Teaching grammar through literature in foreign language learning with German as an example

  • Angelika Weber University of Pretoria
Keywords: creative writing, foreign language teaching and learning, literariness, literary texts, originality, textual grammar


Learning a language’s grammar is frequently experienced as a complicated, abstract and often boring process. To alleviate this situation, scholars like Harald Weinrich advocate the use of literature in grammar teaching and learning. Literature has a very special potential of emotionally touching its readers, causing them to reflect on what they have read. In turn, readers can easily be animated to respond. This article attempts to demonstrate how the potential of literature can be used even in grammar teaching and learning to stimulate the learners emotionally and lead them towards writing their own personal response to the text. In this way, they have the opportunity to express themselves in the foreign language while at the same time applying the grammar they have learned. Although the example is based on teaching German as a foreign language, the principle underlying the proposed pedagogical sequences can be applied to the teaching and learning of other foreign languages as well.

Author Biography

Angelika Weber, University of Pretoria
Dr Angelika Weber is a lecturer for German at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests are the teaching of German as a foreign language, didactics of literature and intercultural learning. She has also published several articles on the collages of Herta Müller.
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