Teaching Literature

Today is a day of reflection on Literature and I would like to invite you all to think about how you could teach Literature to your students.


It will depend on your classes, students’ ages and levels and of course on the type of school you are teaching in.

In my case, this is not a problem at all, because I am so used to teaching all levels and ages even during the same month, so that the stress facing the diversity in the classroom is now even minimum.

Before talking about Literature we should focus on Reading and on how many students or pupils nowadays read a book… I know we constantly read and we send messages every day and read their replies… but when I talk about Reading I mean Literature, books and authors that can even change our lives and mentality, our point of view on things and society.

Two months ago I wanted to get back to reading a real book and I chose The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, because I wanted something different, that could take me back in the past. I wanted to experience a different sensation from when I first read the book from a different perspective, of the student that had to read for the exams at the university.

So it was a good reason for me to think twice about my students and their need or interest in reading something. They are all forced to read nowadays and they even find it quite boring, so I think teaching them English through Literature could be more than a challenging.

This is why perhaps I should engage them in reading from a totally different perspective,  making them see that there should be there a main point in it, not only for passing some exams at school, but to reflect on the plot or on the characters, to make them realise that reading sometimes can be fun if the aim is not a summary for the class but a good lesson for life!

I agree to F. Scott Fitzgerald when saying “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”  If while reading you get to identify yourself to some character or situation, the reading process will be more engaging or you will simply get more motivated. This is something that I usually listen from my students, that they are not interested in the topic or the book because it is obsolete.


I know talking about books and Literature is an endless topic and I am so eager to teach my students some Literature in the next school year.

I share with you one of my favourite passages in the book I still have on my desk waiting to be finished:

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”



About Adriana Butnariu

This entry was posted in literature, teacher training and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s