American Journal of Applied Sciences

Effects of Teaching Literature on Culture Learning in the Language Classroom

Chittra Muthusamy, Rasaya Marimuthu and Elangkeeran Sabapathy

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2011.789.795

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 8

Pages 789-795

Abstract

Problem statement: The role of literature in enhancing readers’ cultural understanding in the language classroom was explored. It was a part of an extensive research which focused mainly on language learning and creativity. It is argued that the interface of language, literature and culture are at the forefront of present-day language and literature learning and this facilitates inter-racial, intra-racial and global understanding. Approach: As method, a quasi-experimental study was conducted on two intact groups; the control (n = 30) and experimental (n = 30) groups. Both groups underwent an eight week experiment whereby one short story, The Burden of Sin by S. Karthigesu was taught to both groups. The control group was taught using the routine and traditional reading and comprehension teaching approach while the experimental group was taught using the reader response approach adapting Ibsen’s the I Model text exploration and literary devices. Results: Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were conducted on the data collected using two non-parametric tests: The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test to determine the significant difference between the experimental group’s pretest and posttest scores and the Mann-Whitney U test to determine the significant difference between the scores of the experimental and control groups. Conclusion: The results proved to be substantially significant. The findings revealed that cultural understanding can be taught through literature in a language classroom and it is a valuable instructional medium in the learning of culture.

Copyright

© 2011 Chittra Muthusamy, Rasaya Marimuthu and Elangkeeran Sabapathy. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.