Teaching Literature in the A Level Modern Languages Classroom : A Teacher’s Guide to Success book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Literature in the A Level Modern Languages Classroom
A Teacher’s Guide to Success

ISBN 9781138303515
Published July 24, 2019 by Routledge
258 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides essential support and advice on using literature in the A level modern languages classroom, addressing key concerns such as ways to approach this task and how to maximise the benefit to students. There are strategies for understanding works of different genres as well as ways to analyse plot, characterisation, themes and style, all presented in a logical way that allows existing teaching methods to be built upon.

Including a step-by-step approach to all aspects of planning, resourcing and teaching literature in modern languages at advanced levels, this book covers essential topics such as:

  • Why teaching and studying literature is important
  • How to choose the text
  • Preparing and introducing the literary text
  • Understanding the characters, themes, style and structure
  • Writing examination essays
  • Ways to spark creative language use before and beyond the set text

Based on the latest A level modern languages syllabus, this practical book will help both new and experienced teachers approach teaching literature with more confidence, which will enrich their students' language learning and inspire their creativity beyond examination requirements.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Why teach (or study) literature?

3. Choosing the text

4. Preparing to teach the literature text

5. Introducing the text

6. Teaching the novel and short story

7. Teaching the play

8. Understanding the characters

9. Understanding themes, style and structure

10. Writing the examination essay

11. Sparking creative language use: before and beyond the set text

Appendix 1: Sources of information for teachers

Appendix 2a: Literary phrases in French

Appendix 2b: Literary phrases in German

Appendix 2c: Literary phrases in Spanish

Appendix 3: Individual student reading logs

Appendix 4: Bridging the gap: activities for Mateo Falcone by Prosper Mérimée

List of set texts mentioned in the book


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Katherine Raithby formerly taught French and German to A level in Cambridgeshire. She then led the Modern Languages PGCE programme at the University of Bath, UK, and its affiliated training providers for many years. Her PhD research focused on giftedness in Modern Languages education.

Alison Taylor is a freelance language specialist, with a range of teaching experience at secondary level. She subsequently worked in Secondary Teacher Education at the University of the West of England, UK.