THE ATTITUDE OF STUDENTS TOWARD THE LEARNING OF LITERATURE IN ENGLISH

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background
of the Study
          The steady increase in the
population of the students that have bad attitude towards literature – in –
English nowadays has caused serious threat to schools and the students
themselves.
It is clear that the
level of motivation that students have toward Literature – in – English has
become so low as literature is one of the best medium to expose Second
language learners to a variety of language input using authentic materials.
          Etymologically, the term literature
is derived from latin word “Literature” which means “writing formed with
letters” Broadly speaking literature is used to describe anything from
creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is
most commonly used to refer to works of the creative imagination. Literary
genres are determined by literary techniques, tone, content and by critics
definition of the genres, but the major genres of Literature are:
i.        Drama
ii.       Prose
iii.      Poetry
While drama is a
unique tool to explore and express human feelings like a play been acted on
stage, prose on it’s own is a written or spoken language in ordinary form,
without metrical structure, and poetry is a literary work in which special
intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of
distinctive style and rhyth
In
this wise, student’s attitude towards Literature – in – English and it’s
learning context can all play some parts in explaining their success if the
negative interest can be eradicated with good motivation from the teachers.
Numerous research studies have been conducted on the role of attitude of
students in acquisition of Literature in English, probably spurred by the
knowledge that negative attitudes can change. Factors like better teaching
strategies, classroom and social environment can drastically reduce
negative attitudes (Choy, 2002). Individual difference also play a
significant role in learning contexts, factors like age, gender, language
background, types of school attended and peer influences are some of the
variables that influence language acquisition and attitudes.

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As
there is limited research on students’ background and their attitude
towards studying Literature, this study uses students attitudes towards
learning Literature in foreign language as it’s conceptual frame work.
Attitudes related to the motives of studying literature can be divided into
two main categories: integrative and instrument motives. Gardner as cited
in Baker 1993 suggests that integrative motive refer to situations where a
person learns a second language group for cultural activities. Instrument
motives refer to practical purpose of learning a language in Literature
such as in order to get a better job or pass examinations. Students with
positive attitudes will spend more effort to learn the Literature in
English by using strategies such as asking questions, volunteering
information and answering questions. Attitudes therefore affect the rate of
development and the final proficiency achieved in the target Literature.
Fortunately, attitude do not remain static, they can be changed through the
learning process such as by using appropriate materials and teaching
techniques. Literature prove as a result of learning it well and it will
help to acquire positive attitudes.
Statement
of the Problem
          Literature in – English has a lot
benefits to offer to the English student learner but, most of these
students frequently, are turning a negative attitude towards it due to the
lack of their interest in it. The study of literature begins in delight and
ends in wisdom because the psychology and linguistic reason for teaching it
is to create wisdom and also to motivate the students in different
varieties like lecture, discussion, small – group for presentation, drama
and other varieties which can easily lead to successful attainment of
proficiency in Literature, but, most of those students are not motivated to
have interest in English Language at all, that is the second language, not
to even talk on having interest  in
reading English Literature texts. Whereas, higher level of motivation and
positive attitude is part of the major things that can produce more
successful second languages learner in Literature.
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