Literature and Language Learning

Understanding and Developing through Reading

It is not always easy to get a student’s attention when it comes to learning. Teachers face numerous challenges in the classroom each day, especially if they are dealing with uninterested or, as in many cases, hyperactive students. To introduce and incorporate literature in a lesson is an even greater challenge, one often accompanied by a nuance of negative feedback from the students. Understanding the importance of literature, its plethora of benefits and how it helps one develop their skills with a language takes time, and teachers need to be patient and realistic in terms of sympathizing with their students’ lukewarm responses.

Getting Students to Read

Getting students to read literature is a challenging and sometimes strenuous task. Therefore, it should be used as a means of moving away from the stereotypical ways of teaching. It could be used as a tool, a fun way of teaching a language. Whatever the age group of the students, be it children or adults, voracious readers or not, all of them share a common ground. In this case, a fondness for a preferred genre. Everyone has a favourite, from non-fiction to comedy to sci-fi. Teachers should aim at helping their students find a preferred genre and be enthusiastic about a book they get to choose together. If students prove adamant about having anything to do with reading, referencing them to a story driven video game, which is rich in narrative, or a movie adaptation of a book they might be interested in could do the trick.

The Difficulty of Finishing a Book

If a teacher has managed to get their students’ attention in understanding the importance of reading and has them reading, then – success! Through reading, students learn to immerse themselves into the narrative. The story transforms them into the characters they read, and it is a process of absorbing and appreciating the world the writer has created. Unfamiliar words are a common obstacle, but they should not be a hindrance. Teachers should be there to encourage their students to continue; sentences have the ability of presenting the meaning of unknown words in a unique way. If, however, students find the story they are engaged in unsatisfactory or difficult to follow, then they should ask for help or simply decide on another book. It should be clear at this point that whether students choose to finish the book they are reading or not is clearly up to them. The teacher who has succeeded in getting their students into reading in the first place, has given them every bit of extra help in learning the language and gaining knowledge they would not have attained from other sources.