Literature is one of the basics of languages teaching whether it is in a native language or a foreign language. Therefore, I have stayed connected with literature research after studying British,
American and German literature and linguistics.
At interjuli we believe that the research of children’s and young adults’ literature deserves a greater place in academia. This is why we
publish current international and interdisciplinary research of literature for children and young adults.
Our lives at interjuli represent the bridge between the interest in literary research and the interest in children and young adults themselves: As experts on educational questions and pedagogic companions through youth work and community service, as teachers and parents, but at the same time as scholars of Anglophone, Germanophone and Romance philology, the scientific connection of the two fields mandates our purpose.
At interjuli I am one of the editors, an interviewer/ reviewer and a founding member.
When parents choose picture books they often choose books that are either entertaining or cute or familiar to them from their own childhoods and include a picture-perfect world. Many of these
books contain common aesthetic schemes with bright colors, childlike features and simplification. These common aesthetics don't provide challenges to the child's world view and don't allow for
children to deal with serious topics. Although children constantly have to face difficult emotional situations in their surroundings, these books cover up that childhoods also include stressful
new circumstances that need to be dealt with.
For a few years the number of problem-oriented picture books has increased. They deal with death, disease, psychological or social problems and therefore provide conversation starters for dealing with difficulties. As an example of that I have analyzed books that deal with Alzheimer's disease in family situations. This topic is a concern to millions of people world wide who are either affected by the disease as a patient or a family member. And numbers are growing. The disease changes the patient's life and often the lives of their families to a huge extend. Since the disease is often dominating the relationship between patients and the generation of their sons and daughters, grandchildren often have to deal with this overburdening situation on their own. It is usually very hard for them to deal with the fact that they are not recognized anymore and that their grandparent is stressed or aggressive, forgetful, confused and helpless while their parents might feel incapable of dealing with the situation themselves and there is fighting or despair.
A number of organizations provides guidebooks for patients and families with useful advice. My book examines how Alzheimer's disease is depicted in picture books and whether books encourage a
constructive dialog in families.
Hachemer, Mareike. Alzheimer im problemorientierten Bilderbuch. Inhaltliche, künstlerische und sprachliche Aspekte. Hamburg: Diplomica, 2012. ISBN 978-3-8428-8404-5
Teacher Prize Winner Nancie Atwell encourages students to read more than 40 books a year. Her students also write about literature and recommend books to other students. The list of books
recommended as well as an explanation of her concept can be found on the Center of Teaching and Learning Website.
When I was trained as a teacher I was lucky to be at a school that used numerous strategies of encouraging reading among students. My colleagues, mentors and I use methods and events
1. sleep-overs with books and stories
2. student book reports
3. book fairs
4. book portfolios
5. student book recommendations
Through reading as much as possible students expand their vocabulary to a great extent. They improve their orthography and grammar, generally understand written and spoken words quickly and
effective and gain profound knowledge as well as train their social and emotional skills.