Language through Literature: An Introduction

Language through Literature: An Introduction

Language through Literature: An Introduction

Language through Literature: An Introduction

Synopsis

Paul Simpson provides a definitive introduction to the English language through the medium of English Literature. Through the use of illustrations from poetry, prose and drama, this book offers a lively and accessible guide to important concepts and techniques in English language study.Each chapter:* develops a particular topic in language through a series of practical tasks* provides points for further discussion* includes project work for use individually, or as part of a group.Students will find the author's selection and presentation of topics helpful, as he progressively widens the scope of topics through from single words to the structure of whole conversations. By developing practical activities designed for the study of English Language, this book goes way beyond pure linguistic description, and will be an invaluable aid for the beginner student of the English language.

Excerpt

The idea for this book sprang from what I can only describe as a ‘collective groan’. A few years ago I was invited to speak on the third day of a conference on English studies held at a British university. Most of the conference delegates were school-teachers and undergraduates. When I arrived on the first evening, I took a place at the back of the auditorium while the conference organisers went through the programme for the next three days. When discussion turned to the ‘language’ slot—which was to be my contribution—I was alarmed to hear a sort of tired and resigned groan going around the auditorium. Even though delegates were unaware that the language speaker was in their presence, this was without doubt an ominous precursor to my lecture! Over the next few days, in the course of informal conversations, I pieced together some of the reasons for the groan. Virtually all of the delegates, both students and teachers, had come to the conference with a solid academic grounding in the study of English literature. However, many had recently begun studying English language. Most of the undergraduates, for instance, had embarked on a first-year course in English which comprised components in both language and literature. Whereas the literature component, they said, was fine, the language component was an entirely different matter. They found the subject rather difficult, the methods technical and the textbook ‘unfriendly’. Some even said that they couldn’t see . . .

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