Light Bulbs Go Over My Head: My New Perspective of Literature in ELT

by Yadi Supriadi

“Dullness” was an exact word what came to my mind before enrolling Literature in ELT course. The reason was in fact, I had not been really interested in literature-related subject. Moreover, what made me not interested in literature because since I was at elementary school until vocational high school, my English/Indonesian teachers taught it in a boring way. I did not realize that it would be fun if the teacher delivered it with a good teaching strategy. Some researchers, in their study, found that ‘teachers’ most of the time talk about ‘plot, characters, theme, setting and moral values’ of the given ‘text’ in the classroom and the pupils’ responses of the study was that the teaching the way teachers taught was ‘boring’ (Ghazali et al., 2009; Yunus & Suliman, 2014). Therefore, this was some the things that led me to having negative perceptions of literature subject.

Throughout the course gradually I learned a lot of things starting from figuring out what literature was, what the hurdles that students would encounter until how we incorporated literature in teaching English by using novels and short story. Although the lecturer gave me the e-book to read, he also suggested the students to look for other sources. So, I independently watched several videos on Youtube and read some scholarly articles to get a better understanding of the given materials. Furthermore, Lane et al. emphasized “the concept of independent learning is important as it places emphasis on the student to manage her/his own learning process” (2005). So, I am aware already of the importance of being an independent learner. By doing so, I finally found what literature was and how I could implement it into the classroom activities.

At the end, it led me to getting a new perception of what literature was, how literature might be a good idea in ELT. Most importantly, by integrating literature into the classroom activities, it would be fun, full of imagination, expression, etc. so that the students would find it intrigued to learn more about literature. As Shang recited from Langer (2006) stated that literature allows students to reflect on their lives, learning, and language. Literature can open "horizons of possibility, allowing students to question, interpret, connect, and explore" (p. 607). Thus, lots of things I learned and how I could applied it into the real teaching. Simply it could enrich teaching process and change my old perspective that literature was boring.

In a nutshell, I really take literature into consideration when it comes to teaching English in the class. As some researchers did, the teaching strategy is what matters most to make the learning process is enjoyable and insightful. Moreover, it brings me to a new perspective of viewing literature as a huge opportunity to enrich teaching experience.


Lane, A. M., Dale, C., & Horrell, A. (2005). Revision sent September 10 th 2005.

Shang, H. (2006). Content-based instruction in the EFL literature curriculum. The Internet TESL Journal, 12(11).

Yunus, M. M., & Suliman, A. (2014). Information & communication technology (ICT) tools in teaching and learning literature component in Malaysian secondary schools. Asian Social Science, 10(7), 136.

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