The benefits of teaching second-language literature

Author Topic: The benefits of teaching second-language literature  (Read 2195 times)

Offline farahdina

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The benefits of teaching second-language literature
« on: February 23, 2020, 04:25:57 PM »
Three models of literature-based teaching in the language classroom have been developed, each one based on a different and compelling reason for the practice:

The Cultural Model. Advocates of this model believe that the value of literature lies in its unique distillation of culture. In this model, the class reads fiction or poetry as part of their instruction about history, politics, social mores and traditions.

The Language Model.
Given that literature is built from language, it opens a path for students to construct their own understanding of words and phrases. According to this model, reading is of value for the same reason it’s valuable in a student’s native language: it gives them the tools for more effective communication.

The Personal Growth Model. In this model, the focus is on engagement. Teachers use literature to help students understand themselves better and connect with the world around them in a deeper way by exploring universal themes.

To reap the full benefits of literature in the classroom, you can certainly combine all three models. Language, culture and personal growth are intrinsically connected and it makes sense to teach them in conjunction with each other.
Here are the specific ways in which students expand their language, culture and personal growth from the experience of learning literature in a second language:

•   Literature offers experiences that can only be accessed through the target language. That funny play on words in a scene of Shakespeare won’t have any meaning if explained out of context. The relationship between France and African countries like Algeria comes to life more vividly in light of the writings of Camus. Such experiences give students a front-row seat to history and culture which would be impossible to replicate otherwise.

•   Literature gives students a unique understanding of the target culture. Teaching idioms from a textbook is not memorable. But reading an idiom in a conversation between two strong characters will surely stick out in your students’ minds. They can also witness life through the eyes of soldiers, preachers, writers and statesmen in a way that gives insight into the people and events that shaped the culture.

•   Literature makes seamless connections between the language and other subjects. We all know that language is more relevant to students if they can connect it to other disciplines like art, history, math or instruction in their native language. Sometimes language teachers need to explicitly spell out the connections between the target language and these other disciplines. But literature makes these connections effortless, allowing us to teach to the whole person rather than targeting language solely.

•   Literature provides better understanding of the universal nature of language. How many times have you told your students that learning a second language helps them understand their own language better? Literature brings that point to life. Students will see examples of metaphors, symbols, puns and analogies that make them think about similar constructions in their native language and the universal truths behind them, connecting language and personal growth in a meaningful way.

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Offline Ratul.JMC

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Re: The benefits of teaching second-language literature
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2021, 12:37:17 PM »
Thanks for sharing  :)
Md. Rashedul Islam Ratul
Lecturer, JMC
Daffodil International University