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An investigation into teachers' and students' attitudes towards literature and its use in ESL classrooms: A case study at a Matriculation Centre in Malaysia.

By Wan Kamariah Baba

Abstract

This thesis investigates the integration of literature in language education at a\ud Matriculation Center in Malaysia. It attempts, through empirical research, to identify teachers' and students' attitudes towards literature and its use in language instruction in a specific ESL (English as a Second Language) context. The primary data were collected through quantitative and qualitative methods such as questionnaires and interviews and they were complemented\ud by classroom observations and journal entries. Stylistics-based worksheets were also designed and tried out with both sets of respondents. The results reveal several significant findings. First, the teachers' pre-study attitudes towards literature in language instruction are encouraging and\ud important variables such as their personal interest and previous experience of using literary texts as teachers influenced their outlook. Their post-study attitudes, however, display mixed feelings towards literature and these are significantly influenced by their encounter with the\ud worksheets. Second, unlike the teachers, the students' pre-and post-study attitudes towards literature are more consistent, yet are not as encouraging and diverse as their instructors'. Though, in principle, the students perceive literature as useful mainly in terms of language development, grammatical acquisition and vocabulary growth, they demonstrate reservation about the possible addition of literature to their syllabus at the Center. Third, both sets of\ud respondents exhibit a strong preference for communicative activities that often result in less emphasis on the language of the texts when literary works are used. Among the implications of the study is that a stylistics-based approach to literature can bear fruitful results if it is combined\ud with communicative tasks, and a language-based approach is not easy to implement with less advanced students mainly due to their limited proficiency and inadequate vocabulary in the target language

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/4232

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