chapter  2
Why teach (or study) literature?
WithKatherine Raithby, Alison Taylor
Pages 19

This chapter considers how literature can be beneficial in the second language learning process. It offers teachers a rationale for combating the concerns and shows that reading fiction can be pleasurable and beneficial not only to a student’s linguistic but also personal and intercultural development. Some more fundamentally personal questions which teachers have about what constitutes literature and its usefulness in a crowded language curriculum may also be involved. The choice of a particular work of literature to teach will depend upon what the teacher wishes to achieve with his or her students. The A Level Content Advisory Board proposals to include literature in the new Modern Foreign Languages A level syllabus were met with concern and dismay in some quarters however. The new A level syllabus places significant emphasis on the importance of languages in developing critical thinking skills and is a specific element of the literature component.