Teaching and Learning Writing Skills through Literature

Karwan Karim Abdalrahman

Tishk International University, Faculty of Education, ELT Department – Erbil, Iraq
[email protected]


Recently, there is a lot of academic discussion among language and literary scholars regarding utilizing literature in English language classrooms. Some studies were conducted and showed the positive effects of literary texts in second language acquisition. These studies proved that using literature motivate and engage students better than just depending on linguistic textbooks. In fact, they stated that literary genres are the field where language rules can be read in use. This study is a descriptive qualitative analysis that used secondary sources including research articles written between 2015-2021 to explore the findings of the current literature on using literature in teaching and learning writing skills. Therefore, the collected data is analyzed thematically. English language instructors integrate literary genres, including short stories, novels, plays, and poems, into their language courses to enrich both their teaching style and to bring about a positive environment for better communication between/among the instructor and the students. Thus, it should be clear that reading and writing cannot be separated, or the other skills. Language skills, both receptive and productive, should be integrated. In this sense, the best medium to link human language and creativity is literature. It is an act of imagination and creation. Literary texts are regarded as tools where readers communicate with the text’s meaning. In times, it can evoke and provoke readers especially when readers interact with the events, in fiction, scenes, in plays, and speakers, in poetry. The core of a literary text is imaginative and creative quality that inspire learners to respond both intellectually and emotionally when reading or responding to a text. Using literature in English language classrooms leads to creativity and open-ended dialogues between the learners and the language instructor, and activates critical thinking skills among the students. In short, literature touches the learners’ emotions and stimulates their intellect to go beyond the literal meaning of language.

Keywords: Critical thinking, Language Skills, Literature, Teaching and Learning, Writing Skills.