USING LITERATURE IN THE EFL/ESL SYLLABUS AND CLASSROOM.
By Angel F. Briones-Barco
1. INTRODUCTION 3
2. WHAT IS LITERATURE? 3
2.1. Language and literature 5
3. WHY USE LITERATURE? 6
4. DIFFERENT MODELS OF TEACHING LITERATURE IN CLASS 7
4.1. The cultural model 7
4.2. The language model 7
4.3. Thereader response approach 7
4.4. Story grammar 9
5. LITERATURE LESSON PLANS 11
5.1. Stage one: warmer 11
5.2. Stage two: before reading 11
5.3. Stage three: understanding the text, general comprehension 12
5.4. Stage four: understanding the language 12
5.5. Stage five: follow up activities 12
5.5.1.Using poems 12
5.5.2. Using extracts from stories or short stories 13
5.5.3. Using extracts from plays 13
5.6. Using literature over a longer period of time 14
6. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS 14
6.1. How to choose the material 15
6.2. Where to find material 15
6.3. Level of difficulty 16
8. SUMMARY 17
9. BIBLIOGRAPHY 20
Literature has been a subject of study in many countries at a secondary or tertiary level, but not until recently has it been given much emphasis in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom. It has only been since the 1980s that this area has attracted more interest among EFLteachers.
The Common European Framework Reference for the Teaching of Languages (Council of Europe, 2001) stresses the importance of literature in the language classroom for the education in values. Literature, in this sense, is tackled from a linguistic and aesthetic viewpoint. Literature is studied in close relation to language, that is, as a mere way of introducing language in class, but at thesame time, it is the vehicle to develop sensibility towards other aspects of life and culture. In the program of the Official School of Languages, however, the involvement with literature as such, does not even exist.
Our main aim as Foreign Language (FL) teachers is to help students to acquire Communicative Competence in a FL, we may ask ourselves how does literature contribute to thedevelopment of the students' communicative competence? The answer to this question is not very difficult to guess. Literature promotes Pragmatic competence by making it possible to develop the skills of oracy (listening and speaking) and of literacy (reading and writing). Socio-cultural and Socio· linguistic competence is also developed and the use of imagination is encouraged; the provision of knowledgeabout language is continuous too.
Moreover, the use of literature in the EFL class can help activate and develop Strategic Competence by encouraging our students to keep reading by themselves in English, and be aware of cultural differences, promote their self-esteem and so on.
WHAT IS LITERATURE?
First of all, any method or approach towards using literature in the classroom must take asa starting point the question: What is literature? The Oxford English Companion to English Language gives the following definition:
“Among the various ways of defining literature are to see it as an imitation of life, through assessing its effects on a reader, and by analyzing its form.”
Many authors, critics and linguists have puzzled over what literature is. One broader explanationof literature says that literary texts are products that reflect different aspects of society. They are cultural documents which offer a deeper understanding of a country or countries.
Other linguists say that there is no inherent quality to a literary text that makes a literary text; rather it is the interpretation that the reader gives to the text (Eagleton 1983).
Another formulation of...
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