Theory tells us that work with literature in teaching a second language is valuable. Students find it rewarding and motivating, and it helps them develop their ability to interpret language and to think critically about it. But there should be empirical support for the practices that theoreticians argue for. This book offers an accessible review of research in the field, and what it tells us about current teaching approaches in the stylistics and reader-response traditions. Particular attention is given to research on readers' responses to metaphor in literature, as this is an excellent test case for theoretical claims about responses to literature as such. This focus ties in with the recent interest in figurative language within second language teaching, and against this background, the book includes a detailed discussion of literature as a tool for developing students' figurative language competence.

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