When literature is not English

3rd September 2004 at 01:00
The proposal that all pupils should study "communications" rather than English literature or language is deeply ironic ("Diploma threatened by maths opposition", TES, July 23). Perhaps now is the time to discuss the appropriateness of the current labelling of the subject "English literature".

Have you asked some school-leaver what was given in this year's English literature exam? It was John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Is it not a bit odd - an American book to be studied as English literature? Steinbeck's works are part of the curriculum in a lot of other countries but each of them calls the subject just "literature".

This is the right title for it especially if the "Specification A GCSE English literature" says: "The majority of the works studied must be literary texts originally written in English but works in translation may also be included."

N A Hyde Chapel House The Street, Bradwell Village Braintree, Essex

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