AD's English Literature : How to Use Literature in the English Classes to Develop Reading and Writing Skill among the Pupils As a Second Language?

How to Use Literature in the English Classes to Develop Reading and Writing Skill among the Pupils As a Second Language?




 "The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it...It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth, without making some other Englishman despise him."


George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)




Introduction: There has been much criticism, during the past two decades, of the teaching of English literature in our schools and colleges. The earlier teaching of English was characterized largely by a type of instruction which tried to inspire pupils through their contact with the classics of our language, and to awaken in them an enduring love of both poetry and prose. The work being in large part interpretation and somewhat inspirational in nature, calling for much from the teacher and less than in most other subjects from the pupils, teachers in other subjects more susceptible to drill tended to characterize the instruction as "snap work". Most of  us find it difficult to begin writing. We can make this easier by thinking about the topic either through brainstorming, that is with several people in a group giving their ideas as it strikes them, or we can put them down on a sheet of paper as they occur to us. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)  
Desire for Self-expression: The desire for self-expression is at the bottom of most writing. People look out over the world of nature and things; they receive impressions; they want to pass these on to others. They write sketches of travel or the out-of-doors. People observe the actions of men and women and children about them; they are impressed by the interplay of motive, cause, and result; their busy minds weave new webs of action; they write, each in his own kind, a novel. People watch the whirl of the world pass by; in the quiet of the firelight study they philosophize on life as they see it; their books appear as pertinent essays on men and things. Read More Teaching English (TEFL) Then, too, love of truth, of accuracy, of just evaluation inspires much of the weighty writing of the world. This man wants to do justice to another character; he writes a biography. That man wishes to correct false ideas about great movements of the past; he writes a history. Still another weighs and estimates some literary work; he writes a criticism. And it may be that solely a passion for spreading knowledge inspires the writing of a book. Great dictionaries, encyclopedias, compendiums, and reference books in general are monuments to the persevering endeavor and scholarship of their respective writers. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)   Every book, then, is the reaction of an original heart and mind upon we and conditions. In all great books this reaction produces a philosophy of life. In its make-up, every book also bears the artistic sense of the author. Indeed, love of form, as form, has inspired some books. Love of the beautiful in form has been a moulding factor in almost all great books. People who write may be grouped into two big classes; those who look without and write, and those who look within and write. In other words, we have the objective and the subjective approach in treating material. Sometimes an author makes use of both.

Literature is a variegated genius output of social sciences. Literature transmits information about the cultural life of the country. Literature provides authentic language - literary works that have not been written specifically for language students. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)  Literature offers a wide variety of language. The literary text is one of the few contexts where different varieties of language can be used simultaneously. Literature is interesting as it can be interpreted in many different ways. This will facilitate oral discussion and the exchange of opinions among students. Literature can be a source of pleasure and a stimulus towards the student’s personal development.

It is important that we select suitable texts for use in class. There is not much point choosing texts of great stylistic complexity for the early stages of a literature syllabus; and analysis of style at any level should be based on the linguistic features that the students are already familiar with. Authentic literary extracts may create problems, especially if they are taken out of their original context. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)  

As with any text we use in the classroom, a literary text benefits from setting up pre and post-reading activities. Here are a few examples:
Pre-reading: At this stage the students still don’t know what the literary text is about. The teacher needs to motivate them by introducing the topic of the text and encouraging students to make predictions about it. Possible activities for this phase are:
Doing research about the author’s life and work, using reference books.

Conversation between teacher and students about the topic.

Using flashcards, pictures, etc, to focus the topic before the presentation of the text.

Expressing hypotheses on the contents of the text.
Predicting vocabulary.
While-reading: The students read the text and compare the contents with the predictions they have made in the previous phase. As they are reading the text, they do exercises set by the teacher, which might vary from typical comprehension questions to activities which require more detailed information: information transfer; drawing a picture; filling in a grid; true or false statements; comparisons; spot the difference; multiple choice questions; sequencing ;summarizing the text; information gap; jigsaw reading; and completing open ended statements. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)  
Post-reading: The information that the students have obtained from the text can be used to develop other skills by means of several activities:
Oral discussions

Written compositions

  Drilling is Necessary because it helps the learners to improve their pronunciation, to speak English with proper stress and intonation, to grasp the basic sentence patterns and vocabulary and to speak the language fluently.   In order to create English atmosphere in the class room the teacher himself will have to speak in English and motivate the pupils to speak in it. The teachers of English generally feel a great difficulty in giving incidental instruction to the class in English. For this purpose they after fall back upon the mother tongue which undoubtedly hinders the creation of an English atmosphere in the class. Different oral methods like “Look and say method”, “Do and say Method”, “Situational Method”, and “Play-way Method” help to create English atmosphere in the classroom. The teacher can start with a “good’ morning’ and at the end say “Thank you children” before leaving the class. This will in turn help the student to wish their teacher at the onset of the class and thank teacher at the end. Besides, use of various words as “please”, “sorry”, “Wish you...”, “kindly”   can also help to create English atmosphere in the class. Storytelling, narrating, reciting, oration and word-making can also build classroom atmosphere.

Role play and drama: The students act out the story of the literary text. If it is a narrative text, for example, they should write dialogues before they perform the story.
Picture stories. The students take photos and write down the dialogues of the characters in the literary text using the “bubble” technique. The members of the groups who are taking part in the activity should be the characters in the story. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)  
Magazines: The students provide information about the author and his/her works using the traditional format of a magazine. They can also invent interviews with different authors and attach pictures, as well.
Wall magazines, which have the same characteristics as the magazines mentioned above, the only difference being the way they are displayed. All the information and pictures are stuck onto a notice board.
Video/radio programmes recorded on tape with music, special effects.


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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

"Dear Readers/ Students, I am a huge fan of books, English Grammar & Literature. I write this blog to instill that passion in you. I also feel proud to be in free literature learning initiative. Already thousand posts written and a few thousand healthy discussions made in this blog."