Getting off the fence: Exploring the role, position, and relevance of literature education in the teaching of English as a foreign language in Dutch secondary education

Jasmijn Bloemert

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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English as a foreign language has a prominent position in Dutch secondary education and although the majority of the curriculum relates to language skills, literature also plays an important role in the upper years of HAVO and VWO. However, it is remarkable that since 1863 there have been ongoing discussions about the position, relevance and focus of the literature component. Recent national and international developments have shown a revival in the use of literature in the modern foreign language (MFL) curriculum whereby the position of literature is seen as integrated in learning to communicate in a foreign language.
This doctoral research focuses on PCK research and consists of five empirical studies. Central is the development of the Comprehensive Approach to FL literature teaching and learning, a model that takes into account the student, the context, and the literary text. This model was used to investigate how teachers approach literature and how students experience these lessons. The final step consists of an intervention in which eight teachers learned to apply the model to their existing educational practice. We investigated how these teachers experienced the relevance and usefulness of the model after working with it for a year.
Results show, among other things, that (1) there is a large variation between the ways in which teachers approach literature, (2) there are substantial differences between the perspectives of students and the practice of teachers, (3) the Language approach is both practically and methodologically an issue, and (4) a model such as the Comprehensive Approach provides teachers with a common language, allowing them to analyze, reconsider, and enrich their own literature curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Jansen, Ellen, Supervisor
  • Paran, Amos, Co-supervisor, External person
Award date11-Nov-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-2017-2
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-2016-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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