Benefits of Studying Children's Literature in Foreign Language Courses at Undergraduate Level

TitleBenefits of Studying Children's Literature in Foreign Language Courses at Undergraduate Level
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2020
Date Published12/2020
Conference NameOsmi naučno-stručni skup Nauka i savremenost
SectionEdukacija / Education
NumberUDK 378 UDK 82-93
Publication LanguageEnglish / Bosnian
AuthorsSuljic, V
PublisherFilozofski fakultet Univerziteta u Zenici / Faculty of Philosophy Zenica University
Place PublishedZenica
ISSN Number2744-1210
Keywordschildren’s literature, foreign languages, teaching, undergraduate courses

Children’s literature has been undeservedly neglected by universities which offer undergraduate foreign language courses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Knowledge of children’s literature is particularly relevant to the prospective teachers of a foreign language (L2) who will work with learners ranging from pre-school to high school. As future teachers and instructors of L2, they might use texts from children’s literature in classroom. They can thus assist learners to approach learning of L2 in a way similar to learning their L1 – through reading or listening to various literary texts - and foster students’ reading habits in general. Knowledge of children’s literature texts in L2 can also assist teachers to develop critical insights about the learners’ language learning process, which can enhance their language teaching competencies. Using transactional activities for communicative purposes is one way of teaching a foreign language. However, the teacher’s familiarity with children’s literature texts appropriate for the learners’ level can be viewed as a significant asset in assisting learners attain competences in the second language acquisition. As learners have access to different writing styles, texts, or vocabulary in L2, it can also boost their imagination as well as contribute to development of their critical reading, listening and writing skills through sharing their feelings and ideas and through involvement in other communicative activities based on the texts they read. Moreover, many books from this genre have been adapted for the film, theatre or musical productions, which could also be used to explore more works by other authors for children. This paper presents arguments exemplified by evidence from teaching students at English Language Department at International University of Sarajevo to reaffirm the importance of inclusion of children’s literature in undergraduate courses of foreign languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere where it is not offered in the curricula.
key words: children’s literature, undergraduate courses, foreign languages, teaching

Refereed DesignationRefereed