Creating Spaces for the Development of Critical Awareness through Literature: The Methodological Anatomy of Literary Texts in English

Yolanda Caballero Aceituno

Abstract


Most students of the joint degree in English Philology and Tourism, taught at the University of Jaén (Spain), usually complain about the fact that the teaching of literature is sometimes reduced to the theoretical study of literary periods and bio-bibliographical data about authors. This approach overlooks one of the main functions of literary texts: their contribution to the definition of our students’ ideological positioning in the world. Raising critical awareness through literature is, without any doubt, one of the principles that should guide the design of every literary syllabus. The teaching programme of the compulsory subject Textos Literarios en Lengua Inglesa (Literary Texts in English) revolves around this belief. This subject has been structured around the analysis of several literary texts by authors from different periods which examine key cross-curricular issues such as ideological independence, alienation, authenticity or multicultural awareness. The traditional stylistic analysis of literary texts has been complemented with the inclusion of strategies to foster the students’ capability to express their critical opinion and establish meaningful connections between the message of a text and their own lives. The aim of this paper is to discuss the methodological anatomy of these strategies.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ies.v4n5p10

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International Education Studies ISSN 1913-9020 (Print), ISSN 1913-9039 (Online)

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