THE USE OF LITERARY CONTENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Keywords:applied literature, teaching methodology, ELT, communicative approach
Relying on the communicative approach to foreign language teaching, this paper investigates the connection between literature and teaching methodology and points at the possible benefits of literature for foreign language learning, as well as for the development of students’ cultural competences and the expansion of their general outlook on life. Arguments for the use of literature in foreign language teaching can be classified into five categories: Through the correct use of literary texts, students improve their language skills and competences (linguistic argument), while literary contents motivate the exchange of opinions and discussion, encouraging true communication (methodological argument). Literary texts also enable overcoming cultural barriers through familiarizing students with the culture of the language they learn (cultural argument), have an educational value in the broadest sense (personal development argument) and bring enjoyment (aesthetic argument). We have designed “The Use of Literary Contents in English Language Teaching” teacher training program at the Serbian Institute for the Improvement of Education on the basis of our methodological research and teaching experience. At the seminar, areas of language and ways in which literature can be incorporated in ELT are presented to primary and secondary school English language teachers, with special emphasis on practical examples, criteria for selecting texts, and accompanying activities. The activities we have designed show that it is not difficult to combine classic activities used in the communicative approach (e.g. role-play, interview, exchange of opinions, informal conversation, group work) with literary contents. At the end of the paper, we present the feedback from the participants of the seminar who have successfully incorporated our materials in their English classes, and point at the possible directions for the further development of this project.