THE ROLE OF LITERATURE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

This research investigates the role of literatures in the English language teaching and learning using some selected secondary schools. This was carried out to unveil the role of literature in the early stage of learners in learning the English language. The research focuses on the secondary stage of education to investigate the effect of literary materials on the learners. Such materials like literary texts and the electronic viewing materials will be used to teach some of the learners, while some of the learners was taught without such materials. After that, the two groups were examined to get the authenticity of the research result based on the role of literature in the English language teaching and learning at the early stage of the learners.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1       Background to Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Purpose of the Study
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       The Scope of the Study

Chapter Two: Conceptual Framework

Chapter Three: Theoretical Methodology
3.1       Research Methodology
3.2       Study Design
3.3       Study Population
3.4       Sampling
3.5       Research Instrument and their Administration
3.6       Validation of Research Instruments
3.7       Analysis

Chapter Four: Data Analysis
4.1       Presentation and Discussion of Results

Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendation
Work cited


Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

It is quite obvious that previously, literature used to be an integral part of the English language teaching and learning process. Some scholars like Akwanya, A.N. and Otagburuagu, E.J. noted this in their “English Language Learning in Nigeria: In Search of an Enabling Principle,” and “The English Language in Nigeria: A Historical Perspective”. Otagburuagu laments:

In the early days of English language learning and teaching in Nigeria, literature used to be an aspect of the English language curriculum. Literature has a way of relating language to culture and the society. Literature can help the acquisition of vocabulary and language structure. Therefore, any language programme which omits literature has created a gap between linguistic structure and actual usage. (91)

Akwanya calls the removal of literature from the teaching of the English language a divorce between language and literature and decries that this divorce seems to undermine all the efforts of teaching and learning (iv). Many other scholars such as Kramsch, look back, with nostalgic feelings, to those days when literature used to be an integral part of the language curriculum and the foregone intellectual benefits of the inclusion. Kramsch, C. opines: “The study of language in those days meant the study of literature” (554).

The removal of literature from the curriculum of the English language and total concentration on the grammatical competence of the learners is a problem to the effective learning and teaching of the English language. The removal of literature from the curriculum and the dominance of grammatical approach to learning the English, more especially as they concern secondary education, are what inspire this study. Moreover, there have been some contributions from some scholars on the role of literature in English teaching and learning. Lazar asserts that literature should be seen as an invaluable resource of motivating material and as a bridge to provide access to cultural background (ii). Parkinson and Reid Thomas argue that literature provides a good model for good writing and that it is memorable, and challenging. It also helps to assimilate the rhymes of a language; therefore it facilitates intelligence and sensibility training (9-11).

Many teachers consider the use of literature in language teaching as an interesting and worthy concern (Sage 1). Perhaps, this consideration by many teachers helps to enhance the psycholinguistic aspect of language learning as it focuses on form, discourse processing skills, and improvement of vocabulary expansion and reading skills. Literature, in addition, has experienced revival with the advent of communicative approach in language teaching. It provides learners with authentic pleasurable and cultural material (Hall 45).

The incorporation of a novel as a part of literary texts in our English language syllabus should be a strong justification as part of the authentic material to improve the learner’s communicative competence. According to Lazar, when using a novel, teachers should look at both possible drawbacks, educational as well as linguistic opportunities (204). A novel provides a more involving motivation source for pedagogic activities and it also engages learners intellectually, emotionally and linguistically. Furthermore, it provides a picture of another culture. In the same vein, Widdowson argues that the act of reading a novel enhances meaning making process and language capacity in the learners (246).

A crucial development for the role of literature in second language teaching programmes, according to Hall, was the burgeoning of the communicative language teaching approach, notably from the 1980s, particularly in more privileged educational institutions, often replacing a ‘grammar-translation’ model.....


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