Integrating Literature in the ESL Classroom: A Case Study


With the appearance of the Communicative Approach in the late 70's and very early 80's, using literature in the English classroom was ignored. The tendency in the EFL classrooms was to teach “usable, practical” content. However, since the 1980s literature has found its way back into the EFL classroom to improve communicative and cultural competence and enhance “ critical thinking ” (Bretz, 1990: 335). Besides, studies, like those of Lazar (1993), Cook (1994), and Shanahan (1997), strongly recommend the integration of literary texts into the ESL/EFL curriculum. Many writings on this subject advocate a content-focused curriculum that includes literature ( Liddicoat and Crozet 2000). Practice showed that using literature in language teaching is very beneficial as it led to cultural enrichment, language advancement, and personal growth. This is in line with Erkaya (2005) views on the benefit of integrating literature in the English curriculum. The presenter shows how literature was integrated in the general English classroom and how it played a role in equipping students with a number of skills including critical thinking, analytical skills, formulating and expressing independent opinions, presenting one’s own interpretations independently, improving language competence, such as reading, speaking and writing skills. It also played a role in enhancing their cultural awareness. The presenter also discusses the challenges and perspectives of introducing literature into foreign language curriculum at AMIDEAST and the Higher Technological Institute in Egypt. For better achieving the session purpose group discussion and sharing views will be allowed.

Author Information
Rasha Osman Abdel Haliem, AMIDEAST Egypt and the Higher Technological Institute, Egypt

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2017
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ECLL2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon