Method in the madness: teaching of English Literature in Japanese Universities

Zawiah Yahya, (2015) Method in the madness: teaching of English Literature in Japanese Universities. 3L; Language,Linguistics and Literature,The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies., 21 (3). pp. 25-40. ISSN 0128-5157


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This paper explores the problematics of teaching English Literature in an EFL context. The analysis is based on class-observations and interviews with students and teachers in six Japanese universities over a period of nine months. The focus is on issues of English proficiency and literary competence, on choices made for medium, material and method, and on problem-solving measures taken to reduce the ‘foreignness’ of English literary texts. Among the measures looked at are the current use of the grammar-translation method and the inclusion of various support/introductory/survey courses built into the English Studies programme as an attempt to close the students’ proficiency-comprehension-knowledge gaps. Among the more contentious issues discussed are related to the wisdom of transplanting the canon of Western universities into non-English-speaking institutions, the appropriateness of imported teaching methodologies and the absence of local perspective input.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:English Literature in EFL; English Studies in Japan, teaching methodology; literary competence; Grammar Translation method, New Criticism
Journal:3L ; Journal of Language, Linguistics and Literature
ID Code:9066
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:04 Oct 2015 15:11
Last Modified:14 Dec 2016 06:48

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