Language and Literature: The Inseparable Interface

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In many parts of the world, there seems to be an unspoken stereotypical status distinction between literature teachers and language teachers. The former seem to be regarded as superior to the latter. In practice, they tend to be indifferent to each other, a position which becomes untenable in the long run. As Jacobson says, "A linguist deaf to the poetic function of language and a literary scholar indifferent to linguistic problems and unconversant with linguistic methods are equally flagrant anachronisms" (as quoted in Brumfit and Carter 1986, p. 5).

Literature and language teachers can help each other achieve a common purpose. This article will attempt to show how. First, it will raise issues related to the concept of language and literariness. Second, it will illustrate how analysis of language in literature can help in the understanding of a literary text in view of classroom teaching procedures.