Teaching English as A Second Language Using Alice In Wonderland

We all know Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland 3D movie is hitting cinema across the world. Based on Lewis Carroll classic novel, Alice in Wonderland can be used as a good resource to teach ESL especially literature component. It’s always a good idea to start with something close to students’ heart before going into something “heavy”. Tim Roberts wrote a very interesting article on how to use the book as a teaching material. Perhaps, you can even think of ideas on using the movie clips to spur students’ imagination.


ESL teachers are constantly in need of interesting material for their students, whether those students are first-graders, teenagers, or adults. There is a wide range of lesson planning material available for ESL lessons on the Internet, provided by experienced ESL professionals. But much of it lacks the vital spark needed to ignite a student’s interest and wonder. How many sentences would you want to diagram during a lesson, and how often would you want to review the vocative as compared to the nominative? Useful language tools that sparkle with easily-understood humor are abundantly available in one of the greatest children’s books of all time, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The book has been translated into nearly 200 languages world-wide and has been made into movies, cartoons, and comic books. It is known in some form or other from Valparaiso to Ulaanbataar. Another plus is that the book is now in the Public Domain; there are no pesky copyright issues to deal with. You can easily download an entire copy of the book at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/11/11.txt

To call this wonderful text a mere “children’s book” is a misnomer; it is an immemorial saga of mankind’s struggle to discern between dream and reality, comedy and tragedy, farce and force. It speaks directly to the heart of a child or wizened elder, bypassing the barrier of language as blithely as the Cheshire Cat bypasses Alice’s vision. The literary critic Leone Kathanthos described the book as “written beyond the comprehension of all, and thus accessible to all.”

Read the full article by Tim Roberts here.

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