S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Center for Educational Research (교육종합연구원) 교육연구와 실천 Journal of the College of Education (師大論叢) vol.19/20 (1979)
Language Teaching and Teaching of Literature
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 사범대학
- 사대논총, Vol.19, pp. 1-17
- It is widely known that one of the functions of a work of literature is to cultivate ones virtues and purify his emotions. There are two concepts embodied in the term "teaching literature." the One is education through literature, and the other is teaching literature as a work of art. Here it means that literature and education are used together to develop a student's character. The Korean language textbooks used in middle and high schools contain many works of literature, including poetry, novels, plays, and essays. But these works of literature are used only to illustrate sentence patterns, or as teaching materials in rhetoric, because the improvement of language skill is given first priority in teaching Korean. Therefore a work of art must be treated not as an example of a good sentence but as a work of art in itself. A work of art is regarded only as a material for developing comprehension ability, so its original function tends to be neglected even to the point of uselessness. It is a record of human experiences. In many ways, a characters actions and his life can be an object of which a reader can estimate the moral and aesthetic values. and gives him a design for living purposefully or experiencing life more understandably. And it cultivates in the reader a critical view that finds many concealed conflicts, absurdities, and inhuman violence toward a good person. Especially for the young it shows the nature of reality and helps them to find himself. The discovery of a favorite auther is thought to be like the reincarnation of the same soul. But some people do not agree with teaching literature with an educational objective Most of them are those who majored in linguistics at college. They worry that it would lower the Korean language class to the level of commonplace moral education one. From their point of view, works of literature are included in the Korean language textbooks because more vocabulary and a greater variety of sentences are found in them than in scientific papers. On the contrary teaching literature is desirable for developing a linguistic. competence and it agrees with the curriculum of whole-person education, Also, it does not disagree with the general objectives of education. In the past by moral education a student was compelled to accept an established moral and to become a typical person to obey his surroundings regardless of his own will. Therefore, if we realize that literary spirit of creativity can cultivate a spirit of criticism, and enables the adolescents to comment upon, criticize and judge in whatever way he feels he must. all the objections against teaching literature will proγe to be futile. In order to teach literature successfully, a serious study of textbooks should be made and one must numbered among that company of literary men to be a teacher of literature and the organization of students. And to obtain good results it is desirable for teachers to conduct extra-circle activities that incorporate a spirit of experimentation. we can expect that a well-managed program of teaching literature will prevent students from polluting themselves with vulgar printed materials easily accessible. And by teaching literature we may expect our complex and technological society would become more comfortable and more promising for the good and weak-a society in which mammonism or violence toward the weak is never worshiped.