ATTITUDE OF STUDENTS TOWARDS THE LEARNING OF LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
Background of the Study
The steady increase in the population of the students that have bad attitude towards literature – in – English nowadays has caused serious threat to schools and the students themselves.
It is clear that the level of motivation that students have toward Literature – in – English has become so low as literature is one of the best medium to expose Second language learners to a variety of language input using authentic materials.
Etymologically, the term literature is derived from latin word “Literature” which means “writing formed with letters” Broadly speaking literature is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination. Literary genres are determined by literary techniques, tone, content and by critics definition of the genres, but the major genres of Literature are:
While drama is a unique tool to explore and express human feelings like a play been acted on stage, prose on it’s own is a written or spoken language in ordinary form, without metrical structure, and poetry is a literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhyth
In this wise, student’s attitude towards Literature – in – English and it’s learning context can all play some parts in explaining their success if the negative interest can be eradicated with good motivation from the teachers. Numerous research studies have been conducted on the role of attitude of students in acquisition of Literature in English, probably spurred by the knowledge that negative attitudes can change. Factors like better teaching strategies, classroom and social environment can drastically reduce negative attitudes (Choy, 2002). Individual difference also play a significant role in learning contexts, factors like age, gender, language background, types of school attended and peer influences are some of the variables that influence language acquisition and attitudes.
As there is limited research on students’ background and their attitude towards studying Literature, this study uses students attitudes towards learning Literature in foreign language as it’s conceptual frame work. Attitudes related to the motives of studying literature can be divided into two main categories: integrative and instrument motives. Gardner as cited in Baker 1993 suggests that integrative motive refer to situations where a person learns a second language group for cultural activities. Instrument motives refer to practical purpose of learning a language in Literature such as in order to get a better job or pass examinations. Students with positive attitudes will spend more effort to learn the Literature in English by using strategies such as asking questions, volunteering information and answering questions. Attitudes therefore affect the rate of development and the final proficiency achieved in the target Literature. Fortunately, attitude do not remain static, they can be changed through the learning process such as by using appropriate materials and teaching techniques. Literature prove as a result of learning it well and it will help to acquire positive attitudes.
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