A study of the integration of literature and communicative language teaching
Since the early 1980s, attitudes toward literature in English language teaching (ELT) have undergone two major changes. First, after a long period in which literature was essentially excluded from ELT, it began to be seen in a more favourable light. Second, literature began to be viewed more as a tool in ELT, rather than as the end towards which ELT students should be led. These changes in attitude have led to a surge of interest in literature in ELT, particularly in the context of Communicative language teaching (CLT). This study examines, in several ways, the nature and the extent of this renewed interest in literature. The study explores the evolution of these changes, and puts them in perspective by creating various classifications for current types of approaches to literature in ELT and CLT. It also investigates the degree to which interest in literature in ELT has moved from research and scholarship to actual practice among teachers. In addition, it attempts to extend literature's applications in CLT by experimenting with the use of literature in a domain of CLT generally regarded as unsuited to literature-based teaching: English for Specific Purposes (ESP). The study also offers a series of proposals through which further integration of literature and CLT can take place.