Welcome to studyingfiction!
We are two university researchers interested in making links between cognitive linguistics and education. We have set up this blog to share our research and ideas, and generally encourage new ways of thinking about literary study in the classroom. The kinds of topics this blog will discuss include: literature and the mind, thinking about teachers and students as readers, the classroom as a reading environment, what is ‘English’ for and how current ideas in cognitive linguistics can support and inform teachers’ day-to-day practice.
Cognitive linguistics is a broad field but generally it is a way of thinking about language that places an emphasis on the relationship between our physical lived experiences in the world, and how these are represented and constructed in the mind, with a focus on language as the bridge between the two. You can find out a bit more about it here.
We’re particularly interested in exploring how cognitive linguistics can offer useful tools for teachers to use when thinking about how to plan and teach lessons, and reflect on their own practices. For the English practitioner, we believe that cognitive linguistics offers an important tool for understanding what goes on in the act of reading and engaging with literary fiction and for exploring how to make classrooms more inclusive and generally better! We don’t offer silver bullets but we think that our research, and that of others within our field, has important implications for teaching. We are interested in making connections with teachers and schools who might be interested in discussing these ideas and their applications in more detail.
We take our inspiration from many of the ideas that have been discussed in cognitive linguistics and cognitive science and will be writing about these over the forthcoming posts. We’re also interested in a lot of the work that has been taking place in cognitive narratology and cognitive psychology, which looks at the ways in which texts are created, interpreted and understood by individuals and groups of readers.
This blog will launch in the next few weeks and will focus on applying ideas in a practical way. Subscribe to receive notifications of future posts.
Forthcoming posts will consider:
- the classroom as a reading environment
- different types of reading that occur in the classroom
- emotional responses to fiction
- what readers bring to reading experiences
- reading and the whole class novel
- what we pay attention to whilst reading
- embodied learning
- using visual representations to support literature teaching
Further details of our recent work can be found on our Academia pages where you can download selected papers and presentations.