There are many good reasons for using literature in the classroom. Below are a few reasons that celebrated author and teacher Lindsay Clandfield 1 points out.
- Literature is authentic material
It is good to expose learners to this source of unmodified language in the classroom because they skills they acquire in dealing with difficult or unknown language can be used outside the class.
- Literature encourages interaction
Literary texts are often rich is multiple layers of meaning, and can be effectively mined for discussions and sharing feelings or opinions.
- Literature expands language awareness
Asking learners to examine sophisticated or non standard examples of language (which can occur in literary texts) makes them more aware of the norms of language use (Widdowson, 1975 quoted by Lazar 1993)2.
- Literature educates the whole person
By examining values in literary texts, teachers encourage learners to develop attitudes towards them. These values and attitudes relate to the world outside the classroom.
- Literature is motivating
Literature holds high status in many cultures and countries. For this reason, students can feel a real sense of achievement at understanding a piece of highly respected literature.
- Lindsay Clandfield is the author of the following books: The Language Teacher’s Survival Handbook ; Dealing with Difficulties ; The GLOBAL Series ; Teaching Online
- Widdowson, H. Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature, Longman 1975