I have always thought that English literature is an excellent way to learn to speak English fluently. Learning any new language can prove challenging and goes beyond the mere learning of a foreign language vocabulary, conjugation and grammar. One of the unique characteristics involved in learning English is the ability of grasping the correct words that describe the undertone or feeling, and nuance of the words used within the context and meaning. All of this takes time to learn and master.
Choosing to study English literature in addition to speaking in order to grasp the complexities of the English language can be one of the most effective and valuable methods to use. Since reading in general is at the core of English literature, it is a natural way to progress to a deeper understanding of the English language and gaining mastery over it.
The natural consequence of studying or majoring in English literature will be a fuller, richer understanding and use of the language and culture. In addition, classes in English literature are usually structured in such a way as to teach students critical and analytical thinking which results in students not only learning the language, but also how to reason other ways. Thus the more the student is exposed to the words he uses; the better he or she will begin to understand the meaning of the word, and the diverse ways it can be used.
This principle might apply to any second or further languages you choose to learn, it needn’t only apply exclusively to learning English. The distinctive ability of exposing yourself as a student to English literature in order to learn the English language can enable you to understand the words and grammar through how they are meant and used within the context of the passage.
Of all the options available for learning a foreign language, in this case English, I think reading and enjoying literature can be the most challenging. However, eventually it pays off, because English literature can also be most relaxing, enlightening and fun.
Photo Credit: Dustin Gaffke