Incorporating Literature in Esl Teaching and Learning Dr.A.Joycilin Shermila

Topics: Second language acquisition, Linguistics, Literature Pages: 7 (2482 words) Published: August 14, 2013
Dr.A.Joycilin Shermila
Associate Professor in English
Annammal College of Education for Women
Tuticorin – 628 003
TamilNadu, India
Literature that was initially read and enjoyed by enthusiasts and elites has gradually paved its way to become a more dynamic resource in teaching English as a second language. Literature in language classroom can enhance the critical thinking abilities of the learners. It can also create a learner friendly environment. Incorporating literature in language classroom can be lively and motivating and it can provide an interactive climate which can improve the communicative competence of the learners. Literary texts are a rice source of classroom activities and they provide motivating atmosphere for learners. Literature cultivates the critical abilities of the students. It encompasses every human dilemma, conflict and yearning unraveling the plot of a short story or decoding the dialogue of a play and is more than a mechanical exercise. According to Langer (1997:607) literature can open “horizons of possibility, allowing students to question, interpret, connect and explore”. Literature in language class can make it vibrant and enthusiastic. Many educators and researchers in both L1 and L2 have recognized the various benefits that language learners can gain from the integration of literature. Lazar (1993:15-19) provides five reasons for using literature in ELT – i. motivating materials

ii. encouraging language acquisition
iii. expanding students’ language awareness iv. developing students’ interpretative abilities v. educating the whole person

Collie and Slater (1987: 3-5) mention that literature offers valuable, authentic and relevant materials that provide cultural and language enrichment, as well as personal involvement for students. Literature is rooted in a language and language gets life thorough literature. So Literature and language are closely interconnected. According to Lazar (1993), "Literature should be used with students because it is motivating stimulus for language acquisition, students enjoy it, and it is a fun, it is found in many syllabuses and the like." Literature, a convenient source of content for a course in foreign language, provides motivating materials for language teaching. According to Carter and Long (1991), "Literature is a legitimate and valuable resource for language teaching." In the 1980s, literature has made its presence into the language curriculum through the new evolution in Applied Linguistics and Literary Theory in the 1970s. In the area of Applied Linguistics, through experts in stylistics and discourse analysis, a new move has been identified that emphasizes on the need to use learning materials that can present emotionally engaging and intellectually stimulating experience for the language learners (Delanoy,1997). Brumfit and Carter (1986) asserted that literary texts not only can grip the reader’s imagination more strongly but they can also be promoted for the examination of language at work. Littlewood (2005) also observed that although such texts were predominantly valuable for developing reading skills, it could be exploited for purposes such as explaining grammar teaching and indicating various types of language usage. Literature can be used to teach language through interesting activities such as brainstorming, role playing, word association, situational scenes and prediction. Literature in language classroom will give opportunities for students to express their opinions about general subjects. Literature is an important window letting one to have a view of the world and realizing the expression of culture by means of sharing individual or collective life experience. As in any language...
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