There could be many reasons for taking a Literature Class. Perhaps you want an education on culture or want to get acquainted with English classics. Or maybe you're hoping to further your career prospects.
Regardless, taking English literature courses is an excellent idea in today's globalized world. Undoubtedly, English is the de-facto lingua franca of the world.
Any international organization of repute, be it the World Health Organization or the United Nations, requires its employees to command the language.
The most recurring problem that people face while learning is a lack of confidence and motivation.
Even if students do learn basic English, they may still feel intimidated by the thought of reading Ernest Hemingway.
As a student, you need to ask yourself what you hope to achieve through English class. Marking your goals helps with perfecting language usage and keeps you motivated.
For instance, many people learn Mandarin because they seek job opportunities in China, while some opt for French because they want to indulge in French literature and the art scene.
So, what are the benefits of learning English literature? Let's have a look at what specific advantages literature courses will bring for you:
English Is A Global Language
The age of colonization has drawn spheres where different languages reign supreme, such as French in West Africa and Russian in Central Asia.
However, English has been the de-facto global language of communication in the post-colonial world.
English has around 360 million native speakers, mainly in North America, the British Isles, South Africa, and Australia.
But when it comes to second language speakers, English trumps all other languages, with around 900 million speakers. It also reigns supreme as the language with the most number of total speakers.
In short, no matter which continent you are on, you're bound to find English speakers.
And if you're in it for the cultural influence, you can find English novels in practically every large bookstore worldwide!
It is spoken in around 70 different countries, in some capacity, as either an official language or a co-official language.
However, its far-reaching relevance doesn't stop at that. We live in the digital age, where the entire world is interconnected, and the borders are blurred. And English tops the list as the most commonly used language across the internet.
English, specifically English literature, happens to have the most significant imprint in academia. Much of the world's academic writings and research are also conducted in English, while American and British universities top the worldwide university rankings.
English fiction writing still tops the world in the number of books sold. And Shakespeare remains one of the most translated authors in the world.
Boosts Your Cognitive Flexibility
Like any other language, learning Egnlish also enhances your cognitive functionality and rewires your brain to think in an improved manner.
This explains why individuals who speak languages like Japanese have an honorific form of addressing people, making them think differently from speakers of analytical languages like English.
Furthermore, learning a new language at a young age can drastically enhance cognitive functions and improve attention skills and multi-tasking abilities.
Children who start reading from an early age reportedly have better intellectual and cognitive capabilities than those who start later.
For adults learning English literature, it helps their brains develop cognitive flexibility in a linguistic sense, and it also boosts their overall creativity.
Understanding a joke or using a descriptive word correctly is a sign of cognitive flexibility. Deciphering an excerpt from Shakespeare is even better!
Getting To Experience New Cultures
As mentioned earlier, English is spoken as a native language worldwide, from Australia's sandy deserts to the icy tundra of Northern Canada.
Learning English literature will allow you to communicate with a massive set of people and give you the chance to experience new cultures.
And if you're a fan of reading, it will allow you to access a vast amount of literature pieces, including novels, poems, and more.
While English is spoken natively in 6 countries, pidgin and creole English is spoken in even more countries: from Papua New Guinea to Jamaica. Once you know English, you can dissect differences between pidgin forms of English and get an appreciation for how they evolved.
Furthermore, English literature students can also benefit from the works of non-native English authors, such as Arundhati Roy and VS Naipaul.
Even though it's the same language, its usage across the globe alters with cultures and lifestyles; the English spoken in Islamabad, Brooklyn, and Essex is the same, but also completely different!
Therefore the literature and prose from these places may be read the same way, meaning something completely different.
Also, having a firm command of English literature can help you tap into the cultures of countries where English is not spoken natively but is relied on by a massive population: India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Pakistan.
Thanks to how ubiquitous English has become, you can find English literature authored by Nigerian, Indian, or even Turkish writers.
Boost Your Professional Prospects
English literature classes can provide the push your career needs! Most English-speaking countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, have favorable immigration policies and tend to welcome professionals from foreign countries who can speak their language.
Unfortunately, all of them require you have a certain level of fluency to qualify for immigration. Knowing the language in a literary sense can elevate your level if you aren't meeting the criteria.
Even for non-English speaking countries, such as the UAE, English-speaking ex-pats form a large part of their workforce at the executive and upper management levels.
Additionally, English is the primary language used in academia worldwide, whether it's NTU Singapore or the American University of Beirut.
And of course, if you're looking to apply in an Ivy League, knowing English is a definite must.
Having an analytical grasp of the language can help you get a promotion or seek better jobs internationally. And teaching English is also a lucrative option in many developing countries, such as China.
Unfortunately, basic English doesn't give you the fluency and expertise over it in the way a literature class does.
People might think English literature courses are not of much use. But literature students are vastly preferred over people who have a basic understanding.
Great For Self Growth
Learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby is always great for personal growth. But the analytical skills that come with literature help you perfect your communication skills and better your cognitive abilities.
Once you master English as a non-native speaker, you'll develop more confidence in yourself, both in how you communicate and how you see yourself.
Keep in mind that the process of learning literature in a non-native language is grueling, and successfully training your brain to get the hang of it can be considered a massive achievement!
Learning how to understand complex literary themes will train your brain to analyze and tackle challenging everyday scenarios and come out on top.
Open Yourself To The World Of English Literature And Media
Knowing English lets, you dive deep into the world of English literature and pop culture.
A significant part of world media is oriented towards the English language, whether it be American songs ruling the Billboard charts or American Idol broadcasting in countries worldwide.
And anyone who considers reading among their hobbies is doing themselves a disservice by relying on translated versions of English books, whether it be a fantasy novel like Lord of The Rings or a classic by William Shakespeare.
Therefore, if an English literature class still sounds too dreary to you, get rid of those doubts and sign up with Superprof to learn English in a lively, interactive manner.
Superprof tutors will provide you with the tools you need to analyze complex literary passages on your time and according to your budget!