Poetry Writing in EFL Classrooms: Learning from Indonesian Students’ Strategies


Hanuer’s Meaningful Literacy has been used as a major justification for including poetry writing as part of pedagogical practices in second and foreign language contexts. Unfortunately, within the EFL context, many teachers are still reluctant to include poetry writing in their teaching practices due to the common assumption that writing poems in a second language is too difficult for students to deal with and therefore will be out of their reach and interest. This qualitative study, which collected data through observations, documentation and surveys, investigated how 171 Indonesian EFL students successfully write their poetry books in creative writing classes. Employing an ethnographic case study approach, the findings showed that students use the following strategies in writing their English poems: (1) Using popular poem templates as idea starters; (2) Creating a vocabulary bank for writing rhyming poems; and (3) Building emotions through personal story sharing and later channeling them through poetry writing. This study concludes that EFL students could enjoy poetry writing as expressive pedagogy and thus, debunks the negative assumption related to EFL students’ lack of interest and appreciation in poetry writing.

Keywords: Creative writing, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), expressive pedagogy, poetry writing, Indonesian students

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