Surprisingly little is known empirically about the use of literature in language education. Despite the popularity of literature, claims for its value in education rest more on speculation and assertion than real understanding of the contribution it might make to greater language proficiency. This book carefully details what is known of the language of literature, the reading of literature and uses of literature in language education, including assessment and principles of curriculum, and the relations of literary understanding to developing intercultural competence. Key studies are highlighted for what they tell us as well as for the questions they leave unanswered and the book incorporates pointers toward the kind of research now needed and practical guidance on how it might be carried out, including an extensive and up to date guide to resources, a glossary and very inclusive references.

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