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Literature in Language Education Evolving Language Pedagogies and Text Preferences in Contemporary Russia

Raees Calafato

Educational Studies, 2018, issue 2, 91-116

Abstract: Raees Calafato - MA Applied Linguistics, Researcher, Institute of Education, University College London (Great Britain). Address: University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E6BT. E-mail: raees.calafato@gmail.comThe use of authentic texts, including literature, as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) resource has gained wider currency in classrooms, notably in Europe and Asia, where this integration is being encouraged as linguists acknowledge the vital importance of lexical knowledge to foreign language acquisition. The adoption of communicative language teaching (CLT) methods, pointing to a shift away from teacher-centric models of language pedagogy, has also led to a greater emphasis being placed on the use of authentic texts, including literature, which has in turn given rise to debates regarding appropriate teaching techniques, methodology and text selection. In terms of foreign language education in Russia, literature has a storied history of use, although relatively few empirical studies exist on contemporary teacher practices and how these have evolved in the post-Soviet era. Indeed, as teaching practices evolve to incorporate authentic texts in EFL education in Russia, it is important for all stakeholders to understand what texts are actually being used in classrooms and in what way. To address this gap, data, as part of an exploratory study, was collected from 152 Russian EFL teachers via a semi-structured questionnaire. The results show that while Soviet teaching practices continue to influence, to some extent, teaching approaches and text selection with regard to literature in language education (LLE), there are notable shifts in teachers" attitudes towards learner interest and ability that reveal evolving teacher priorities and motivation.

Keywords: language education; EFL; text selection; language skills; literary texts; communicative competence; teaching methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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