Capítulos de libros
The language story. An approach to using short stories in the English language classroom.
English for Academic Purposes and Language Skills: Research and Classroom Applications
Asociación Cooperadora Facultad de Lenguas, UNC
Lugar: Córdoba; Año: 2009; p. 173 - 194

            Over the past decades, there has been much discussion regarding the use of literature as part of an English language syllabus. For instance, in the sixties and seventies, there was a distinct reaction against the use of any literary English before the pendulum swung again in support of literature teaching. The opposition towards literature may well have been due to the impact of the approaches that were practised in the decades prior to the sixties and seventies and prevailing ideas in language teaching and methodology. The approaches in language teaching in the sixties and seventies stressed the structural methods to language learning, with emphasis on discrete-point teaching, ?correctness? in grammatical form, repetition of graded structures and restricted lexis. These approaches represented a methodology unsuited to literature teaching, and were unable to accommodate literary texts. Thus, in many situations, while English language teaching adopted a structural approach, literature was taught as a separate subject, sometimes comprising of purposeless poetry recitation. Nevertheless, current approaches have endeavoured to re-examine the value of literature and have begun to uphold its worth again. These approaches assert the value of literature teaching from several aspects, primarily, literature as an agent for language development and improvement, cultural enhancement and also for the eminence that many poets have previously ascribed to it. Literature is beginning to be viewed as an appropriate vehicle for language learning and development since the focus is now on authentic language and authentic situations.

            For many years, numerous teachers claimed to have used literature to teach language by making their students read simplified short stories. Although the results obtained have proved to be good, I firmly believe that short stories in this context could be exploited in a different way. Based on John McRae?s approach, namely, that authentic representational materials can and should be used in the language classroom, I will propose the use of short stories in their original versions and diverse language and comprehension exercises that can be implemented for this purpose. In order to illustrate my proposal, I will provide a complete model based on the short story ?The Garden Party? by Katherine Mansfield (original version).