Literature Postcards

Global postcards

The relationship between literature and learning a language has often been close. In the past, the main reason for learning a language was to be able to access great works of literature in that language (indeed, the expression ‘read’ was used to talk about studying a language; one ‘read French’, or ‘read Latin’ at university).

The rise of a communicative approach to language learning and its emphasis on functional language to meet the learner’s communicative needs, combined with the rise and recognition of English as an international language, has meant that literature has taken somewhat of a back seat. This is a shame, as literature can be very motivating in language learning as well as a springboard to language and skills work, especially speaking.

The authors of Global firmly believe that literature has a role in the language-learning syllabus. This is why we have included many literary extracts in the course, both classic and modern, and featuring a range of authors from the English-speaking world. We also believe that literature, especially classic literature, can act as a catalyst for work on critical thinking skills. A piece of classic literature remains classic because it resonates with people through time and can be relevant in the present day. And you don’t need a long extract to do this!

The following nine cards each contain a very short quote from a classic English work of literature. Information about the author is included, as well as a short series of discussion questions. All extracts are suitable for intermediate level and above. We also suggest activity ideas and areas for language work that could arise from these extracts. We hope you enjoy them!


If you would like a printed set of these postcards to use in class conatct your local Macmillan representative (available January 2011).