Literature in the EFL/ESL Classroom: Consensus and Controversy

Marzieh Bagherkazemi, Minoo Alemi


This paper provides a review of ideas and research regarding the role of literature in the EFL/ESL classroom. Firstly, it sketches a brief history of literature’s association with and dissociation from first and second language programs from the 18th century on. Secondly, it elaborates on the bone of contention among foreign language educators in terms of whether or not literature has the capacity to enrich and enhance foreign language teaching and learning practices. To this end, the postulated pros and cons of using literature in the EFL/ESL classroom are presented. Finally, theoretical and empirical research is drawn upon to depict some of the ways literature can be and has been employed in the foreign language classroom.

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