Literature and Reading Communities
This chapter explores how language learners can benefit from belonging to a reading community and argues that the notion of community is central to theories of how language learning can be supported, for example, through scaffolding (Vygotsky) and communities of practice (Lave and Wenger). It describes different kinds of reading community, such as book clubs, book blogging, social networks, and poetry circles, and the ways in which they can help learners to engage with literary texts. It does, however, question whether the democratisation of literary criticism in such groups may lead to the ‘death’ of the expert critic, and a decline in the standards we expect from a literary text.
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