Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2017

Teaching Western Literatures to Chinese Students: A Comparative Approach

Matteo Brandi

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China


Teaching a Western literature to Chinese students presents various difficulties, especially from a cultural point of view because literary texts are often seen as something complicated, "culturally" distant and therefore not stimulating. The following paper tries to reflect on which principles should guide the teachers of this discipline when it is addressed to Chinese undergraduate students, through an analysis of the various possible approaches to the teaching of literature (historical, stylistic, genre based, thematic, hermeneutic, modular, etc.). The starting point of this paper is the need for a more comparative, intertextual and interdisciplinary view of the literary text: literature is a spider web, not a straight line. To truly understand a literary text, students need to focus their attention on a deep contextualization (historical period, society, literary movements, genre, theme, other texts, etc.) using a wide range of didactic tools (for example concept maps or hypertexts). The final objective will be finding keys of interpretation and using them in an autonomous reading.


 didactics of literature, didactic approaches, comparative literature, Chinese students, didactic tools