This morning Dale Sproule of Canadian Newcomer magazine graciously offered his feedback and advice on the English literacy/literary class idea. It's important that I create a program that will be interesting and applicable to newcomers to Canada. He offered some contacts that I could pursue and I came to realize that I needed to simplify and refine my pitch.
Questions that came to me during the interview:
1. Would newcomers, needing ESL classes, be turned off by the idea of learning English reading and speaking skills using great fiction, poetry and drama?
2. How would I define for them the use of literary arts in this class.
3. What does literary arts mean?
4. Would they be more turned off by the idea of learning English writing and communication skills through creative writing exercises? Would they consider this to be an off-track method?
5. How would I pitch this idea so that I get the chance to convince them that this method will teach English as fast as any other ESL course and so much more in terms of overall communication, confidence, self-awareness and easing them through the transition of leaving one story behind them and starting this new one in Canada?
6. Also, I have to understand that this is just a theory at this point. How do I prove it -- even to myself?
7. i also don't want to lose sight of my secret wish for this class: that my course might help develop a great new writer in Canada.
I need to continue garnering support for this project as I did with Dale Sproule. He set a new dimension to my project's goals. This project is now at a fledgling stage. If I can successfully launch the project and engage a class or two, it would then be at a stage that I might pitch the class again to Dale for a story in the Canadian Newcomer magazine.
I think I will alter the pitch thus: I need to market it as an ESL program with a set number of goals and acheivements for a specific period of time -- and THEN I can add that there is a little twist. So start by sounding common and practical -- and once I establish that I can add this small but significant difference.
And keep it short-er than my usual long-windedness -- and sweet.