Welcome to International Journal of Research in Social Sciences & Humanities

E-ISSN : 2249 - 4642 | P-ISSN: 2454 - 4671





Volume: 4 Issue: 2 2014


This paper is a review of literature on how literature can be integrated as a language teaching material in EFL/ESL classes. First, it tracks down the place of literature in language classes from the early Grammar Translation Method (GTM) to Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) era. The paper then discusses the reasons for the demise and resurrection of literature as an input for language classes. After that the reasons for and against the use of literature in EFL/ESL classes are enumerated and discussed. For so doing, the researchers draw upon recent ideas on language teaching practice and theories. Finally in a practical move, this paper reviews the past and current approaches to teaching literature in language teaching classes. Five methodological models for teaching literature are proposed. Literature was initially the main source of input for teaching in language classes in the era of Grammar Translation Method but since then it has been dropped down the pedestal. In fact with the advent of structuralism and audiolingual method, literature was downplayed and ergo discarded to the periphery (Collie & Slater, 1987, p.2). Also in the era of CLT, literature was neglected and more attention was given to dialogues and conversations which were more practical and visible in the real world situation. Maley (2001) argues that this attitude toward literature is due to a paucity of empirical research confirming the significance of literary input for language classes. Maley states that what exists right now as empirical research on literature and language teaching are confined to action research in small scales. Taking heed of all these disfavors, in the middle of the 1980s some practitioners and language scholars resurrected literature as a language learning material after a long period of being neglected (Duff & Maley, 1991). This can be confirmed by seeing so many publications heralding the coming back of literature (Maley, 1989b) in language classes (e.g. Collie & Slater, 1987; Duff & Maley, 1991; Gower & Pearson, 1986; Hill, 1986; Lazar, 1993; Maley & Duff, 1989; McRae, 1991). Besides, applied linguistics fueled the return of literature for language teaching (Belcher & Hirvela, 2000).

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