How English is English lit?

20th August 2004 at 01:00
Your article "Diploma threatened by maths opposition" (TES, July 23) reports on proposals to "study 'communications' rather than English literature or language" Apart from the irony of this statement, now is really time to discuss the appropriateness of the labelling of "English literature".

Is it not a bit odd that John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, which is an American book, featured as a set text in some of this year's English literature exams?

Steinbeck's works are part of the curriculum in a lot of other countries but they just call the subject "literature".

"Literature" is the right title for the subject, especially as the specification for GCSE English Literature says that "the majority of the works studied must be literary texts originally written in English but works in translation may also be included".

Ana Hyde

Chapel House

The Street, Bradwell Village

Braintree, Essex

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now