Teaching Literature in an English as a Foreign Language Classroom: A Study of Student Attitudes

By Nahla Nola Bacha.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There has been much controversy as to the place of literature in the EFL classroom; however, literature is important to students’ personal, linguistic and cultural development. This paper is an attempt to investigate L1 Arabic students’ attitudes toward literature who have been known to find it of little relevance to their university major, career or life. Specifically, the study explores students’ attitudes to and preferences for reading literature focusing on one genre, the novel, in the English as a Foreign Language Program, Humanities Department, in an English medium university in Lebanon, in the hope of reintroducing the novel in the program. Student survey findings indicate positive significant student attitudes toward reading novels that are ‘interesting’, by authors from different countries and that relate to both their courses and to their lives. Results also show that students consider their language improving to a certain extent. Implications are far reaching for effective literature teaching/learning methods as well as interdisciplinary work between the English Language, Humanities and other disciplines to raise appreciation for literature in line with the liberal arts education of the university and as a crucial means of cultural communication in our global ‘village’ of today.

Keywords: Literature and Language, Literature in EFL Programs, Literature and the Humanities, Literature and Culture, Novels and Language Development

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.47-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 683.555KB).

Dr. Nahla Nola Bacha

Assistant Dean, Department of Humanities , School of Arts and Sciences, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon

Nahla Nola Bacha is a holder of a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from the University of Leicester, England and is presently an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Byblos Campus at the Lebanese American University, Lebanon. She has over twenty years of teaching and administrative experience. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the writing of university students whose English is a foreign/second language and French third in addition to their native language Arabic. She has presented papers and workshops at local and international conferences and organized ELT workshops and conferences at LAU for the community in conjunction with the British Council and Fulbright. Her publications include English texts for the Lebanese National Center for Educational Research and Development, chapters in edited books on teaching/learning ESL/EFL, and articles in discourse and corpus analysis, EAP/ESP, writing, and testing in international refereed journals. She is presently working on redefining the role of the English Program in researching English across university academic disciplines, the role of ELT in fostering citizenship and the teaching of literature in the EFL classroom. She is also currently involved in Program and Learning Assessment.

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