Research Article Open Access

Effects of Teaching Literature on Culture Learning in the Language Classroom

Chittra Muthusamy1, Rasaya Marimuthu1 and Elangkeeran Sabapathy1
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American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 8 No. 8, 2011, 789-795

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2011.789.795

Submitted On: 26 January 2011 Published On: 19 July 2011

How to Cite: Muthusamy, C., Marimuthu, R. & Sabapathy, E. (2011). Effects of Teaching Literature on Culture Learning in the Language Classroom. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 8(8), 789-795. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2011.789.795

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.

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Keywords

  • Language classroom
  • culture learning
  • teaching approach
  • intact groups
  • quasi-experimental
  • culture-specific
  • control groups
  • experimental group
  • literary devices