It’s not every day I sing the praises of a “crib”…

07 Mar

9781741253474-2T … but I am prepared to laud Maya Puiu and Lisa Edwards for their Pascal Press Study Guide for “Belonging” and Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicle. It really is a thorough and extremely intelligent guide.

It is in fact so good it could be dangerous for some students, if they were to draw on it too closely. Nonetheless, I do commend it and have used it myself – after my own efforts on this site, I should add perhaps. Learn from it, but after reading them search out your own quotes on “belonging” and your own supplementary texts. Use the material on the poems as part of a wider mix, including your class discussions and your own insights. Avoid the exact wording of this very helpful book, lest you and thousands of others begin to sound as if you have been cloned!

Even so, this gets a 10 out of 10 from me. It is that good!

I haven’t seen the other guides in the series, but it has been a good idea to publish comprehensive guides for each set text rather than a catch-all approach in one book.

Maya Puiu is no stranger either to ESL teaching or to Skrzynecki’s work. Some years ago she co-ordinated a book rap on the subject where there is some valuable material, even if not all the current set of poems are there.


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3 responses to “It’s not every day I sing the praises of a “crib”…

  1. Lymaris Fuentes

    April 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    After reading this good critique of the guide, I felt like buying it and reading it. You can get your students involved when you are teaching them poetry as long as you have the right materials and this guide looks like a very nice one. We have to be careful with whatever we use to get into our students, but that is what make each one of us good teachers! Teaching the right things, the right way… right?

  2. Maya Puiu

    November 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Neil – I stumbled on this when reading your site (as I often do when looking for senior English information) and want to thank you for your kind words. It’s so gratifying to hear that the information is useful. I would be happy to be involved in any Skrzynecki, or ESL HSC related discussions that may occur. Thanks again!

  3. Neil

    November 6, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Thanks, Maya. That would be most welcome.


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