Kandiah Shriganeshan

DOI Number
First page
Last page


Abstract. With ten years of learning English as a second language at schools it has not become a reality for the university undergraduates in Sri Lanka that they become proficient in English. The exam-oriented studies of the present Sri Lankan educational system which was derived from the British colonial rulers encourages and also develops a text book culture which would not promote communication in English. In order to maintain international contacts, to use it in education, science, medicine, engineering, technology and business, and to lead a modern life there was a need for Sri Lankans to study English. Therefore, experts of English language teaching have to find possible methods to teach it successfully in order to make the students perform their activities well in English. There was a time when it was felt that teaching of any language cannot be divorced from its literature.  It is assumed that literature would arouse interest among the adult learners of English. The present study is to find out the possibilities of using literary texts to promote effective language learning at university level focusing on developing writing skills. The paper analyses as to how pieces taken from English literature and literature in English could be used in classrooms teaching English for Specific Purposes in order to motivate adult learners to become proficient in General English in the first phase. The study was conducted using questionnaires, interviews with the students, lecturers and administrators. The workshop sessions five in number were conducted at different intervals during the three-month study. The researcher was able to record the students’ involvement in the learning process from their written performance. The paper analyses and proves qualitatively how the students improved in their proficiency through teaching of literature.


Keywords: culturally-friendly texts, non-native English Literature, syntactical and linguistic features, Inter-disciplinary course

Full Text:



Bhatti, M.Ismail. 1991. The use of literature in English language learning/teaching. In Aspects of teaching and learning English as a Second language, eds. James Druary and Rajiva Wijesinghe, National Institute of Education: Maharagama.

Brumfit, C. ed.1991. Assessment in literature teaching, Macmillan Publishers: London.

Brumfit, C.J., and R.A. Carter. 1986. Literature and language teaching. ELBS with Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Collie Joanne and Stephen Slater, 1987. Literature in language classroom. Cambridge University Press: USA.

Education in Ceylon- Centenary Volume 1 and 2, Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs, Ceylon, The government Press: Colombo.

Gunasekara, M. et al. 1994. Compendium of University ELT papers. ELT Units of Sri Lankan Universities.

Hill, Jennifer. 1986. Using literature in language teaching. Macmillan Publishers: London.

Jeyasuriya, J.E, 1978, Educational Policies and during the British Rule in Ceylon, Associated Educational Publishers: Colombo.

Kachru, B. 1976. Models of English for the third world: Whiteman’s linguistics Burden on language Pragmatics’ in TESOL Quarterly 17/2.

Lazar, Gillian. 1993. Literature and language teaching. Cambridge University Press: USA.

Littlewood, William. 1986. Literature in the school foreign language course. In Brumfit and Carter 1986. Literature and language teaching. ELBS with Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Long, M. 1980. Process and production and comprehension in TESOL Quarterly 18/3.

Mackay, Ronald and Mountfort Alan (eds.) 1978. English for specific purposes. Longman Group Ltd.:London.

Mckay, Sandra. 1982. Literature in ESL classroom in TESOL Quarterly 16/04. Dec. 82.

Ruberu, T. Ranjith. 1965. Education in Colonial Ceylon, the Kandy printers

Ruth, Spack.1985. Literature, reading and ESL: Bridging the Gaps in TESOL Quarterly19/04.

Sharma, R.S. 1978. Discourse and production and comprehension in ELT Journal March 1978.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2334-9182 (Print)
ISSN 2334-9212 (Online)