difference between english and literature

difference between english and literature

The Importance of English and Literature in Education

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1. Introduction

Reading and proper communication skills are essential in today’s world of information, thus involving skills established in the study of literature. In fact, it is not an exaggerated thing to say that if one really knows mastering the sentence structure, then one may not have any problems in learning the basics of the English language. English is first referred to as the language of an ancient people. Over time, many countries united to create international communication, form other media likes involving an English environment, and also appear in the business field. Apart from the clear benefits of learning new languages, many individuals admit a range of both cerebral and mental advantages they grow by learning languages when understanding language.

English and literature are considered the foundation in today’s modern society where more and more information is accessible via various platforms. Literature encompasses a broad array of genres including fiction, drama, and poetry of different cultures and ascends through literature from the past to the latest. The study of literature helps to improve oral skills, cross-cultural understanding, reflective and observational skills, as well as creative problem-solving skills, and thus is ever relevant despite our technological society. Literature is seen as an expansion from basic English in education, but characters remain at the core with themes and plots to hone the appreciation of text.

2. Understanding English

The University of Puget Sound’s Dr. Maureen S. McLane affirms John Stuart Mill’s belief that “reading great literature can qualitatively improve a reader’s entire life” as an idea needing to be re-embraced. Practitioners of many academic disciplines rarely integrate any idea of textual humanistic science as a true functional measure of scholarship, let alone the ‘decking horse’ of persuasive English and written skills. Works transcribed in the English language are observable among the many as the best sources of knowledge. Aristotle’s work, Politics, exerted so influential a pull on the development of political science that the American version of this science is influenced by a discussion of Aristotle referred to as “The Great Conversation.” Achieving political science students continually, and effectively, crusade on the Greek language; the Chinese are required to converse on their own pairs of Asia’s recognized tongues in Political Science, and likewise with Asian literature magistrates. The student in Political Science and English Literature thus makes the colossally neglected connection trail between these disciplines.

Language is the vehicle that carries every belief and knowledge system, and it is profoundly affected by the tribe one is born into. Oxford University educator and philosopher J.R.R. Tolkien observed that “All language is the one blood, drawn from the heart of ancient language, heating all who carry it through the ages, foaming deep and dark.” We are all pale echoers of a vast taproot of human speech, grown out of the fertile soil of past human experience. Might not this provide a cause for humility and a further quest in the vast oceans of knowledge? Might not the lessons of these language trees help us curb the arrogant ravaging of our forests and our scholars? The United Nations has created six “official languages” so that their thousands of delegates can converse. The two methodologies devised to teach the “classical” languages are Latin and Greek, but those six UN languages themselves include only two of the “classical” groupings, namely Greek and Latin. English remains a courteous pervader of the smaller tongues, whereas the “mother tongue” or “NMT” and the potentially learned “foreign” languages of any global citizen remain steadfastly the “6%.”

3. Exploring Literature

I would like to conclude by underscoring the fact that in today’s global society, including international academic and job markets, everyone needs to be able to understand and appreciate cultural perspectives from around the world. What better way is there to achieve this than to share a language? And what better language is there to share than English, a language rich in literary history and tradition? Ultimately then, the importance of reading and literature in education is paramount because to put it quite simply; reading matters. Whether one is reading food labels, office e-mails, roadside signs, airplane safety protocols or social media postings; literature is always everywhere.

Without a doubt in today’s society, reading both in and outside of the classroom engenders a plethora of transferrable skills and helps to encourage the growth of character. From a reflective and personal perspective, reading not only allows young people to deal with the complexity and texture of experience, it can also be a source of immense pleasure. You may choose to read for study or work, to improve and to develop knowledge and competencies. While each of these are very important, we must remember reading has the potential not just to expand knowledge, but to exercise imaginations, to instill empathy and other emotions, to provide solitude, peace and relaxation, to offer insights into life, bring joy and inspire creativity.

Another important area to consider is literature, which is vital because it provides us a window on the world through which we can see things, observe events that are either current and contemporary or timeless and universal. Literature is really effective in providing the individual with the opportunity for discovering, understanding and interpreting the actions and responses of a wide variety of different people in a wide range of different times and places. Consequently, literature is significant because it enables readers to literally walk in someone else’s shoes. In so doing, writers have the capability, not just to cultivate the reader’s imagination, but also to elevate their abilities in order to surmise the essence of truth. Furthermore, literature also encourages individuals to be more self-reflective in a more critical manner, which is crucial for a writer to be a good analytical reader.

4. Comparing English and Literature

According to the magazine Illumination, “The integrative English/Literature curriculum can strive toward a more liberal education by exploring and pursuing the connections between the student’s overall cultural environment and his/her reading experience.” The problems that some educators were dealing with in the olden days have been tackled and gotten rid of by the implementation of the integrative subject. Using the integrative method, students will learn how to think critically and how to blend their thoughts with speaking. To enlarge it more, students can enrich their imagination and capacity for experience as they are given various types of literature to read. Since the diversity of the reading skill is increasing, it can also be proof that the classroom will be successful because the students will be more active. The benefits of including literature in the English subject have been so advantageous that many schools in Indonesia, such as Senior High School of Atmajaya in Jakarta, decided to merge these two traditional subjects into one subject.

English and literature might only differ in one alphabet, but in education, they used to be separated into two subjects with extremely different curriculums. However, does this truly mean that English does not have any relation with literature? In many countries in the world, these two have some differences. While English focuses on grammar and conversation, literature is used to help students read more for enjoyment. But some people do not see English and literature as two very different subjects, and now some countries have combined these two into one subject to make the curriculum richer. Excluding a few countries, such as the UK, Bahrain, Mauritius, and Ethiopia, who still use these two subjects as a single one, in the rest of the countries where English or literature is heavily emphasized, the integrative method is becoming more popular. The diplomat point emphasizes that the “The integrative method, on the other hand, has been much more prevalent as language schools abroad have realized how essential it is for language learners to be taught the fundamental link between language and thought, something that literature has its foundational influence on; how literature is fundamentally the study of thought in art form”.

5. Conclusion

We have also seen that through literature we grow and expand our horizons. Literature through school has been drilled as an important curricular component. Having discussed the ways both the English language and literature work in synergy, this paper has prompted for a lifelong engagement with English. It takes a lifetime and possibly several lives to be able to master completely a language or its extension represented by the immense ocean of literature. Our education system continuously reflects the larger national agenda and its polarizing nature. After a 2-week run of a text covering class 12 English examinations, most of the learners are happy to have gone through and done with one of the biggest dreaded nightmares. It is in wishful thinking that the examination shaped a casual engagement with English or its more intriguing neighborhood called literature. At this stage, it remains to be seen what more we could possibly do to engage with or about English.

Languages change, serve different purposes, and even die. But in the contemporary world, English is the language of business, science, and communication. Technological innovations are not only being developed in English-speaking countries, however, those innovations rely on English for their dissemination and they are most often made in places in which English is spoken. It is thus safe to say that English is not only a means of communication; it is a conduit, a pipeline through which the world moves and interacts. English is also a qualifying agent. In many contexts, to qualify, one has to evolve with English.

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