective on love is different from Pyles?
The students will group up so as to look up the meaning of chosen excerpt. This is to help support and comprehend of the novel.
Reading- part 3
Enhancing and fostering independent of student reading ability.
3. Class Discussion- a. analyzing this quote, I turned back to the policeman, meaning to throw him to one side and make a run for it across the square: he might shoot: I didnt care - and then the word warn' reached my consciousness" and discussed Fowler's care of Phuong. b. Discussing Fowlers message for Pyle. c. asking the students who is guilty in this novel?
4. Finalizing the lesson by asking students the process they went through while identifying and learning new vocabulary words. Students would be expected to choose an excerpt after which they will be tested on their understanding of various vocabulary used. They will also be supposed to share writing they came across with other students to improve their understanding. I will enquire from the students the importance of learning new words. They practice saying and writing words, organize them into related groups, debating their placement and meaning, and apply the words to the literature I read in your classroom
5. Modification and Enrichment: the students will use additional resources such as the dictionary and online research to enrich and modify their handouts.
6. Homework- in the home essay, write an analysis of the novel. There is a need for students to carry out a critique of the whole novel in their free time to examine the role and the relevance of this novel to the contemporary society.
There are some difficulties associated with teaching the novel to young students. It is quite challenging for any teacher to make the students concentrate in a literature class set-up. For example, The Quite American is a novel that was published at a time of war and narrates more about principle betrayal and being involved. As a result, it poses a number of central difficulties in teaching the context of the novel to younger students. Fowler has lived in Vietnam for a reasonable period since he is set to accomplish a certain mission. Apparently, Fowler seems to be escaping from an unsuccessful marriage. Consequently, he had a failed relationship in England. Phuong is a Vietnamese girl who is probably illiterate.
The level of reliability from this novel, The Quiet American, is not adequate to teach the junior learners. They cannot be in a position to relate the little information provided in the text and what is being taught in class. The only narrator and source of important information in the text is Fowler. Fowler is a typical example of people who do not bring out their emotions. The novel shows that he is insincere and unreliable. Student needs to focus more analyses on his behavior. As a result, one needs to be very careful with information delivered in the novel. Young learners may lose their concentration and level of understanding along the way. Young minds have not developed the capacity to do enough and educate research. They cannot determine the right question to answer.
At most times, young students always have a hard time, or rather, a difficult time in understanding the context of the novel. For instance, innocence is one of the main themes that Graham tries to exploit in the novel. There are so many innocent deaths in Vietnam, and this is the driving factor for Fowler that he makes effortless moves to fight for the rights of the innocent souls.
Greene, Graham. The Quiet American. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print.
Norah, You are correct that younger students will have some difficulty with the vocabulary in this book and with the historical context. I am not sure you have quite solved those problems, though. You may need a more creative means to sneak in a lesson on vocabulary, asking students to look up words isnt quite enough. It may be better to focus on longer passages and make vocabulary just one of the challenges you tackle. As for conveying the historical context of the war in Vietnam, the films you selected are complex works, especially Apocalypse Now, and I think they would do more to complicate your task as a teacher than to make it easier. You also need to be more specific about how you will address the question of Fowlers reliability. It would help to discuss a specific passage where his reliability becomes a problem. Overall, this needs more work. Its not easy to teach this novel, and some of the tasks here (memorizing all the events, summarizing the whole novel) arent realistic. This draft would earn a B-, so it would be worth your time to try to improve it.
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