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ERIC Number: ED407678
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May-10
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Need for Foreign Language Training in World Literature Instruction.
Abram, Suzanne
Many English departments employ world literature instructors with no obvious training in world literature. Ideally, all subjects should be taught by specialists. In practice, world literature courses are routinely rotated among an unenthusiastic faculty with generally no effort to remedy the situation by recruiting experts. Although world literature is usually a course for nonmajors, nonmajor and major students should be equally entitled to a good education. While there is no degree in world literature, there is a doctorate in comparative literature which perhaps comes the closest to training in the field of world literature, with the ability to read literary works not written in English and a certain predisposition to see literature in broad terms. The popular notion that the world literature instructor need merely to have a good grounding in general principles of literary analysis and an open mind is riddled with problematic issues. Knowledge of three or four foreign languages should be a prerequisite for teaching world literature. Lack of this knowledge can cause many limitations on the teaching of the course. As long as English departments do not emphasize foreign language training as a requisite for teaching world literature, classrooms will continue to have 30 students who read no Latin trying to understand the "Aeneid" under the guidance of an instructor who also reads no Latin. (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A