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The Importance of English Literature Lessons in Schools

English is a core part of the curriculum, and at GCSE children have the opportunity to study it at a more advanced level. This is the subject “English Literature” which examines the use of language in a range of literary work such as poems, and reasons behind an author’s decisions. It goes far beyond the scope of work children carry out in “English Language” where they work on developing their communication skills. They are encouraged to think critically about what they read and develop analytical skills. In this post are some interesting points shared by a private school in Surrey on the importance of English Literature lessons in schools.

Critical Thinking

To follow on from the above, children are able to develop their critical thinking skills. They are encouraged to question, think about the author’s intentions and “read between the lines” or so to say. This skill can help children in many areas of life and is vital for fact finding and good decision making.

How to Construct Arguments

When dissecting information and presenting their ideas, children are taught to use “PEE” – point, evidence, and explanation. The technique teaches them how to construct strong arguments by encouraging them to research and provide evidence. This skill can help them improve their writing and achieve better grades throughout their studies.

Boosts Creativity

The above also takes an element of creativity and imagination as children must think differently to identify different ways literature can be interpreted and an author’s way of thinking. As we know, creative thinking is a vital skill and is needed for many other skills such as problem solving. Studying english literature can therefore make children better thinkers.

Historical Knowledge

There’s also the historical knowledge they can gain. Children explore texts that are both new and old, which gives them the chance to learn about different times and how language has since evolved.

Broadens Vocabulary

Also, through analysing these texts children are introduced to words we no longer use as frequently. This can help grow their vocabulary and demonstrate how words have been altered.

Broadens World View

Through reading children can learn about perspectives and ways of living different to their own. This can broaden their world view and help in developing open-mindedness.


Following on from the point above, learning to consider alternative perspectives can help children with developing empathy and understanding for others and how they may be perceived.

A Love for Reading

Reading is a therapeutic activity that is good for the brain. As children explore different styles of writing and genres, they can form a love for reading and be encouraged to read at home in their free time.

Improves Concentration

English literature may also help improve a children’s concentration as they must sit and pay attention to understand what is happening.

Although there are certainly advantages to studying English Literature, it can be a more difficult subject. Most children do not have the option to choose and instead the decision is made by their teacher based on ability. 

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