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The Role of Literature in Secondary and Post-Secondary Language Instruction: Disparity or Unity?1


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    The ideas of this article were first presented in a talk given at the convention of the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers in March, 1980.


Abstract  A consideration of the status of literature in university and secondary school curricula, the degree of student interest in the study of literature, and research activity and teacher training in literary methodology reveals a disparity between the expectations of the university curricula and the role of literature in the other areas. Thus, undue tension is created while the place of literature in our discipline may be misunderstood and even neglected. Yet, literature can have a powerful effect in provoking change in the individual. After a discussion of these considerations, some positive suggestions for lessening this disparity are made with the hope that greater understanding and cooperation between the secondary and post-secondary levels will arise and that our attention will be redirected toward seeking improvement in the teaching of literature. While this is not a new problem in our profession, all too little is being done about it.