The Importance of Learning English Literature in School

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English is an international language, as we all know. Therefore, the role it plays is very significant. For this reason, all efforts should be made in order to enable the students master this language. In my opinion, as a teacher of English language at schools for more than two decades, English language is easy to master. But, what I see now is something different. Nowadays, a majority of the students refrain from using this language. Many of my students at school tell me with frustration that they find English a difficult language to learn. I do know, that they sincerely want to master the language, use it and eventually make a suitable, beneficial career out of it. Even after attending summer courses in English, they voice the same complaint. I look at them with sorrow and pity. I feel sympathetic towards them. I know the real cause leading to their ignorance, although they are clever enough to master any language. The crux of their problem is that they are never taught English literature. Most of what they have been taught is communicative English, tenses and grammar with their dull and dry drills. English literature is undeniably the essence, the core. Moreover, an assimilative study of English literature increases their vocabulary, enlightens their minds through reading of literary texts and enables them to speak fluently. Above all, English literature instills into them the love of the English language. What stimulated me to initiate a further discussion on this topic is the report by Dr. Ayid Sharyan in Yemen Times on the symposium held at Ibb University, ‘English Literature Teaching in Yemen: Problems and Prospects.” Before this, I had already read the articles delivered by Professor Thakur in Yemen Times, “Teaching Language through literature: Problems and Principles.” In my view, the problem begins at the school level. Since we do not teach literature in schools; how can we expect the students to master the language and in the end appreciate its...
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