Book: What’s in a Word?: Literature in Language Learning

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

Call for Papers


What’s in a Word?: Literature in Language Learning


Editors: Rogério Miguel Puga (NOVA FCSH), Ana Gonçalves Matos (NOVA FCSH) and Ana Bela Almeida (University of Liverpool).


Publishers: CTELL (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom) and CETAPS (NOVA FCSH, Portugal).



Literature can inspire, excite and intrigue, and engagement and inspiration are desirable in education of all kinds...Using literature in ELT can be useful to expand language learners’ vocabulary, awareness of register, genre and linguistic knowledge generally…The  ways in which language is used in literary texts are actually centrally relevant to the needs of students in a wide range of situations in everyday life. (Hall, 2016: 456).


To create in the young an appreciation of the fact that many worlds are possible, that meaning and reality are created and not discovered, that negotiation is the art of constructing new meanings by which individuals can regulate their relations with each other” (Bruner, 1986: 149).


Bruner’s words are a compelling reminder of the value of reading literature in the 21st century foreign language classroom. Literature (as discourse, ideology and art) can be a powerful and key tool for teaching fundamental language and intercultural competences. A renewed interest in literature is gradually emerging in foreign language education curricula and the growing number of studies dedicated to the subject since 2000 (Kramsch and Kramsch 2000; McKay 2001; Ghosn 2002; Savvidou 2004; Sell 2005; Lin 2006; Paran 2006, 2008, 2010; Carter 2007; Llach 2007; Carroli 2008; Tayebipour 2009; Bilai and Rana 2010; Lima 2010; Hall 2015, 2016; Picken 2007; Khatib, Rezaei and Derakhshan  2011; Matos 2012; Mourão 2013; Teranishi, Saito and Wales, 2015; Matos and Pfeifer 2020 inter alia), are a telling indicator of this tendency. Agreeing with Hall that ‘language’ and ‘literature’ have often been perceived as two distinct fields in the foreign language classroom with little to say to one another (Hall 2015: 4), this volume wishes to address and challenge this silence. As Paran (2006b) pointed out, a view of language learning as focusing on language only presents an “isolationist position”, whereby language learning is concerned with acquiring competence in the L2 and nothing more. Teaching literature in the foreign language classroom, at Secondary and Higher Education levels, more and more, is seen as a “mutual inter-illumination of literature, language and cultural understandings” (Hall, 2015: 3). There is increased awareness that the reading of literary texts in the contemporary globalised world helps students to develop their empathy, creativity, critical thinking, and language and intercultural skills, as it exposes students to “complex themes and fresh, unexpected uses of language” (Lazar 1993: 15, see also Matos 2012: 7). The surge of research groups and online tools on this topic, such as the Litinclass website (, Almeida, Duarte and Puig, 2016) or the LiLLT website (, Kirchhoff, Paran and Stadler-Heer) testifies to the relevance and value of literature explored in language education. This volume will be an interdisciplinary contribution and update to this study area, exploring the intersections of language, literature, and culture in a new language. Beyond improving levels of proficiency, language learners need to access and inhabit other worlds and acknowledge that one’s own perspective on the world is not ‘natural’ or commonsensical and that new frameworks of conceptualizing the world around us are available.

Chapters may focus on the following topics (at Secondary and Higher Education levels), or other that you may find related to the volume’s aims:


Literature, Ethics and Civic Education

Literature and Social Justice

The Social Uses of Literature

(What) Can Literature teach?
Literature in language learning

Literature and/as authentic material

Literature and visual arts in the classrooms (intertextuality, intermediality)

Graphic novels and picturebooks in the classroom

Interactive fiction, visual novels and digital humanities in the classroom

Film narratives in the classroom

Children’s literature in the classroom

Teaching literature to digital natives

Literature and translation in the classroom
Literature in language learning and oral/aural skills
Literature in language learning and interculturality
Literature in language learning and creative writing
Literature in language learning and new A level programmes/Secondary School exams
Literature in language learning and assessment

Literature, censorship and ideology in the classroom


Style guide: MLA (8th edition).

Authors should, please, send an abstract (as an intention to contribute) until 15th February to: Rogério Miguel Puga (, Ana Gonçalves Matos (, and Ana Bela Almeida ( The final versions of chapters should be sent until 31st July 2020, to the same email addresses.

All chapters will be blind reviewed, and an acceptance letter will be sent, based on the chapter evaluation, until the end of August.

Expected publication date: November 2020.

Publishers: Centre for Teaching Excellence in Language Learning (UK) / Centre for English and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (Portugal).