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Engaging Ways to Teach English Literature

There are few better ways to teach than to get your students to actually enjoy the subject that they’re learning. Fortunately, one of the easiest subjects for this is English Literature. If you already teach English literature, you may be familiar with ways to do this. If you’re not, then no worries! Read on.

There are few subjects more enjoyable or more engrossing than literature, once that little seed of love for reading is watered just a little. But the key is to not just dryly recite facts about your favorite lines of poetry. In order to teach English literature engagingly, you have to try and impart any passion you have on to the students. Once the students have caught this wonderful infection, they’ll start to learn without you hardly having to try to teach English literature.

Another way is to talk about what you’re reading with the class. When you teach English literature, don’t just blindly recite the lines you have for the day. Read a line or two and then ask the class (or student, if you’re a tutor) why they think the author wrote that, or what they feel he/she is trying to say, or some other similar question that doesn’t just look at the surface. Get them to think about what they’ve just read, to ask themselves whether they agree with or understand what they’ve just read. These things are all great helps, but remember that your job is to teach English literature, not to make the students have a good time during which they learned nothing.

Also, if you’re creating the curriculum yourself, make sure not to focus on just one genre or writer, as that will bog your classes down. When you teach English literature, don’t let everything blend into a great big mass of romantic literature. Make sure that you have a good variety in your curriculum, so that your student(s) can have a well-rounded knowledge of English literature. Above all, when you decide to teach English literature, make sure that your students know about all of the wonderful stories, insights and adventures ahead if they master the language. This above all will give them a reason to learn from you.

Photo Credit: Jason Parrish
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