Teaching Skills through Literature

Saleh Ahmed Saif Abdulmughni


This study tries to investigate the contributory factors in the success and failure in teaching of the four language skills through teaching of literature because literature is critically and crucially relevant to the evolution of a literary sensibility. The basic end of literature is to read which develops reading skills and to reinterpret the dynamics of a given society. In this process the language skills are actually manifested. Literature, if we deconstruct the term involves two stages of reading; one that is the text, and second; the subsequent evaluation which entails the ability to break the text and trace the possibilities of meanings. This cannot be done without a proper perspective of the literary and linguistic mind, and the very act of interpretation amply appropriates reading skills. Literature fundamentally helps to develop the spirit of inquiry and the variety of thoughts involved in the representation of the text and; therefore, the study of literature enhances the ability to think beyond what you have been provided with and also to be equipped with a quizzical bent of mind that seeks to establish the competence to question what is read as a matter of literary text. This makes the learner naturally acquire the language from the literary context and consequently develop the language skills. Teaching of language through literature has been a tested method as literary texts are so complete with vocabulary, the terrain of thoughts, the diversity of human encounters and the complexity of experiences. In the process of deconstructing a text, one comes across umpteen shades of thoughts conceived and delivered in a compressed form. Also the decoding of the language given its symbolic structure greatly enhances the prospects of independent thinking and writing. In this way the written skills are widely developed. A text is a bundle of thoughts clad in a complicated web of linguistic sophistication, and the sophistry alone suffices to constitute a challenge to break through the cordon of words that are generally ambiguous that provides an appropriate exposure to the complex patterns of language. Literature entails both the ambiguity of thoughts and the diversity of linguistic representations and therefore it is pertinent to stick to the teaching of literature as a means of decoding the language. It raises the range of vocabulary and the canvass of thoughts. If a novel is picked up for evaluation, the first task is the evaluation of the time background to suggest the socio-political tendencies, the words which are not commonly used, and the thoughts that are dressed in a highly complex form call for a more detailed engagement with the text. This is the best and perhaps the most effective way to develop the vocabulary, phrases, the stock of words, complex structures and the pieces of information compressed in a symbolic form. A novel is a document of thought expressed at a particular period and the language used can be extremely useful for the communication purposes even though they are words by the highly trained and proficient minds. However no literature can ever be seen in isolation from the language as 'language is culture'. Without a judicious selection of text the learner will be at a loss to understand the conflicting usage of language for the meaning of the word is not determined by the word alone, rather it is the context which determines its meaning. What can aid a learner, further, is the quality of mind in finding a method to respond to the situation as the teacher has their own limitations, and it will be difficult for a teacher to explain without a moderate exposure to the language or literature.


Fourfold skills, foreign language learners, literary text, academic institutions, language patterns, teaching program, difficulties, context of the study, contributory factors of success, novel, drama, and poetry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.2p.10


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