Importance of Language in Literature


UNIT 4: Importance of Language in Literature
In this Unit, the following aspects will be covered:

  • Introduction 
  • Definitions of the terms Language and Literature
  • Importance of literature
  • Conclusion 
Literature can be conveyed in different channels or media. It can be conveyed through drawings, sculpture, sounds, words and other related channels. However, literature seems to have one common carrier, and that is language. The importance of language in literature is what makes literature available. 

Definitions of Language and Literature
Normally, language is defined as a tool of communication between human beings in a particular community. On the other hand, literature is also a communicative channel between author and audience. However, in an inevitable manner, author uses language so as to communicate or convey his/her literature to his/her intended audience/readers.
Importance of Language in Literature
Language and literature depend on each other. We can say they are inseparable. Teaching literature in foreign language is not an easy task for most teachers. But also teaching literature using indigenous language is not a simple task. The important thing to note is that when teaching literature in any class and in any level of school, a teacher will need various literatures’ materials in order to perfect his lesson. For example, the students cannot study four language skills without reading literature. This and other learning experiences prove to us that language is very important in studying literature for most students. After all, there is no literature without language either spoken or written.  The following are the reasons why language is important in literature:

Language is the medium of Literature (the road, carrier, or vehicle) through which literature is conveyed either as oral or written one.
Literature is created by language. This means there would be no literature if there was no language. When the text uses language in an artistic or peculiar way, it is called literature or literary text.
Literature transforms and intensifies ordinary language into creative one. In doing so, literature deviates systematically from everyday speech to figurative language. 
Language is improved when reading literature. So, reading is an aid for language development. We read various literary texts to improve language.
Language helps students to develop textual analysis skills of various literary works.
Language in literature helps to expose students to samples of real-life settings in various literary works.
Language increases cultural enrichment for students. So, the role played by the language in literature increases cultural enrichment to students.

So, literature is termed as ‘creative’ and ‘imaginative’ writing because it employs language in peculiar ways. It is a distinctive art that uses language creatively and artistically as its medium of communication in forwarding the message to the intended audience.

Generally, we can say that language cannot be separated from literature and literature too cannot be separated from language. They are like two sides of the same coin.

Students can be guided to discuss, how their local languages/tribal languages are used to convey various literature forms. Not only the local languages but also Kiswahili were and are being used in various activities that promote or carry literature.
As a teacher, you may allow students in pairs or in groups to sing their local songs sung at harvest time and comment on how they language used and are still conveying literature.

NOTE: This practice can also be applied at the introduction of the lesson so as to get the students going when the actual lesson starts.


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  1. Nice work! Upload more texts to enable us get them. In need a nice and organized work


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