Category Archives: Literature and language teaching

Multimodality and Multiliteracy Approach to Teaching Poetry in English Language Classroom: From Experience to Exploration

Dasarath Rai

We are aware that the unprecedented technological shift has significantly changed the way we teach and learn the English language today. Rajendrama (2020), asserts that “as societies become more globally interconnected through digital technologies, a wider and more complex range of communication modes is needed to disseminate and exchange knowledge” (p.151). From this perspective, it is important to consider that the integration of diverse communication modes in teaching and learning activities is an integral part of today’s classrooms. Furthermore, she adds, 

The communication practices of our learners today are intrinsically multimodal, as they naturally draw on multiple semiotic modes such as text, images, video, and sound to express their ideas, consume information, and create new content on social media, photo- and video-sharing websites, video gaming, podcasts, vlogs, blogs, and so on (p.151).

Multimodality is “a reciprocal connection and interplay between different communicative modes” (Song, 2012). In such an increasingly digital world, what role should the English language teachers play? Have they been able to create space for learning where the learners can equitably perceive and express their ideas through different modes? This write-up shares practical techniques for teaching poetry based on a multimodal approach in today’s increasingly digitalized world which is expected to be helpful for teachers while teaching English in different settings. 

Multimodality and multiliteracies

The application of this approach in the classroom is believed to foster learners’ ability to acquire and perceive information and linguistic elements and enhance students’ interaction, and critical thinking (Reyes-Torres & Raga, 2020). Furthermore, I believe that this approach will contribute to equitable learning opportunities for learners inheriting different learning styles. For this approach to teaching, I have used knowledge processes of multimodal pedagogy proposed by Reyes-Torres and Raga (2020), which comprises a) experiencing, b) conceptualizing c) analyzing d) applying as a means of implementing multiliteracies pedagogy in EFL (English as a foreign language) classrooms.

Historically multiliteracies pedagogy was introduced in 1996 by the New London Group (NLG) as an approach to literacy that would be receptive to the changing cultural, linguistic and communicative realities of increasingly globalized societies (Rajendrama, 2020). If so, what does multiliteracies pedagogy do? To put it simply, it is the knowledge and ability to understand and use different modes of communication. As suggested by the NLG learners can draw five different modes of communication for meaning-making. They are as follows. 

  • linguistic mode (e.g. learners home and school language, dialects, rhetorical structure)
  • visual (e.g. images, colours) 
  • audio (music, sound effects) 
  • gestural (e.g. movement) 
  • spatial (e.g. positioning of objects)

The application of different modes in teaching and learning is termed as pedagogy of multiliteracies. Reyes-Torres and Raga (2020) suggest four process knowledge construction (FPKC) based on the multiliteracies pedagogy as discussed below: 

Experiencing: it is the first step of teaching which engages learners in meaningful ways that incorporate both spontaneous reflection and lived experiences. This allows them to immerse themselves in the text and world. 

Conceptualizing: it draws students’ attention towards specific concepts and explicit instruction on how linguistic, visual, spatial layout, etc. produces meaning. It emphasizes what they should know and understand about the text. They also learn to examine what specific knowledge and skills they need in their process of inquiry and meaning-making.

Analyzing: it engages students in examining and discussing the author’s message from their perspectives.

Applying: it emphasizes the transfer of new knowledge to other situations and the production of new designs. Thus, learners, at this level, become able to apply different strategies for their learning.

Application of the FPKC framework in my context

While teaching poetry in the previous years, I would simply write the title on the board and give a general background of the poet followed by the discussion of a few questions related to the title or the poet. Thereafter, I would deal with some unfamiliar words and get a student to recite the poem. Then, I would explain every line along with rhyming patterns and figurative devices. For me, the interpretation of the text and meaning construction was more important. However, now with the application FPKC framework including multimodality helped me engage students differently in my classes. In the section below I discuss its application in relation to teaching the poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost.


Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;   

He will not see me stopping here   

To watch his woods, fill up with snow.




My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.




He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.




The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

But I have promises to keep,   

And miles to go before I sleep,   

And miles to go before I sleep.


The visuals alongside the poem presented above can be used to teach students about the poem’s setting. The pictures have been chosen in alignment with the theme of every stanza. Now, let’s discuss the application of the FPKC framework in teaching the poem. 


This stage is similar to the conventional pre-reading stage which allows teachers to reach a closer understanding of students’ perspectives and prior knowledge. At this stage, teachers should develop students’ thoughts and engage them cognitively. As suggested by Reyes-Torres & Raga (2020), it can be done in two ways: a) by fostering an open conversation to initiate a process of inquiry and reflection through which they can use their previous experience and b) by directing their attention toward the text through a visual thinking strategy.

While teaching the poetry mentioned above, I followed the first strategy which is to begin the lesson with an open conversation. The following model questions were used to initiate the conversation.  

  • Have you ever encountered a similar environment or setting depicted in the picture before? If so, describe your experience orally and compare it to the image presented. 
  • Reflecting on the images, what emotion or thoughts do they stir within you? 
  • Take two minutes to write down your immediate thoughts and feelings inspired by the images. 

In the second stage, we can follow the visual thinking strategy which can be carried out as follows. 

  • Revisit the title of the poem and create a drawing that represents the imagery or concept evoked by the title. Share and discuss your visuals with your classmates.
  • Choose the images displayed and describe them in your own words paying attention to its composition, colours, textures, and overall setting. Then describe how these elements contribute to the mood or message conveyed through the text. 

Multimodal entails a combination of several channels to foster the development of students’ cognitive and linguistic abilities. This step of experiencing engages the learner’s critical thinking skills, learning to articulate their thoughts effectively, and gaining a deeper appreciation of the text. More importantly, the observation and interpretation of the pictures helped students do a close reading of other semiotic signs used in real-life situations as well as meaningful engagement with the text in due course of time. This process allowed me to leverage students’ prior knowledge and experiences to facilitate the construction and interpretation of meaning within the text.


To foster students’ ability to think and work with texts in an EFL context, we need to begin by selecting and building blocks of literacy that are important to them (Reyes-Torres & Raga, 2020), which suggests that we need to activate their knowledge and build the foundation for new learning. In this lesson, I picked up a few elements such as vocabulary, phonemic awareness, rhetorical devices, themes including author’s information. I started by presenting the author’s background through the following audio-visual. Listen to the audio carefully:

Building Concept: This audio helped learners to be aware of the way how poetry is to be recited. Furthermore, it provided them exposure to how sounds are segmented, and discriminated with the strong and weak forms of stressed and unstressed syllables. So, at this stage, I focused on the objective of raising phonemic awareness. I paused the audio and gave a brief explanation of the unit of rhythm consisting of a definite pattern. For instance, the first two lines follow the iambic foot in which every two syllables, the first is unstressed and the second is stressed.

Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though.

So making students aware of the stress, next there is linking ‘r’ which is realized as /a:r/. Why is it so? Why not /a:/ only?

Right here, I instructed students to concentrate on weak and strong forms. 

After playing the audio, the students were asked to interpret the poem in their way through multiple modes such as drawing, writing, recommending songs or composing their poems based on the theme of the poem.

Rhetorical devices and teachers’ intervention: At this point, I was concerned about constructing the meaning of the text by addressing the responses of the students as well as leading them to the implicit linguistic elements used in the poem or the use of the words to express meaning beyond the literal meaning of the words themselves.

Figurative Language

Personification: woods are lovely dark and deep

Symbolism: the woods, the dark evening

Imagery: his house is in the village though

Repetition: and miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep

Irony : but I have promises to keep

Teachers need to take into account the essential aesthetic nature of not only the knowledge of formal properties but also to ignite the students’ intellectual understanding as well as their emotional engagement with the text (Reyes-Torres & Raga, 2020). The discussion on this figurative language raised curiosity in learners about the artistic use of language. Thus, I guided them to compose their poems, make sentences, write songs, and speeches, make charts, sketch drawings, collect pictures etc.


The third knowledge process of multiliteracies pedagogy aims to relate textual and visual meaning with social, cultural, and ideological content and purposes (Reyes-Torres & Raga, 2020). The main goal is to have students interpret the reading from different points of view and learn to understand a particular voice, its position, motivation and concerns. To do so, I encouraged learners to discuss the author’s perspective, the emotions it triggers, implicit and explicit meaning and finally the relevance of different themes. 

Therefore, in this stage, I generated different themes of the text which are relatable to students’ lives. 


Theme 1. Isolation and solitude: Why do you think the narrator stops in the middle of the forest without a farmhouse nearby? What do you think the remote area represents? What kinds of feelings grow in your mind when you imagine such a place? Share your opinion.

Theme 2. Responsibility and Duty: What does the line, ‘miles to go before I sleep mean’? Present your opinion. Discuss that duties and responsibilities are far more important than our transient desires and pleasure. We may happen to


think that this very experience is our reality but we have far to go before we finally close our eyes. Present your opinion.

Theme 3. Nature and Tranquility: What is the setting of the poem? Recall some lines of the poem that bring a vivid image to your mind.

In this section, I scaffolded students to break down the poem into different themes to develop their analytical skills and relate that with their lives. For instance, the lines, “miles to go before I sleep” instilled the knowledge of duties and responsibilities of their own. And this is exactly where facilitation is needed. In this way, “teachers relate textual and visual meaning with social, cultural, and ideological content and purposes with the students” (Reyes-Torres & Raga, 2020, p. 113).


Connecting textual content with students’ lives is one of the ways of understanding the aesthetic of reading and constructing meaning and the application of knowledge further strengthens their learning. In doing so, I needed to have well-defined objectives before starting the lesson. It demanded extensive reading, a deeper level of thinking and contemplation on how this information helps students face worldly challenges. I, therefore, needed to develop ways in which students could carry out new practice in the new contexts. In order to facilitate the application of the knowledge in the poem, I discussed the following questions:

  • How does the speaker’s description of the woods in the poem make you feel? Can you relate it to a time you’ve experienced something similar in nature? 
  • If you were in the same situation as the speaker in the poem, what decision would you make? Why? 
  • Imagine you are in the middle of the woods, how would the scene change if it were a different season, like summer or fall? 
  • Can you find another poem where a character faces a similar decision to stay or move on? Compare and contrast the two situations.

These questions challenge them to go beyond recalling information and engage in the poem more critically. They also promote critical thinking and creative expression, allowing them to connect the poem to their own life experiences and perspectives. 

Exploration and insights

The application of the FPKC frame and multiliteracies pedagogy has left some footprints in the course of my professional life which can be discussed as follows. 

  • Set clear level-wise objectives: This approach to teaching helped me to set clear level-wise objectives for the lessons from the experience to the application. The taxonomy of objectives helped me to teach students on how they could achieve higher levels of knowledge such as analysis and application. Furthermore, it made me clear what to facilitate and how to facilitate. For instance, in the conceptualization phase, I played the audio in the class which would add variety. Along with the audio, I was concerned about raising phonemic awareness in the learners focusing on stressed and unstressed syllables.
  • Integration of varied activities: The application of this framework allowed me to employ different activities in my classroom. I have used multiple modes such as questions for discussion, thematic pictures to stimulate learners, audio for building phonemic awareness, allowing students to draw pictures to express their ideas and creating situations where the students apply the acquired knowledge to a new setting. This helped me to guide the students in meaningful engagement with the text. 
  • Create space for expression and perspectives: In all phases of the framework, students were actively engaged within the poem. They expressed their ideas and perspectives either through writing answers to the questions, listening to the audio or drawing pictures related to the topic and expressing their opinions verbally. This technique created an environment where student’s minds, bodies and souls were activated.
  • Foster learner’s autonomy: The multimodal approach to teaching contributed to learner’s autonomy as well. This framework helped me to create opportunities for my students to think and work independently. They also demonstrated confidence in going beyond the lines to interpret the poetic expressions relating with their lives. 


My blog attempted to bridge the theories with classroom practice by demonstrating the application of four process knowledge construction (FPKC) framework based on the multiliteracies pedagogy through a poetry class in high school. It created room to integrate varied activities and modalities of expression (written, oral, visuals, audio-visuals modes), offered space for critical thinking and expressing their perspectives and fostered learner’s autonomy creating equitable learning in a diverse classroom setting. Thus the balanced use of multiliteracies in teaching-learning leverages English language learning, communication skills, critical thinking and aesthetic development. 

Author: Dasarath Rai teaches English at Ideal Model School, Dhobighat, Lalitpur. He has earned Master’s Degree in English Education from Mahendra Ratna, Campus, Tahachal, Kathmandu. He is interested in teacher professional development, multiculturalism, cultural identity, and materials development in language education.


Rajendram, S. (2020). A pedagogy of multiliteracies and its role in English language education. In Contemporary foundations for teaching English as an additional language (pp. 151-187). Routledge.

Reyes-Torres, A. & Raga, M.P., (2020). A multimodal approach to foster the multiliteracy pedagogy in the teaching EFL through picture books: The Snow Line. (42) 49-199. DOI: 

Song, J. (2012). Teaching multiliteracies: A research based on multimodality in a PPT presentation. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(1), 113-117.

Welcome to the Second Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari, 14(103)

Dear Valued Readers and Contributors,


We are pleased to release the second quarterly issue (April-June), 2022 of ELT Choutari believing that the varied resources will benefit you.

We are moving ahead rejoicing the Nepali New Year with new thoughts, aspirations and with enthusiasm. We wish you a happy, productive and historic new year, 2079 B.S.  to you and take this moment to thank our readers and contributors for inspiring us in the continuous journey of 14 years.

The world is constantly changing and the classroom pedagogies, teaching-learning principles and practices, research and resources should also change with the rhythm of time. Rationalizing this belief, Choutari explores resourceful ideas and pedagogical innovations and presents you in the form of articles, blogs, reviews, interviews, reflections, scholarly ideas, glocal practices, and indigenous knowledge to broaden our academic horizon.

Every classroom is diverse, so the educators in this millennium expect/are expected to be abreast with recent and relevant materials/resources for effective teaching-learning. We believe that the resources and materials shared on our forum can support you to be abreast in your field and contribute in your continuous professional development. Besides, writing your experiences/reflection and sharing your perspectives and scholarly ideas is another great tool for professional development. So, we encourage and welcome your writing/composition on the contemporary educational/linguistic issues, pedagogical practices and most importantly your teaching stories.

In this non-thematic issue, we present you the scholarly ideas, educators’ experiences and reflection and pedagogical practices useful for teaching, writing, researching, critiquing and professional development. We are hopeful that the ideas are replicable in our English language teaching-learning context. So, there are six articles and an exclusive interview in this issue.

In a conversation with Jeevan Karki, Dr Bal Krishna Sharma unfolds the global discourse in ELT, (Second) language acquisition, English language teaching in multilingual contexts, critical language teaching, English language policy and practices in Nepal.

Dr Padam Chauhan in his article ‘Ethnography of Writing: A Basic Framework to Introduce Academic Writing to ESL University Students’ recounts the challenges faced by English as a second language (ESL) first-year academic writing students in university. He highlights the linguistic, cultural, and instructional differences between the US education system and students’ home countries to highlight the educational, social, and cultural contexts in international higher education.

In the same way, Ganga Laxmi Bhandari in her article ‘Mother Tongue as a Resource in the EFL Classroom’ argues for the use of L1 in L2 classroom and believes that L1 not only creates the foundation for a better understanding in L2 learning but also develops a positive attitude among children towards their schools and L2 (Savage, 2019). She further argues that the English-only approach has been a failure; therefore, educators should adopt bi/multilingual approaches for effective language teaching-learning.

Likewise, Shaty Kumar Mahato, in his article ‘Teachers’ Collaboration for Teachers’ Professional Development’ reflects his experiences of professional development (PD) through personal and professional initiatives in the context of Nepal. He argues that teachers’ collaboration is paramount for professional development and engagement with different organizations like NELTA, BELTA and so on can also enhance teachers’ PD.

Similarly, Nanibabu Ghimire, in his blog piece, ‘Reading Among Under-graduate Students: Problems and Ways Forward’, brings on spotlight the reading struggles of under-graduate students and offers some practical ways for advancing reading skills.

Similarly, Bishnu Karki in his article ‘Exploring Creative Response in ELT: A Vignette of an English Teacher’ reflects on the writing strategies he adopted while teaching students in Nepal. He emphasizes on the innovative roles of teachers to explore creative responses in EFL classrooms. Karki, further argues that the teachers in the 21st-century classroom to be creative, cooperative and responsive to cope with the ongoing trends and shifts their profession.

Finally, Satya Raj Joshi in his article ‘Using a Story in Language Teaching: Some Practical Tips’ presents the fundamentals of literature in language classrooms and connects his experiences of language teaching through literature. He argues that the literature is a resource offering multiple ideas and activities for students which help them to develop skills and strategies applicable within and beyond classrooms.

For your ease of access, below is the list of hyperlinked articles:

  1. Conversation with Dr. Bal Krishna Sharma- English and New Englishes in Multilingual Context: What’s Been Gained and Forgotten?
  2. Ethnography of Writing: A Basic Framework to Introduce Academic Writing to ESL University Students’ by Dr. Padam Chauhan
  3. Mother Tongue as a Resource in the EFL Classroom’ by Ganga Laxmi Bhandari
  4. Reading among Graduate Students: Problems and Ways Forward by Nani Babu Ghimire
  5. Exploring Creative Response in ELT: A Vignette of an English Teacherby Bishnu Karki
  6. Teachers’ Collaboration for Teachers’ Professional Development by Shaty Kumar Mahato
  7. Using a Story in Language Classroom : Some Practical Tips by Satya Raj Joshi

Finally, we would like to thank all our editors, Mohan Singh Saud, Jeevan Karki, Karuna Nepal, Nani Babu Ghimire, Ekraj Koirala, Jnanu Raj Paudel and reviewers Dr Karna Rana, Ashok Raj Khati, Rajendra Joshi and Babita Chapagain for their tireless effort in reviewing these papers.  Most importantly, we are indebted to all the contributors to this issue.

If you enjoy reading these blog posts, please feel free to share in and around your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write and send us your teaching-learning experiences for which we will be happy to provide a platform at Choutari. Our email is 

Happy Reading!

Happy New Year, 2079

Lead-editor: Ganesh Kumar Bastola

Co-editor: Sagar Poudel

Using a story in language teaching: Some practical tips

Satya Raj Joshi*


Courses designed for English language teaching have been facing problems of practical implication as per the requirement of students in their local space. In this respect, students are facing problems in Non-English speaking countries like low motivation, lack of confidence, and inadequate teaching methods. In the light of the above statement of the problem, the study seeks to provide answers to the following questions: What is the most serious problem of English literature teaching? Are school students learning the English language proficiently as required according to the curriculum? What are the techniques that would be helpful to students to learn the English language? How does the use of literature boost their language learning?

Literature has multiple functions and carries power. Regarding power, Kelly (1996) states that some of the great values of (children’s) literature are enjoyment, beauty, thinking, knowledge, understanding and language. Briefly, this idea can be explained through a good book that offers students fun and pleasure while learning. Aesthetics is about the beauty that students experience in writing. Texts are oral art that led readers to enjoy the beauty of language. It adds a lot of beauty to students’ lives, leading them to look at their own experiences in different ways. Fables, non-fiction and poetry are artistic interpretations of experiences, events and people. Texts also have value to improve your understanding of others. By reading, readers will see for themselves by showing what happens to others through this book. Also, discerning cultures guide students to learn about the bonds that unite people everywhere. People who come to understand and appreciate different cultures are more likely to see that people all over the world share similar feelings, experiences, and problems.

Literary work also works to develop imagination. Imagination is a creative, constructive, power. “Every aspect of daily life involves imagination. People imagine as they talk and interact with others, make choices and decisions, analyze news reports, or assess advertising and entertainment”(Kelly, 1996, p. 19). Creative thought and imagination are intimately related to higher-order thinking skills. Literature is essential to educating the imagination as it illustrates the unlimited range of the human imagination and extends readers’ visions of possibilities. In the same way, literature nourishes the reader’s creative process by stirring and stretching the imagination, providing new information ideas, so that readers can imagine the possibilities and elaborate original ideas. In this way, it expands readers’ ability to express their imagination in words and images.

Literature also increases knowledge and information. Learning enables them to participate in experiences that go beyond the facts. Good fiction writers not only increase their readers’ information store, but also encourage students to think about the magnitude of the ideas explored in their books, which encourages questioning and critical thinking. In this way, the texts also refresh comprehension. “Books are a way of thinking that serves as a source of information and a soundboard for intelligent children. All enlightenment promotes thinking by giving students the ability to meditate, this contributes to mental development” (Kelly, 1996, p. 10). In language teaching, the books provide a language model. “Language and thinking are so closely intertwined that the power of reason depends on one’s ability to use language.”(Kelly, 1996, p. 11). Books, however, often offer a richer language model than dialogue as a writer tends to use broad sentences and beautiful words, while the speakers often use a few of the same words over and over in conversation. Teachers, parents, and librarians often hear children use language found in their favourite stories. The literary work that will be analyzed should be interesting and has valuable things or values to be understood. Further, to explore contextual literature teaching the useful text of Richard Matheson’s Button, a short story is used here to apply in English language teaching by exploring its linguistics inputs and its application for practising language skills. This story tells about the problem of a couple in New York City. They are offered a “package” with some instruction and if it is successfully followed, it will give some amount of money to the doer. The female character is interested in doing this business. Is she successful in getting the amount of money? Unfortunately, it ends in tragedy. This is the intriguing problem that leads the readers of this story interested in analyzing and getting a valuable lesson.

Method of the Study

The study applied the ‘Text and Activities’ (Mumb & Mkandaware, 2019) method to interpret literature in language teaching. This method is the most common approach to using fiction and poetry in the classroom. In this project, the literary text is used for explaining and understanding, as well as stimulating readers for practicing their language skills. In this case, the literary text as the object of analysis is the short story Button Richard Matheson, one of the short stories compiled in American Short Stories for the EFL Classroom (1985, p.53). This text was analyzed with its use in the ELT classroom. The analysis emphasized the linguistic inputs that Readers/students can get, such as the grammar structure and vocabulary and the use of the literary work for practising four language skills.

Analysis and Interpretation

In using the literary text in the EFL classroom, the most important thing is to prepare the students to read the text. The preparation is important in giving the students the background for the reading to take place. The preparation also should help to motivate the students to read, so that there will be no student complaints on the task. This activity should cover the ideas of literary functions or power that is mentioned above. The pre-reading activities should cover the Functions of literary works such as enjoyment, aesthetics, understanding, imagination, Information and knowledge, cognition, and language.

The pre-reading activities that can be given by the teacher to lead the enjoyment, understanding, and imagination, among other are the explanation of the cultural setting of the short story, and some questions related to the cultural setting. The setting of this short story (Button, Button) is New York, a metropolitan city. This setting is easily found at the beginning of the story, “The package was lying by the front door – a cube-shaped carton sealed with tape, their name and address printed by hand: “Mr and Mrs Arthur Lewis, 217 E. Thirty-seventh Street, New York, New York 10016” (Matheson, 1985, p. 21). By explaining the cultural setting of the big city, the reader will get ideas about the context, especially the cultural context of the story. For example, the culture of sales marketing does his job in a big city, will give vivid ideas on what and how they are doing and for what purpose. This explanation to the students as the pre-reading activities will lead them to understand the problem faced by the people in such a big city life cultural context. The problem of the human being expressed by people through literary works is always interesting because it reflects human problems and their response to the problem. Moreover, the problem, often, is universal, meaning that it can happen anywhere and to any person. This understanding will help readers/students perceive the importance of reading and studying literary works to enrich their perspective of life.

The post-reading activities that can be delivered to the students are some questions they have to answer at the end of the reading. The questions are: What does the title Button mean? Does the story have a tragic end? Do you agree with the female character, Norma’s assertion that the death of someone you have never seen is not important to you? What is the message the author wants to deliver in this story? Does the author have a specific idea of the nature of the human being expressed in this story? The given questions help the reader to identify the comprehension of the story. The comprehension can be seen from the answers to the questions and the discussion further on the answers to the questions. This is also important to identify the student’s response and expression to the problems presented in the story. The students’ ideas on such problems need to be explored further in group discussions in the classroom.

The linguistic inputs that can be drawn from the stories can be described in two parts, the Vocabularies and grammatical structure. The vocabularies that can be learned from this story, for example, are as follow: vocabularies related to the ‟sales” and behaviour of the characters as well as the condition of people in such cultural context: sales pitch, monetarily, gadget, genuine offer, shudder, dismay, scope, stack, abruptly, slipper, authentic, incredulous, numb, repress, eccentric, authentic, contemptuous, ridiculous. Teachers need to know exactly the meaning of the words and ask students to find out the meaning and idea of the words. This activity can be followed up with the making of sentences using this word. The students can create their sentences, by inserting this word in each sentence. This encourages the understanding of the meaning and language-producing skills. The other grammatical structure and vocabularies that are valuable to be learned are some phrases. Some phrases are important as the linguistic inputs are valuable to observe, such as “It is a sick one” (Matheson, 1985, p. 591). “Now you are loading things”(Matheson, 1985, p. 592). Not that I believe a word. His voice was guarded. She cut him off. “…Turned over the supper steaks “(Matheson, 1985, p. 594). The teacher can ask students to find out the meaning of the phrases in the context and get a whole understanding of the story. This will enrich the student’s vocabulary and grammatical structure, as well as the understanding of the plot of the story.

The next function of literary works in English language teaching is its use for practising the four language skills, though it is not necessary to apply all of the four language skills at once. Here are some examples of instruction. In writing skills, for example, students are asked to write down one of the mentioned or discussed expressions as the prompt to write down a short paragraph. For example, the expression “It is a sick one”, in this sentence, refers to a joke. The meaning of the sentence is if it is a joke, it is a sick joke, a joke that is not amusing but sickening. Students can continue with their ideas from this prompt, to express “the sick one”. Such expression can be applied to practising speaking skills as well. The other examples can be drawn from the other phrases found in the story. By identifying the phrases, understanding the meaning, and producing it in the students’ expression, the creative reading can be reproduced into other activities covered in other language skills, such as speaking and writing.


The story as a literary text is used for explaining and understanding, as well as stimulating readers for practicing their language skills. Using literature as a resource offers teachers possibilities for language learning activities on materials that energise greater interest. The multiple levels of meaning of literary texts provide opportunities for developing inferential and interpretational skills that students need for understanding all kinds of representable materials. Using literary texts in language teaching can make the students more aware of the language they are learning, help them develop skills and strategies they can apply in many different situations and contexts, increase their interest and motivation, and make the learning of language more interesting and worthwhile experiences.

Author’s bio:  Satya Raj Joshi is an MPhil in English Literature. Mr. Joshi is a lecturer, critic and translator. He began his literary career during his school days and continuously wrote poems, did translations and published critical opinions on language and literature in different newspapers and journals. Currently, he works for CG education, Nepal.


Kelly, A. Colette (ed). (1996). Children’s Literature: Discovery for a lifetime. Gorsuch Scarisbrick Publisher.

Matheson, Richard, Button, Button, in David Queen (eds). (1985). Configurations: American  Short Stories for the EFL Classroom. English Language Program Division, United   States      Information Agency.

Queen, D. (ed). (1985). Configurations: American Short Stories for the EFL Classroom.

Stanford, A. Stanford (ed). (2006). Responding to Literature. 5th ed. McGraw hill International    Edition.

Mumba, C., & Mkandawire, S. B. (2019). The Text-based Integrated Approach to Language Teaching: Its Meaning and Classroom Application. Multidisciplinary Journal of Language and Social Sciences Education (2664-083X, Online ISSN: Print ISSN: 2616-4736)2(1), 123-142.