Interview with Jeremy Harmer

Interview description

Jeremy talks about ways to use poetry in the ELT classroom. He also reflects on the changes in ELT since the first issue of his teacher training book 32 years ago. Lastly he brings up the important issue of testing and the move towards testing learners at increasingly young ages.


poetry can function as micro-texts for thinking about values, human issues, global/glocal issues, real emotions "the whole world in just a few lines" --- part of what educators should be addressing beyond language learning, as Herbert Puchta reminds us in his interview.

Benjamin Zephaniah is a British poet who belongs more in EFL classrooms, as rap poetry, political poetry, also very 'accessible' in Jeremy's sense.  Too bad he wasn''t invited to the conference. Here a unit from GISIG on his poem 'Football Mad': 

Poetry in motion (on video, animated, or as rap) is another focus kids like and very multimodal, they can also act it out, as Jeremy mentions, a kind of activity 'magic', even make a set of simple drawings in groups. Here an article on poetry in motion:   Much material on youtube if you search. Here Carol Ann Duffy, an animated poem: