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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE) Vol. 3(4), pp. 15-23 , 1 December, 2013 Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/ http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.13.44.3.4 Use of Literature to Enhance Motivation in ELT Classes Haldun Vural* ELT Department, Mevlana University, Konya, TURKEY Article history Received: 16.07.2013 Received in revised form: 01.09.2013 Accepted: 05.09.2013 Key words: ELT; motivation; literature; authentic literary materials Foreign language teachers need to m
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  Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE) Vol. 3(4), pp. 15-23 , 1 December, 2013 Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/ http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.13.44.3.4   Use of Literature to Enhance Motivation in ELT Classes Haldun Vural *    ELT Department, Mevlana University, Konya, TURKEY Article history Received: 16.07.2013 Received in revised form: 01.09.2013 Accepted: 05.09.2013 Foreign language teachers need to motivate their students to learn English. Literature can be a good means to achieve motivation in ELT classes. There has recently been a revival of interest in literature as a  practical, motivating and an effective resource available for language learning. Therefore, we can assume that literature and authentic literary materials, especially short stories can enhance motivation of ELT students. Keeping this in mind, this study was carried out in an ELT classroom by using two homogeneous groups: an experimental group and a control group. First, for one semester, Experimental Group was  provided with unabridged, authentic short stories, whereas Control Group was exposed to abridged and simplified texts and reading passages. The findings showed that the Experimental Group’s overall results of final exams and outcomes were better than that of the Control Group. Second, an attitude survey was used to understand the level of motivation of literature and to determine whether literature has a positive effect on reading and writing. The results suggested that use of short stories enhances learning and may be good motivational means in second and/or foreign language teaching settings through developing integrated reading, speaking, writing and listening skills. The results of this study may be  beneficial to language practitioners in their classroom teaching. Key words: ELT; motivation; literature; authentic literary materials Introduction   Recently, there has been a remarkable revival of interest in literature as one of the most motivating resources for language learning (Duff & Maley, 2007). In addition, the use of literature in ELT classrooms has attracted a great deal of interest among EFL teachers since the 1980s (Clandfield & Foord, 2006). Because foreign language teachers must find new ways to motivate their students during lessons and because motivation is one of the most important aspects of the learning process, the use of literature in classes might be a good way to increase student motivation. Several studies addressed this issue focusing on motivating EFL students with the use of literature (Brumfit & Carter, 1991; Collie & Slater, 1990; Benton & Fox, 1985). In these studies students were given some samples of exercises and communicative activities that might be used with literary works. Researchers also gave recommendations that short stories are often an ideal way of introducing students to literature for motivation and improvement in their reading and writing skills in EFL classes. Therefore, this study aims to investigate whether the use of literature in ELT classrooms may have positive learning and motivational effects in ELT classes at a Kazakh university, because no such studies focusing on using literature as a means of motivation in ELT are present in a Kazakh context. This study was conducted to prove the motivational effects of using literature * Correspondence:  ELT Department, Mevlana University, Konya, TURKEY, hvural@mevlana.edu.tr  Use of Literature to Enhance Motivation… H. Vural -16- in ELT after the instruction through a semester at a Kazakh university. The study was a part of reading lessons of 34 prep-school students. Students were divided into two groups; the first was experimental group where new methods and the activities related to ELT with the use of literature were applied; and the other was control group where traditional methods with abridged and simplified books and texts and reading passages about subjects outside of literature were applied. Literature Review An abundance of definitions of literature and motivation can be found. Numerous sources have explained literature in various ways. For example, in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English literature means books, plays, poems and so on that people think are important and good (2003). Literature is writing what is considered to be a work of art in The Oxford Wordpower Dictionary (1998). Literature is defined as writings whose value lies in  beauty of form or emotional effect in The Concise Dictionary of Current English (2011). And motivation can be defined as the reasons underlying behavior which is characterized by willingness and choice (Guay, Chanal, Ratelle, Marsh, Larose & Boivin, 2010). It is also defined as the attribute that moves us to do or not to do something (Gredler, Broussard & Garrison, 2004). When it comes to motivation, there are two kinds of motivation: Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation that is animated by  personal enjoyment, interest, or pleasure, engaging in an activity because it is enjoyable and satisfying to do. The other is extrinsic motivation, managed by reinforcement contingencies to achieve some instrumental result, such as earning a reward or avoiding a punishment. According to educators intrinsic motivation is more desirable and results in better learning outcomes than extrinsic motivation does (Deci, Koestner & Ryan, 1999). Here it can be claimed that the components of motivation overlap with those of literature since literature offers a bountiful and extremely varied body of written material, which is important because it speaks about fundamental human issues, which is enduring rather than ephemeral. A literary work can transcend both time and culture to speak directly to a reader in another country or a different time. It expands language awareness, encourages interaction and discussions, and educates the whole learner's personality. It is also enjoyable and motivating (Clandfield & Foord, 2006), because there is a secret formula in literature that literature reaches the parts of a person’s feelings, dreams, fantasies, and experience that other texts can't reach (Pulverness, 2007). These functions are also among the objectives of teaching a foreign language, and parts of good teaching. Foreign language teachers should use non-defensive approaches in classes,  because ELT has linguistic, psychological, cognitive, social and cultural objectives, and literature meets them (Ellis, 2002). Language is a means of teaching communicative competence, language competence, discourse competence and lingo-cultural competence. A fundamental purpose of learning a foreign language is to be able to communicate in a foreign language in oral and written forms, including reading its literature. Literary language may be said superior to spoken language because it is more elaborate (Larsen-Freeman, 1986). To put it simply, it is suggested that there are three main reasons for using literature: linguistic, methodological, and motivational (Duff & Maley, 2007). First in terms of linguistic reasons, Hedge (1985) suggests that literary texts can develop the student's knowledge of language at the levels of vocabulary and structure and at the level of textual organization. The   Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 3(4); 15-23, 1 December, 2013 -17-   rise of communicative language teaching valued literature as authentic texts in which the opportunity for vocabulary acquisition, the development of reading strategies, and the training of critical thinking, that is, reasoning skills happen to be (Kramsch & Kramsch, 2000). Also literary language is often surprisingly ordinary, as ordinary language is often surprisingly  poetic (Carter, 1999; Hall, 2001). Second, when it comes to methodological reasons, meanings in literary texts bring out different understanding, reactions, and interpretations. This means variety in opinions and this variety may inspire discussions and sharing feelings, and all these mean that literature encourages interaction (Duff & Maley, 2007; Clandfield & Foord, 2006). Also second language reading does not differ greatly in principle, from first language reading and can often be studied using the same or adapted techniques and methodologies (Verhoeven, 1999). Finally, literature involves affective, attitudinal, and experiential factors and so may motivate learners to read (McKay, 1986). So literature is motivating because it deals with situations and themes that the writer considered important to address and the motivational effect of the genuineness of literary texts is increased when the topics relate to the learner's personal experience (Duff & Maley, 2007). With the use of literature learners may build new vocabulary as well as they expand their understanding of words they already knew (Ono, Day & Harsch, 2004). Also literature may help students to have the habit of reading, and if students can develop the habit of reading especially for enjoyment and interest, they may increase confidence and fluency, and gain the habit of reading in a foreign language (Brown, 2000). This is important for students’ further independent motivation in learning a foreign language. Despite the benefits of using literature in classroom, literature’s importance was faded as linguistics has become the center of language programs (Widdowson, 1992). Despite the claims of its enthusiasts, it is asserted that the use of literature is not always necessarily  pleasurable or meaningful for all readers and that classroom uses of literature put off at least as many students as they encourage (Hall, 2003). As an additional criticism it is also suggested that foreign language literature often fails to make any sense of progression, and rather than advances in skills or abilities it specifies items of knowledge (Brumfit, 1981). Therefore, it was suggested that because of literature’s structural complexity, lack of conformity to standard grammatical rules, and remote control perspective, it should be excluded from the foreign language curriculum (Topping, 1968). These linguists also stated that there is no positive contribution of literature to ELT students' practical aim of linguistic  proficiency acquisition. Teachers do not prefer literature in their ELT classes because of limited time during classroom period and because some teachers think they are not equipped methodologically to use literary texts (Paran, 1998), mostly due to the difficulty of choosing the texts for classroom (Dawson, 2005). As seen above there have been pros and cons of literature in ELT, and I would like to favor the positive ideas and agree that the linguistic difficulty of literature has been overstated (Povey, 1972). Therefore, advantages often outweigh the disadvantages. Using literature in classroom means a different approach to ELT involving motivation, pleasure and enjoyment for students and teachers. Bamford defines the main target as “the time when students are silently at one with the written word while seated at a desk at school, standing on a crowded train, or stretched out on the floor at home over an open book, unaware that the written words are in English” (Brown, 2000). Because literature is considered to hold high status in many cultures and countries, students can feel a real sense of achievement at understanding a piece of highly respected literature (Clandfield & Foord, 2006).  Use of Literature to Enhance Motivation… H. Vural -18- In addition it is also claimed that literature encourages personal involvement in readers, and hence literary texts are useful in language learning process and that “engaging imaginatively with literature enables learners to shift the focus of their attention beyond the more mechanical aspects of the foreign language system” (Collie & Slater, 1990). Because there exist many cross-curricular and cross-cultural relations in it, literature educates personality of whole learner's. It can be said there are two advantages of literature for teachers; first literature may develop positive attitudes towards reading and learning languages, and second learners' attitudes to values may be improved by literature, because literature may increase learner's understanding and tolerance for cultural differences. It should also be noted that in literary texts different cultural environments and backgrounds are expressed, and this may cause some difficulties in reading and general comprehension. Yet this difficulty can be overcome through exploring foreign cultures rather than avoiding the use of literature in ELT contexts (Duff & Maley, 2007; McKay, 1986). McKay carries this claim one step further and suggests that literature may increase learner's understanding and tolerance for cultural differences (McKay, 1986). Literature can also be a special resource for personal development and growth, since it offers many linguistic opportunities to the language teacher and allow many of the most valuable exercises of language learning to be  based on materials capable of stimulating greater interest and involvement (Carter & Long, 1991). Thus it can be claimed that literature allows students to become intercultural travelers (Carroli, Pavoni & Tudini, 2003). It is the invisible culture in language that the students are expected to discover and notice the complicated link between language form and meaning, and share their learning experience with their classmates (Lo Bianco, 2003). Literature can enhance the reading and writing skills as well since it helps the transfer of reading and writing skills and strategies from the mother tongue to English, and so, through teaching specific skills, literature may increase the students' general understanding of language and their ability of reading and writing in English (Hedge, 1985). Literary texts help students to practice and develop their reading and writing skills and strategies. This can be said to contribute to the development of their reading fluency and proficiency, and writing accuracy. As a result there may be an increase in students' reading and writing speed and self- confidence, and thus the students are able to pay more attention to the overall meaning of what they are reading (Bamford & Day, 2004). Besides through literature, students learn new vocabulary and expand their understanding of words they knew before, which contributes  positively to their reading and writing skills consequently (Ono, Day & Harsch, 2004). To investigate the issue further, and because in the context of ELT in Kazakhstan there was no study about the use of literature, and its motivational aspects at college level, I decided to  perform the present study in Kazakhstan with university students. Therefore, the general  purpose of this study was to see whether the use of literature in ELT at university level could increase motivation of the students and have a positive effect on reading and writing skills. Hence, the paper aims at finding answer to the following research questions: 1. Are there significant relations between the use of literature in ELT and motivation of students at university level? 2. Can the use of literature attribute a positive effect on reading and writing to language learning?
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