The use of literature as a means of dealing with different language levels within the same classroom
Literature has a long history in the teaching of language: it was essential in the classical paradigm and still plays a fundamental role in the language classroom in many countries. The advantages of using literary texts for teaching language have been widely discussed (Maley and Duff 1989; Carter et al. 1989; Widdowson 1992; Kramsch 1993; Lazar 1993; Carter and McRae 1996; Edmonson 1997). The text is the perfect vehicle to investigate the stylistic features of an author and the characteristics of a period. Texts can also be explored at different levels: they can present information about culture and society and may be analysed with different purposes. Literature also provides the teacher with a flexible instrument to deal with classes where not all the students have the same level of language. This paper presents the design of a course to teach English language and literature, highlighting the role of literature in dealing with classes where there is a heterogeneous proficiency level.