AWEJ Special Issue on Literature No.1, 2013                                                                           Pp. 264 – 293

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

Salah Shrouf
English Department, Hebron University
Palestine 

Raghad Dwaik
English Department, Hebron University
Palestine

Abstract:

During the 1980s, a reassessment of the role or roles that literature could play in building the learner’s competence at the linguistic, cultural and personal or emotional levels has taken place. Researchers started to argue that the natural exposure to unrestrained language in authentic texts eventually contributes to the students’ overall language proficiency.  The researchers believe that the new Palestinian syllabus launched in 2000, advocates an earlier start in language instruction, however, this longer exposure to the English language is not fully utilized to familiarize students with the great works of English literature.  In this paper, the researchers attempt to shed light on the actual literary content of the Palestinian English syllabus: English for Palestine.  They present a descriptive analysis of the actual literary texts available in each grade level in terms of themes, length, genre, author, age and authenticity.  The researchers also investigate the various purposes achieved through the presentation of literary texts and the type of instructional support available.  Results show that literature is used in the Palestinian syllabus mainly as a means to achieve the ultimate end of building students’ overall proficiency. Poetry emerged as the dominant literary genre in the whole series with a few samples of dramatic and narrative texts. Literary genres other than poetry are not characterized by the same level of authenticity. Moreover, many literary periods in addition to major writers and poets are not fully covered which leaves students inadequately prepared for college programs in similar fields.

Keywords: classroom literature, Palestinian syllabus, Literary content, English for Palestine, Literary materials in Palestinian curriculum

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Dr. Salah Shrouf holds a Ph.D. in English Literature with special focus on American
Literature. Besides his various teaching responsibilities, he currently works as the
dean of the faculty of arts and formerly as the Head of the English Department.
Research interests include literature in the language classroom, innovations and trends
in Post-modern Literature, and feminine voices in African American literature.