Language, Literature and Creativity

By Snapper, Gary | English Drama Media, October 2008 | Go to article overview

Language, Literature and Creativity


Snapper, Gary, English Drama Media


Language, Literature and Creativity This edition of EDM explores the theme Language, Literature and Creativity, reflecting on some of the relationships between the elements of that trinity, and in particular on some of the ways in which forms of creative writing, and broader understandings of creativity in language and literature, can reconcile aspects of literature and language studies.

Until the end of KS3, there is a strong tradition of combining literary study, language study, media study and creative writing approaches in English. It is a feature of the discipline of English, however, that the worlds of literature, language and creative production tend to diverge in the advanced stages of the curriculum. At KS4, the distinct demands of GCSE English and GCSE English Literature begin to intervene. By A Level, English Language and English Literature have become two quite separate subjects in which creative production plays little part--though it has a firmer hold in Language than Literature. These divergences only tend to increase in Higher Education.

There are, however, some notable exceptions to these trends. A Level English Language and Literature, especially since Curriculum 2000, has imaginatively explored ways of bringing the three areas together. The new A Level English Literature syllabuses (being taught for the first time this term) re-introduce creative and transformative approaches to literary texts. And finally, in Higher Education, there has been much interesting work on the language-literature borderline and in creative writing.

A recent Open University seminar series, to which representatives of NATE were invited (see report in the Briefing section of the journal), sought to bring together insights into creativity from both linguistics and literary studies, and from both schools and universities. I am grateful that, following that series, a number of writers from university English--all of whom are passionate about creativity in English at all phases and committed to developing closer relationships between school and university English--have agreed to contribute articles, along with writers from secondary English. …

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