ERIC Number: ED223096
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
The Use of Literature.
Widdowson, H. G.
Arguments in favor of and against the use of literary works in second language instruction are examined. Although access to literary works was once a major purpose of language study, literature is currently in disfavor as a means of language instruction. Arguments against the use of literature in language courses include its lack of practical applications, its potential disruptive influence on the learning process, and its deviation from standard forms. However, textbook writers invent their own literature in order to present simple uses of language. Such textbook stories are like literature in that they are dissociated from social contexts, but unlike literature in that they do not realize the potential of language to create alternate contexts. Textbook figures, while fictional, are ludicrous in that they fail to carry conviction as characters. It is argued that creativity is a crucial concept in language learning and that all uses of language involve creation rather than rote performance. Literature is a relevant resource for teaching the creativity needed to use language to solve problems outside of language. (RW)
Descriptors: Creativity, Educational Resources, Instructional Materials, Literature, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Methods
Not available separately; see FL 013 281.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (15th, Detroit, MI, March 3-8, 1981). In: On TESOL '81.