Language for Special Purposes

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Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies Vol.1, No.1, April 2005 Teaching English Through Literature Murat Hişmanoğlu Abstract This paper aims at emphasizing the use of literature as a popular technique for teaching both basic language skills (i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking) and language areas (i.e. vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation) in our times. Reasons for using literary texts in foreign language classroom and main criteria for selecting suitable literary texts in foreign language classes are stressed so as to make the reader familiar with the underlying reasons and criteria for language teachers’ using and selecting literary texts. Moreover, literature and the teaching of language skills, benefits of different genres of literature (i.e. poetry, short fiction, drama and novel) to language teaching and some problems encountered by language teachers within the area of teaching English through literature (i.e. lack of preparation in the area of literature teaching in TESL / TEFL programs, absence of clear-cut objectives defining the role of literature in ESL / EFL, language teachers’ not having the background and training in literature, lack of pedagogically-designed appropriate materials that can be used by language teachers in a classroom context) are taken into account. Key Words: Literature, Teaching Literature, The Teaching of Language Skills, Foreign Language Teaching, Literary Competence

Özet

Bu makale günümüzde hem temel dil becerilerinin (okuma, yazma, dinleme ve konuşma) hem de dil alanlarının (sözcükbilgisi, dilbilgisi ve telaffuz) öğretiminde sevilen bir teknik olarak edebiyatın kullanımını vurgulamayı amaçlamaktadır. Dil öğretmenlerinin edebi metinleri kullanmalarının ve seçmelerinin temelini oluşturan sebepleri ve ölçütleri okuyucuya tanıtmak amacıyla, yabancı dil sınıfında edebi metinler kullanmanın sebepleri ve yabancı dil sınıflarında uygun edebi metinler seçmenin temel ölçütleri vurgulanmaktadır. Üstelik, edebiyat ve dil becerileri öğretimi, farklı edebiyat türlerinin (şiir, kısa öykü, drama ve roman) dil öğretimine yararları ve edebiyat ile İngilizce öğretimi alanında dil öğretmenleri tarafından karşılaşılan bazı sorunlar (TESL / TEFL programlarındaki edebiyat öğretimi alanındaki hazırlığın yetersizliği, ESL / EFL programlarında edebiyatın rolünü tanımlayan açık amaçların yokluğu, dil öğretmenlerinin edebiyat temeline ve eğitimine sahip olmayışı, dil öğretmenleri tarafından sınıf bağlamında kullanılabilecek eğitsel olarak tasarlanmış uygun materyallerin yokluğu) ele alınıyor. Anahtar Kelimeler: Edebiyat, Edebiyat Öğretimi, Dil Becerileri Öğretimi, Yabancı Dil Öğretimi, Edebi Yeti

1. Introduction In recent years, the role of literature as a basic component and source of authentic texts of the language curriculum rather than an ultimate aim of English instruction has been gaining momentum. Among language educators, there has been a hot debate as to how, when, where, and why literature should be incorporated in ESL / EFL curriculum. Vigorous discussion of how literature and ESL / EFL instruction can work together and interact for the benefit of students and teachers has lead to the flourishment of interesting ideas, learning, and improved instruction for all. Many teachers consider the use of literature in language teaching as an interesting and worthy concern (Sage 1987:1). In this paper, why a language teacher should use literary texts in the language classroom, what sort of literature language teachers should use with language learners, literature and the teaching of language skills, and benefits of different genres of literature to language teaching will be taken into account. Thus, the place of literature as a tool rather than an end in teaching English as a second or foreign language will be unearthed.

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2. Teaching Literature: why and what The use of literature as a technique for teaching both basic language skills (i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking)...
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