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THE CONCEPT OF LITERATURE AND SOCIETY The meaning of literature is derived from the Latin word Littera meaning

a letter while The Concise Dictionary of current English describes it as writing whose value lies in the beauty of form or emotional effect. It is referred to as the matter of imaginative or artistic literature. Literature is a form of expression which includes writings that are primarily informative, technical, scholarly and journalistic. It is created and recreated through imagination and written in a language that attracts our attention, because it is different from the way we generally use language or express ourselves in our day to day activities or interactions. It is a feigned and false story meant to teach or entertain. Also, it is concerned with general or universal truths about human life and existence anywhere. Pearse (1981) defines literature as written or oral composition deriving from and mirroring a society and its people. Pattison (1981) says that the concept of literature goes beyond its definition. It can be considered as a social order or a manifestation of a mans unconquerable mind. Its forms and modes of operation, its history and its influence can be studied either with the practical purpose of becoming a writer. Literature is a social discourse in which the issues or problems of human society can be x-rayed and suggestions as to their

solutions proffered, (George N. Anaso 2007) A form of art, and a social discourse that focuses on imaginary or real contemporary issues in textual form (Bayanta, 1997:16). Assimilation or acculturation, conflict resolution and stability, development of positive and good attitudes of life, entertainment, relaxation and the sharing of vicarious experiences of positive values, the development of desired and desirable moral and other attributes to bring about a stable and mature personality, Unoh (1999). That means literature is a vital tool of an expression of human activities and experiences geared towards peaceful living and development. The critical examination of the various definitions or explanations of literature as expressed above proves a general fact that literature and the society are closely banded. Literature which is part and parcel of the society emanates from the society because it is the life of the people as they are in their day to day existence. Society Society is a group of people with common belief, norms values, culture, government, economic activity, social practices and customs shared within a geographical area whether large or small. It should be noted that this definition given may not be adequate enough to highlight what a society means as related to the perception and conception of different sets of people.

The perception of a linguist might be different from that of sociologist or psychologist and even an economist. Individuals might want to narrow it to the understanding of the area of specialisation. Nevertheless, a society may either be local or international in nature depending on the terms and objects of their grouping. It might be restrictive and can be expansive. For example: Society of Engineers. To define society based on this group will demand so many things not being relevant. Religion might not bind them together, culture might not and some other factors which are imperative to identify some other groups. One thing that is imperative here is that society is a group of people. For a group of people to be banded together and interact, there must be a common language by which they communicate. Different groups of people with diverse common denominators become different societies according to their peculiar object of coming or being together as an entity. The existence of a society is premised on the fact that there are people and they carry out some activities day in day out. People interact with one another variously in associations, clubs, religion, cultural gatherings, educational, political, professional, peers and many more. The share of interests, feelings, values, joy, sorrow, anger, worries; success and others with fellow being are the activities that form the body of literature.

The origin of literature is incontestably the society itself. Hence, the importance of literature to the society or people cannot be overemphasised. Origin of Literature In the present day, the understanding of many people about literature is that of a written piece that entertains and amuses people. It is through that literature is written as we see it all over the place but nonetheless, literature has a beginning. The beginning of literature cannot be tied to a particular time or age in the history of mankind but the reality that it originated from and by people convinces us that man existed before literature. Though, history cannot give date for the beginning of literature, there are evidences of how literature evolved. Every race of man is identified with some marks of independence with which its people operate. To these, they attach their beliefs, norms, values and practices. These activities of man from creation are observed either through or by certain principles or accepted patterns of performance. These were activities of festivals, ceremonies like marriage, naming and burial which were observed based on certain principles even as we have today, though, with

modification and modernisation. Origin of literature has close affinity with these activities. In traditional African society, and as evidenced in our immediate locality, Nigeria, storytelling, idol worshipping and recreational entertainment have nothing different from what is today called literature, than the structural written form in which it is presented and preserved. Greek and Roman literatures were believed to have originated from religious festivals which were observed in honour o f their gods. In all these festivals and ceremonial activities, singing, dancing, praying and dialogues constitute, in part or whole, the mode of execution. These are what could be referred to as performance in the present day literature. Because of this nature of literature in time of old, it became difficult for people conveniently divide it into distinct genres as prose, poetry and as we do in modern times. But attempt shall be made, to bridge this stated origin with the present. Story-telling in traditional African society had a narrator who presented the characters and their actions orally to the rapt attention of the listeners who at the end were expected to comment and bring out a lesson which would have formed the themes of the story. The narrator today, is the writer of a novel. Todays story can be put into action by dramatist on stage while a playwright can also present it in book form as play.

Religious festivals and the ceremonial activities involve songs and some dramatic actions. There singing and clapping, dancing and other displays, processions, pouring of librations; sacrifice and others which represent nothing more than a drama performed in the theatre. The religious leaders role we can liken to that of an actor while those watching him (members) are the audience. For example, a priest standing apart from the other members in the shrine performing rituals, communing with the gods through incantations, bending down, standing up, bowing his head, stepping forward and backward in that position is just like an actor on the stage while the others mere or less typify the audience. It is from the activities illustrated above that todays drama and poetry evolved. The songs of old procreated what is today referred to as poetry which is well appreciated when recited, while-the drama took its root from religious rituals. Apart from the enumerated religious inclination of origin of literature, some acts of drumming and singing as recreational activities of the old traditional society are other starting reference for literature. Importance of literature to the society Literature and culture

Culture is a way of life distinctively identified with a group of people, race, country, association, profession, religion etc. It includes their belief and all practices that are peculiar to them. Peoples culture is what they dont joke with and therefore, it is always jealously protected. The dos and donts of a society are reflected in their culture. Culture is the patterns of behaviour and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture distinguishes one human group from others. It also distinguishes humans from other animals. A peoples culture includes their beliefs, rules of behaviour, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. If culture is as described above, literature can be identified as an offshoot of culture. Looking at the origin of literature, it is observed that it is closely knitted with the elements of culture which are the patterns of behaviour and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share, their beliefs, rules of behaviour, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. Literature though an offshoot of culture is an instrument in the society by which the culture is known, interpreted, understood, projected and preserved. Culture is a mark of identity of a people and this identification is projected by literature in its various forms of expression. Literature to culture is like a mouth piece. It speaks for the society. It helps in the introduction of society. When stories were told to the young ones in the pre literate traditional society, the growing new members of the society are indirectly shown what their marks of identity in terms of culture. Morals, beliefs, values and other pre-occupations are expressed for the close observation and acquisition of the young ones.

Every situation and occurrences in human performance as revealed by literary activities among the people from time to time helps individuals both old and new members of a society to understand their environment and their fellows with whom they coexists properly and better. When consequences of individuals actions are projected through performances in literature, every member of the group/society understands better and learns from mistakes of others. If other way round in terms of good behaviour or commendable deeds, praises and appreciation are admired to encourage others. This is a very great role of literature in the society.

Transmission and preservation of culture

Literature transmits and preserves the culture of a people. In the pre-literate society, literature is passed from mouth to mouth and relayed in every circumstantial performance that comes during festivals, social gatherings, religious gatherings, occupational rituals and convention/expeditions like the hunters and ritualist /occultists. In the modern society, literature exists not in the oral form alone but in the prints/black and white as in book form, electronic and s

Culture is the most important concept in anthropology (the study of all aspects of human life, past and present). Anthropologists commonly use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways. Likewise, any group of people who share a common cultureand in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organizationconstitutes a society. Thus, the terms culture and society

are somewhat interchangeable. However, while many animals live in societies, such as herds of elk or packs of wild dogs, only humans have culture. Culture developed together with the evolution of the human species, Homo

sapiens, and is closely related to human biology. The ability of people to have
culture comes in large part from their physical features: having big, complex brains; an upright posture; free hands that can grasp and manipulate small objects; and a vocal tract that can produce and articulate a wide range of sounds. These distinctively human physical features began to develop in African ancestors of humans more than four million years ago. The earliest physical evidence of culture is crude stone tools produced in East Africa over two million years ago.

Literature and Language Literature and language are two close tools of the society which project the identity of a people. As language is the tool of expression, literature is an instrument of projection. The two become indispensably reliant upon each other. While literature exploits the existence of language to project the society, Language enjoys the avenue of literature for development and preservation.
Language is a communicative tool by which human being interact. It is the tool which man use to understand, express and appreciate its feelings, thought, desires, worries, useful, virtues, culture, religion and others. It is racial and discriminative in nature. Language distinguishes people from different races and culture. Literature projects language as it uses it in a peculiar and specialised way. The language expression in literature is different from any use of language in any other medium of communication. This is the reason why people find it difficult to ignore literature when they are exposed to it in any of its forms. In all the settings of mans use of language, the literary settings is the best, most efficient and appropriate user of language. Most users are common and casual in their use of language.

Language is a powerful tool of expression that can be changed and adapted. It can be beautified and decorated according to people, race tribe, culture, season, occupation, feelings, thoughts and inspiration. The only man that has the best in all the enumerated avenue of this use of language is a literary man.

A literary man is imaginative, creative and inspirational in his day to day activities hence, the difference in his way of language use. When a literary man speaks or writes, the listener and or the reader is uncontrollably and voluntarily surrendered to him. This is so because his use of language attracts and equally touches feelings and emotions of man. Literary language is targeted at making man responsive and conscious of his life and environment. Since mans daily quest is survival, progress and peace literature has made itself available through special use of language to achieve them. Man is daily full of worries and unquenchable anxieties, he wakes up daily to loaded with problems to solve with many of them complicated as undecoded riddle. in a very concerned tone, soft and sharp, literature attracts man and addresses mans diverse areas of needs. This is the reason a man will always want to listen to poetry as it is recited. Man wants to to listen to music even when expressing sadness and highly downcast.

in the present day that literary materials are obtainable in different forms, family members come together to enjoy them and feel good at its offer. In the African setting for example, language by literary men are expressed tin proverbs, metaphor, exaggeration , hyperbole and many other figures of speech. these are the ingredients that power the expression of a literature captivating the emotion and feeling of the society. One important thing to take note of is the fact that literature, touches all aspects of human existence. From individuals to group of people, village to nations and continents, local and international, great and small, religion to politics, tradition to modern and many more, literature addresses all human concerns and language is the tool of understand ing. So, literature uses language to address societal problems.

Literature and education

Education remains one of the most important factors that promote national development, (Gukas, H. Joel 2007). The NPE (2004) also maintained that education in Nigeria is an instrument per excellence, and for effective national development. Fafunwa (1974) posits that education is the aggregate of all process by which a child or young adult develops the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviours that are of positive values to the society in which he lives. The main purpose of education is to prepare the individual for a responsible life so that he or she can be a productive member of the society,(Agbi, 2003). Education is the aggregate of all the process by which a person develops ability, attitude and other forms of behaviour of positive and meaningful value in the society in which he lives. (Sani, 2001). Hence, education forms the basis of peaceful coexistence of human being within the society. With education, understanding, acceptance, appreciation, endurance and honour of one another is achievable. This leads to sustainable peace and progress of the society. Since education is one of the matrixes of assessing the level of a societal development, literature has not left any stone unturned. It creates great impacts in the education of people. Directly and indirectly. Through book production for readers, film making for viewers, live stage performance for audience in theatre, television presentation for viewers, radio broadcast for listener and many others, literature educate members of the society in various ways and on many issues. Literature teaches morals and upholds the virtues of the society.

Literature and Language Teaching The continuing debate and a number of studies on the role of literature in Second and Foreign Language Education bear ample testimony to the significance given by scholars in this regard. Kelly and Krishnan (1995), Gilroy and Parkinson (1997), Belcher and Hirvela (2000), Hanauer (2001), Yang (2001), Vandrick (2003), and Kim (2004) discuss how to use literature to teach English as a foreign language. In some other studies (e.g. Schrder, 1977; Weinrich; 1983; Caspari, 1994; Sell, 1995; Bredella, 1996; Keunen & Eeckhouf, 2001; Denka, 2005; Hall, 2005) the focus is on the position of literature in foreign language teaching. The common motive in both of these types of research is that all these studies recognize the importance of integrating literature into language education and discuss the challenges faced. The teaching of language and most especially Foreign Language through literature which is communicative in approach promotes learner-centred teaching, demanding the students to be independent, critical, logical and

analytical in their thinking and devote time to self-learning under minimum supervision.

LITERATURE AND SPOKEN ENGLISH Speaking is the second Language skill and also the first expressive skill in Language acquisition. To attain proficiency level in Nigerian primary school pupils, in the act and art of speaking English Language, there must be constant and literary environment in its teaching and learning experiences. On effective communication, Hennings (1997) suggests to teachers, a Literature based language arts programme in which children are actively involved in thinking and communicating. An approach that integrates the Language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing into the total school curriculum and which is central. Performance in literature which is oral in nature is highly vivid as actors deliver their lines. Perfect and meaningful expression makes performance real and meaningful to the audience Creating dramatic atmosphere in English Language classroom is highly important. Often, passages in the pupils reading book can be marked out to be dramatized in the class after discussion. When they act out what they have read earlier on, opportunity is created for the utilization of some of the grammatical rules learnt. The performance opportunity has created room for mistakes and corrections which makes experience memorable and learning to become permanent. Teaching vocabulary through drama is possible and also leads to making pupils exercise there expressive skill in speaking. For example, the teaching of word and opposite can become conversational if the teacher endeavours to create a dialogue between pupils. Two pupils can be led to ask themselves questions continuously for some minutes for instance, two minutes after discussion of the topics. e.g. Pupil A: Sit is the opposite of stand. Tunde, what is the opposite of come?

Pupil B: The opposite of come is go. What is the opposite of laugh? When about three to four sets of the pupils do it in turns, a dramatic atmosphere has been created, pupils are expose to communicative experience and constant opportunity builds up efficiency. Another literacy opportunity in language class for proficiency in English language to be attained in pupils is allowing them to tell stories in English. Teacher can prepare the mind of the pupils ahead of time. It can be introduced after reading a passage in the class. The teacher will ask the pupils if they enjoy the story in the passage. Automatically, they will say yes. Then, he/she goes further to tell them that it will be interesting if every one of them would come with a short story the next day to be told during the English period. Individual pupil when called can tell his/her stories and questions can be asked on it there after. The question can be from teacher, the story teller and other pupils.

It can be planned in a way that gradually the teacher becomes less visible during such periods after creating a free and confident atmosphere for pupils to take roles. Coordinator or director can be appointed among the pupils from time to time. He or she will coordinate the activities of the day, moderating the programme while the teacher becomes an observer. Equally, pupils can be asked to read some readers and at such periods allocated for that purpose, pupils come to share their experience with others. The fact that it is story makes pupils eager to listen and at the same time they are encouraged to read and become eager to share their reading experiences with others. The goal, which is efficiency in speaking, is focused. The exploration and utilization of these highlighted literature avenues in regular manner, will unconsciously build pupils for proficiency in spoken English.

LITERATURE AND WRITTEN ENGLISH Writing is the fourth leg of the language stool, the second expressive language skill, and he second major course in the school of literacy Writing is the act of making impression of language symbols on anything either for preservation and transmission. Frank (1983) states that writing involves transferring thought from the mind to paper while Idowu (2001) describes writing to communicate as an act of making thoughts, ideas, information, feelings, instruction/command etc. available in printed form for the benefit of other people.

The afore-mentioned points to the fact that writing forms its base from thoughts and ideas. It means the graphical representation of mans feelings and ideas. Expression of human mind in graphical form. When one goes to the nature of literature again, it is established, that it expresses feeling and ideas of man. Hence, literature stands a better chance at achieving proficiency in written English Language among students.

In the classroom, writing can be presented to pupils through literature. Reading is one of the means through which literacy experience is realized. Frank Smith (1983) asserts that the only source of knowledge sufficiently rich and reliable for learning about writtenlanguage is the writing already done by others. In that event, exposing pupils to reading activities in literature text, different from the normal language class that looks monotonous and cumbersome, pilots them toward efficiency.

This literary activity can be varied. It can go beyond the classroom to establishment of readers and writers club or literary society . There would be a place set aside in the school or classroom depending on the level at which this approach is employed. In the case of whole school, literary can be established. Members of the club will from time to time borrow books from selections available and they share the experience with others.

The discussion will follow looking at various elements in the text , the characters , theme, language etc. this will form a ground on which they learn the act of writing. Through their reading experiences they are exposed to different authors and their diverse styles and techniques of writing.

Frank (1983) posits that solely writing learns writing. As the popular sayings, practice makes one to become perfect. To become proficient in writing, pupils must be put through vicarious writing experiences

They should be encouraged to write poems making some words learnt the subject of basis of their composition. For example sleep, sweep, dance and so on. Pupils can be asked to observe some activities around and write on them as they perceived it. They can be asked to express their feelings on common issues in writing. The teacher who continuously guides them to make final draft of what they have written could read through these writings. From time to time such creative products of the pupils can be

compiled in volumes, spiral- banded and be shelved in the reading corner or the school library as the case may be. Occasionally such pieces of writing already edited by the teacher can be brought to the class at another time, during reading comprehension for the class-work.

Editing work of the writes-up can gradually become a collective responsibility of members of the club or class. Discussion can be opened on different submission and expressions in them. Whatever the group discovers to be more appropriate shall be taken to be final so far it represents the original intention of the author. This opportunity builds the pupils up to proficiency in writing. What they need is regular and consistent practice by teachers sincere and dedicated guide.

Hall (2005) focuses on the development of literature studies based on classics tradition to its present day shift into cultural studies. During the early stages of literature in FLT classical works by renowned authors were integrated into the curriculum. These texts were mostly used for translation purposes and exercises on reading comprehension. This compelled the reader to concentrate on the given texts at surface level of the texts and vocabulary and not on their literary value. This also led the students to look in a dictionary for each and every foreign word they come across, and it was expected that referring to the dictionary becomes a habit students should accumulate (Denka, 2005, p.18). However, literature in its present context tends to emphasize its role in improving communicative competence and providing a springboard for the development of critical thinking and aesthetic appreciation (Bretz, 1990, pp. 335-338) and create an awareness in students on the culture and society of the relevant country. Thus, a lot of attention has been paid in recent years to didactics of literature.

Drama Method Teaching language through drama is an attractive option because it gives a context for listening and meaningful language production, forcing the learners to use their language resources (Chauhan, 2004). Drama is an activity which establishes human relationships and communication with others. A child performs drama under teacher guidance and peer collaboration. Drama activity enables children to work together in groups. That is, the Drama Method appears to promote interaction in the ZDP and scaffolding (Wagner, 2002) when used appropriately.

4.1 Literature and Society Irrespective of the language or the literary works selected an insight into the historical and cultural background needs to be provided to the students to understand and interpret literature of a foreign language. Just as much as language reflects the culture, traditions and beliefs of a society, the majority of the literary works too, (barring perhaps science fiction or modern historical novels; for instance), function as a mirror of society corresponding to the period where the works were produced. Hence, the bond between literature and society is as strong as that of language and society and neither can be studied isolated from the other. As Keunen observes the theme of literature and society may be as old as literary criticism itself. It has only been sixties that academic literary studies recognized it in a new literary-critical discipline (2001, p. 9). The curriculum of a foreign language should thus include an insight into historical and cultural aspects of the relevant speech community in order to provide students with the background knowledge required to understand its literature. To facilitate students in gaining access to the information, course units on history of literature as well as culture and society are integrated into the curriculum.

Drama Via (1987) refers to drama as "communication between people" (p. 110). Maley and Dull (1982) define dramatic activities as those "which give the student an opportunity to use his or her own personality in creating the material on which part of language class is to be based" (p. 6). There is an immense range of approaches to drama, including role-play and simulation

(see Clipson-Boyles, 1998). According to Phillips (1999), drama methods encourage children to speak and provide them with the chance to communicate, using non-verbal communication, such as body movements and facial expressions. There have been several studies (e.g., Miccoli, 2003) on English lessons through drama methods, most of which were done on adults and adolescents. According to Taniguchi and Takenaka (1990), animated cartoons such as Jack and Bean Stalk are often a good way to teach English to elementary school students. The author thought movies would also be good for elementary school pupils, because they can listen to authentic English with attractive scenes. The author introduced the drama method and the Harry Potter movie to a Japanese EFL class for upper graders. The lessons were conducted for a class of 4th, 5th and 6th graders at a private English school. The class consisted of five male and eight female students and all of the students had studied English for at least three years prior to the class. The author asked the students what story they wanted to learn in class. Twelve of the students answered Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This paper reports how that movie was adapted for that class The Drama Method from social constructivist perspective According to Oldfather, West, White, and Wilmarth (1999, p. 8), social constructivism is "a particular view of knowledge, a view of how we come to know". In this view, "learning is constructed through interactions with others, which take place within a specific socio-cultural context" (Oldfather et al., ibid.). The most significant base of social constructivism was laid down by Vygotsky. [ p. 11 ] Vygotsky (1978) emphasized the importance of social interaction. He suggested that a child has the potential to reach beyond her present level within a certain zone, which is called the Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP). Vygotsky believes that the process of development is dependent on social interaction, which leads to cognitive development. A child needs to interact with adults and other children who are more knowledgeable in order to grow. In other words, through adult guidance and peer collaboration, a child can perform tasks which cannot be achieved alone. Vygotosky claimed that optimal learning occurred in the ZDP. EFL lessons, viewed from a Vygotskian perspective, should provide collaboration, small group interaction, and work space for peer interaction.

The instructional design should be structured to promote student interaction and collaboration. Thus the classroom can become a community of learning. Scaffolding, a concept developed by Wood, Bruner and Ross (1976), refers to the process that "enables a child or novice to solve a task or achieve a goal that would be beyond his unassisted efforts" (Wood et al., 1976, p. 90). Scaffolding is said to be an effective way to promote learning in the ZDP. In scaffolding learners get opportunities to extend their current skills and knowledge. Teachers must know children's interests and simplify tasks so they are manageable and motivate children to pursue the instructional goals.

Literature and Problems Literature, among other disciplines, stands out distinct, and peculiar that its contributions to the general well being of people and the entire society cannot be paralleled. It has assumed the position of a wise one among the people. Literature is full of experiences that are shared by every wise person in order to live a worthwhile life. Hence, the nomenclature of a Counselor.
Human society in its bid to become modern and developed is discovered to have become complex while the complexity has left to it a myriad of conflicts and confusion to resolve. Various means are being devised to resolve the conflicts and remove the confusion. They include law, religion, and politics. These instruments, rather than use their potentials to assist the society solve its problems, they one way or the other compound the problems. In effect, they too have become problems to be solved. Law which according to Encyclopedia Britannica (1999) is concerned with customs, practices, and rules of conduct of a community that are recognized as binding by the community, as an instrument of society to resolve conflicts and confusion has not in anyway, taken the society to a meaningful destination of resolution, but rather, continues to complicate the

already complicated state of human interaction. Law is biased and sentimental. Justice is perverted and bought while truth is sold out. So, law becomes a conflict to be resolved itself. Religion is also an instrument the society employs as a tool to resolve its complex and confused situation but like the law, it has meted disappointment, ridicule, hopelessness and confusion to the society. Religion has become a riddle, which the society needs to provide explanation to. In a very simple and clear term, Jon, (1997) comments that religion has been the cause of the majority of wars that have been fought in the world as people from different religious groups have sought to dominate one another. Politics is another human machinery which is devised to provide organizational set-up for the society to solve its problems, or rather relieve itself of its complexity has equally become problem in itself. A concept in politics Democracy which is government of the people by the people and for the people has become tribalistic, sectional, instrument of oppression and destruction. Politics, rather than organize the society, disorganizes it. Rusell Harden (1999) says that democracy is particularly good at handling problems of coordination, sometimes including relatively difficult problems of coordination within the context of standard collective actions. It is generally poor at handling more conflicted issues, such as, especially, straight distributional issues like roads, electricity, potable water and others. Literature, which emanates from the beliefs, culture, practices and religion of people, has become an object of daily reference in the discernment, understanding, interpretation and resolution of human problems. Literature is equally an instrument used in finding solution to the problems of the society. Unlike other instruments earlier discussed, literature stand out different and peculiar. It has developed from the state of being an

instrument employed by an entity to being an entity itself. It separates itself from the society in order to remove biases and avoid further complication for the society.

Literature as a personality Literature is not a judge as the case of the law, not denominational as in the case of religion and not sectional or tribalistic as the case of politics. Literature is purely a counsellor who observes, discerns, comprehends, interprets, analyses, synthesises and evaluates. What law, religion and politics fail to achieve, literature encourages them to accomplish. Literature makes the law to recognize or discover its areas of bias, sentiment, wickedness etc. As a counselor, it leads law in sessions of self-discovery, and repentance to truthfulness and justice. It helps religion to decry hypocrisy and faithlessness while it endeavours to admonish deceit and instills sincerity in politics. This personality of literature is what earns it the title mirror of the world. In literature, the world in its nature is reflected as it is. When the world looks at literature (mirror) it sees herself revealed, how bad or good, ugly or beautiful etc.

REFERENCES 2010 Point Articles

OBJECTIVES OF TEACHING LITERATURE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS Though there is no definite statement of objective on literature in the primary school curriculum, its importance and the focus of educational objectives for the pupils at the primary level underscores its relevance. Even, if the stated aims of inclusion of literature in the JSS English curriculum should be

considered, there is no doubt that literature is highly important in primary education FME (1985) states To develop in the students, the design and ability to produce their own literary and creative material. To deepen and reinforce the knowledge acquired through formal English studies. To see written literature not as a phenomenon that suddenly emerged but as part of continuous growth in human cultural activities. Considering the afore-mentioned goals of literature as a school subject along the national objectives of primary education in the NPE, there is no disputing the fact and submission that literature is highly relevant and indispensable in effecting a solid and purposeful educational system. It is an effective medium to achieving national objectives of educational because, the focus is the production of an individual who become useful to himself and the society in general

Functions of Children Literature 1. Character Training: sacrifice, Social value, honesty, cooperation, faithfulness,

patriotism, moral integrity etc. 2. 3. 4. Socialization: Role play, care, love, appreciation support.

Achievement and self-fulfillment: Challenges of life etc. Education: Learning basic things on health, games, sanitation, Nutrition etc.

Categories of Children Literature

According to Ngwu (1991),children literature is classified by Huck and Young (1961) as picture books, information books, folks tales and adventure books, books on hunour and fantasy books on animal adventure, books on religion and moral, books on gardening and sports, books for personal-social development, poetry books, and books for special interests. Ngwu broadly categorized them into two groups: recreational and functional books. According to Ngwu (1991), recreational books can be adventure book, imaginative and fantasy books, animal stories and folk tales which can be used to inspire children or can be read for fun and amusement by children. Functional books give information in areas that the children need to satisfy their natural curiosity about their bodies, the family, health, nutrition, social skills, science, life and the world in general. Such books are usually written with a mind to teaching children the language of literature as well as some functional/survival skills. This classification of children literature is very important for a teacher who wants to teach children literature. It helps in selection of appropriate readers to achieve a specific objective with great impact on the lives of the children taught.

TEACHING CHIDRENS LITERATURE Having understood what literature is generally, what the objectives of teaching children literature are and the categories of children literature, it is important to understand children themselves and their interest. Teaching literature to a particular child or a group of children demands a lot of things on the part of a teacher. A good honesty, punctuality than that which deals with marriage, war and others which will be of more interest to youths and adults. Also, locality and exposure have great bearing on the interest of children and in effect will influence what to be presented to them. Therefore, the first approach to step of a teachers in teaching children literature is selection of materials to be introduced to them. Criteria for Selecting Materials for Children Literature

Age: The interest, level of understanding, experience, and aspirations of children from kindergarten to the upper level of elementary classes vary and as such materials to be introduced to children must be appropriate and suitable to their age level and experience. Language: The level of difficulty of the language of expression should be above the language grade level of the children. The vocabulary must not present literature as a cumbersome task or another round of language drill class to the pupils, it must be conveniently interpretable and comprehensible to the children. Strange diction should not be visible in such materials. Setting: The social and cultural setting in which the experiences related in the material is set should not be alien/unfamiliar to the children. Names of character, place and other items on the material must be relevant to the social-cultural experiences of the child. A book written with Yoruba social cultural setting will be easily comprehended by a Yoruba child than an Hausa or Ibo child an vice versa. A book having Mr. Humprey and Mr. Dunstan will pose problem to a Nigerian child than that with Mr. Tunde and Mr Ibrahim. Believable Character: The dynamism in the nature of the world has reflected in the level of reasoning of every human being. The age of the master- knows-all and unquestionable knowledge of the elders are gone. Children are more inquisitive and analytical ever than before. Therefore, presenting characters that are larger than the world in children literature creates problems and complications. One will run into a big problem presenting iroko tree as a character having husband and giving birth to children. The inability to exemplify or justify the possibility of a tree with such animate quality to children will become a great problem. Therefore, children literature chosen to be used must have believable characters.

Printing: In order to encourage and sustain the interest of children, the printing should be bold enough for their reading. All punctuation marks should be clearly presented. Binding: The binding should be neat and strong for the handling of children, it should not be the type that will have its pages getting removed easily and in a short period of time. It must be able to stand the test of young and immature nature of children. Illustration: Children love pictures and symbols or objects; there should be adequate illustrations supporting the content of the facts presented in the reading materials. It makes them think fast and comprehend more easily. Eye Appeal: The cover is another thing to be considered. Children love things that are attractive, they would want to touch and feel it. Materials that possess this quality will greatly influence childrens concentration and attention in literature. Teacher should select materials that have this quality. Volume: Materials to be selected for childrens use must not be lengthy/voluminous. It must be short, direct and interesting. It should be what they can finish within a minimum period of time.

APPROACHES TO TEACHING CHILDREN LITERATURE Give the restless and emotional nature of children, literature cannot be taught to them in the manner and approaches through which grown ups and adults are taught. Also the traditional way of rote learning cannot be sufficient. A more conscious approach does not give the required opportunities in developing every necessary skill inherent in them. Therefore, in the present age, a more pragmatic approach should be employed by a teacher. Literature expresses life, builds life, explains life, teaches life and lots more. A solid foundation of life could be more realized in literature teaching to children. Uwaifo (1979) comments that literature permeates thoughts and emotion, and that some books shape childrens thoughts and some influencing them throughout life. NTI (1990) states that aesthetically, literature provides the

child with ample opportunity to develop a perceptive insight into mens existence and that it also serves as a window to culture because reading literature works vicariously immerses the child into the world it depicts. And apart from the general life experience, in the educational environment, literature provides a base for achievement and success as it becomes a tool in the effective teaching of some other objects in the school curriculum. That is one of the reasons why literature is all embrassing. Evans (1993) through a study concludes that literature can provide both motivation for language acquisition and better understanding of language itself. For high level effectiveness in teaching childrens literature, the following approaches should be employed. Story Telling: Children love story telling much, therefore, their minds can be prepared through story telling. The teacher can tell a story that is similar to what is in the reader he is about to introduce to them. Stories can be recorded in audio tape and be played to the hearing of the children. This activity prepares and encourages children to read storybooks. These activities do not make literature a cumbersome and difficult subjects because it is introduced in a more or less play way method. Reading to Children: Books can be read to the hearing of the children to arouse their interest. This approach can even be built up in a child right from babyhood. When an interesting story is read to a child with the reader gesticulating, smiling, lifting hands and other physical or non-verbal expressions, the baby becomes inquisitive, wants to know what the adult is enjoying from the book read. Then, he/she wants to become like the adult is doing. In the school, when the teacher read the story very well and its experience. After the reading, question can be asked in order to ascertain the level of pupils concentration and to instill the spirit of attentiveness Library Facilities: Establishment of a library full of children literature and good reading atmosphere is another way of teaching literature. Lead the pupils to select books and read. Reading Corner: Reading corner should be created in each class where collections shall be and they go there to pick and read. There should be an

inventory book that should be kept to monitor the movement of books and how well each child picks books to reads. Questioning: When stories are told/ read by the teacher to the children, question like who is the major character? What type of a person is the majore character? What type of a person is the major character? What can we learn from the story? Who is at fault in this matter? etc can be asked in order to make the pupils become critical and analytical. Their imaginative and critical skills are being developed. Storing Writing: They can be encouraged to write down the stories they themselves have shared with others. When corrected, it should be well binded and kept among the ones in the reading corner. Reading Clubs: Reading club should be organized and each child participates actively. Dramatization: Plays can be read in the class and thereafter pupils would be given roles to act and it is presented to an audience. In support of all these approaches, teacher should intensively take care of vocabularies in the text through questions and examples. There can be word game, whereby each child is asked to explain a word he found unfamiliar in the text he has just read. It might be a period or special time scheduled for such. Through questioning the discussion of theme and other elements should be brought in to reality prepare the children for the future.

CONCLUSION Literature teaching to children is very important and should be handled in a dynamic and relaxed manner. It should be imbibed unconsciously different from all rigid formal practices. When it is done with the teacher full of knowledge and children experiences, literature teaching becomes a realized objective.


Evans, M. (1993) A South African Perspective on the Teaching of Literature of ESL Undergraduates. A Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English Speakers of other Languages (27th Atlanta, G. A. April 13-17, 1993) Goodman, L. (1996)Gender as an Approach to Literatre in the introduction of Literature and Gender. London, Routledge Idowu (1997) Literature and Literary Criticism Nigeria, Fembol Integra Publications. Ngwu P.N.C. (1991) The Development of Functional Readers Early Childhood in Literacy and Reading in Nigeria Vol. 5 pg. 175-190 Uwaifo (1979) The Teaching of Prose in Nigeria Secondary Schools in Ubahakwe Ed The Teaching of English Studies Ibadan, University Press