Teaching English in Sweden : A Look at the Rhetoric in the Federalist Papers

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Engelska institutionen

Abstract: This essay examines the possibility to use the Federalist Papers as authentic classroom material for English 7 within Sweden’s upper secondary school. To do this, three close readings have been done of the first, tenth and fifty-first essay amongst the Federalist Papers. Although the material is quite advanced, this essay found that these essays should be considered when choosing material for English 7 as they are challenging but have a lot of opportunity for learning, especially regarding rhetoric. Like most material in a classroom, one must compare the possible material’s compatibility with the class being taught. However, the Federalist Papers fulfills many of the requirements for course content within the Swedish curriculum for upper secondary school as well as the course plan for specifically English 7. This is because the material regards existential questions and is both historical and political which makes it aligned with the course plan. Likewise, many of the issues covered in these essays regard questions on democratization and human nature in relation to government, which makes the Federalist Papers a good candidate for school material.  The main points of interest for the learners when it comes to English skills to be gained from working with the Federalist Papers are the rhetorical devices,particularly ethos and pathos, that can be observed within the essays. Learners would understand how analogies and metaphors can be used to make an audience feel in a certain way, resulting in a more efficient use of language, while also learning how certain words can indicate an adversarial stance towards opposing ideas.

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