American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 1750-1756
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Contemporary trends and theories have rightfully added the word ‘critical’ to the way texts and discourse is analyzed, hence the names Critical Discourse Analysis/Studies, Critical Language Awareness and Critical Thinking. Literature is a ‘discourse type’ that is considered important, if not the most powerful of discourse types (Cook, 1994) which needs careful analysis of the discourse presented to unearth all that the texts contains from ideologies to simple nuances and connotations embedded in these texts. In light of globalization and the power of language/discourse in texts, EFL/ESL students studying English literature in many institutions in the Arab World are prevented from actively engaging with texts and critically analyzing the language in them. The potential that contemporary critical theories offer and literature’s pedagogical power and importance are not taken into consideration. This paper suggests that these students are kept at the periphery of actual critical thinking and learning, and texts are kept at the periphery of being critically examined to unearth all that they contain to be of actual benefit to their readers. In these countries, which are concerned about maintaining their cultures and cultural identities and preventing foreign ideologies from taking over, now more than ever there is a need for critical analyses of texts and an emphasis on the importance of literature in the curriculums in today’s globalized education system and seemingly linguistically and culturally imbalanced world.
literature, critical discourse analysis, globalization, ESL/EFL students.