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