The Literary Content of the Palestinian Textbook English for Palestine: A Critical Study

Dr. Salah Shrouf
Dr. Raghad Dwaik

Literature teaching may be viewed within the wider context of content instruction currently gaining impetus in the field of language instruction around the globe. When associated with the other language skills, literature plays an important role in developing students' overall literacy and cultural awareness as well as in raising their motivation towards reading in general and their interest in and critical evaluation of their own experiences in the general context of human endeavor ( Carter and Long, 1991; Kramsch, 1993; Krashen, 1985; MacRae, 1991; Malay and Duff, 1989; ). Within the context of the communicative approach, the natural exposure to unrestrained language in authentic texts or situations leads to the acquisition of language patterns and to the incidental learning of vocabulary items that eventually contribute to the students' overall language proficiency. In 2000, the Palestinians have launched a new communicative syllabus which adopts teaching English from the first grade. This longer exposure to language is supposed to enhance the students' overall proficiency and hence their ability to deal with authentic literary texts. In light of these new trends which seem to advocate stronger emphasis on literature as a vital partner in language learning, the researchers have attempted to shed light on the actual literary content of the Palestinian English syllabus: English for Palestine. The analysis will examine the type of literary texts included in each grade in terms of percentage, genre, author, age and authenticity. The researchers end by an extensive discussion of the findings in light of the general global developments in the field of using literature to teach language skills and culture.