Integrating Literature into Teaching the Language Arts


The ultimate purpose of teaching a foreign language is to enable learners to understand others and to make themselves understood. Foreign language teaching is primarily about enabling learners to be communicatively competent at both receptive and productive levels. To accomplish this, teachers should seek to teach all language components in natural settings. More often than not, foreign language teaching not only takes place in unnatural contexts, but it has also become compartmentalized, with each language skill taught separately. This article supports an integrative approach to language teaching where language arts can be taught while teaching literary works, including short stories, novels, poetry, and drama. This means that appreciating literature and developing language skills should go hand in hand. Therefore, this article advocates a content-based approach to language teaching where learners receive more attention, and literature is the content around which language activities revolve. Language and literature, in this perspective, are viewed as complementary to each other. More specifically, the article attempts to provide answers to the following questions: (1) Why is literature important in teaching language? (2) How can literature be used in teaching language arts?


Shehdeh Fareh, Najib Jarad, Sane Yagi, Maher Bin Moussa


authentic language, communicative approach, content-based instruction, integrated skills, language teaching, literature