Literature in Language Learning and Teaching (LiLLT)

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Literature in Language Learning and Teaching (LiLLT)



1. Scope

Over the period of the existence of the AILA LiLLT ReN, we have had ongoing discussions about our scope and mission.

In the next three years, our mission is to:

  • Continue to raise the profile of research into the use of literature in language classrooms within applied linguistics
  • Encourage dialogue and cooperation between researchers working on the learning of different languages
  • Encourage dialogue and cooperation between researchers working in this area from multiple perspectives (e.g. students’ learning processes and teachers’ professional knowledge, beliefs and motivation)

2. Evidence of past activities

Over the period of its existence, the ReN has organised a joint presentation at a language teaching conference, a three-day conference of its own, an online symposium, and the ReN symposium at the AILA Congress in August 2021.

2.1 AILA LiLLT ReN Symposium at the 52nd IATEFL Conference, Brighton, UK, 8-12 April 2018

This was a symposium entitled “Researching Literature in the Language Classroom – Patterns and Possibilities”, in which five presenters from the LiLLT (Christian Ludwig, Friederike Klippel, Sandie Mourão, Amos Paran and Petra Kirchhoff) discussed different methodological issues in our area. There were ca. 30 people in attendance, both ReN members and interested non-members. (See Appendix A for evidence.)

2.2 Inaugural LiLLT Conference, University of Erfurt, Germany, 29-31 August 2019.

This was a three-day conference with three plenary speakers (from China, Germany, and Sweden) and 35 presenters, presenting a variety of research approaches. There were ca. 40 attendees. (See Appendix B for a detailed programme of the event.)

2.3 LiLLT Online Symposium, Taking Literature Online in Times of Crisis, 23 October, 2020

This was an online symposium dealing with the ways in which literature in language learning and teaching had adapted to online environments as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It dealt with theoretical and empirical issues and was deemed extremely successful by the participants. The papers from the online event are being edited as a book, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2022. (See below).

2.4 LiLLT ReN Symposium at the AILA World Congress 2021

This was a whole day symposium, entitled Broadening Perspectives: Theorising, Researching and Practicing Literature in Language Teaching. The number of presentations allowed us to have a full day symposium, with two keynote talks (by three presenters) and 9 additional presentations by 12 speakers. (See Appendix D). This was well attended by many AILA attendees who are not part of the ReN.

3.  Publications

An edited collection, Taking Literature and Language Learning Online, bringing together research from the 2020 Online Symposium is currently in preparation. The deadline for the submission of the manuscript is December 1st 2021 and the book will be published with Bloomsbury in 2022.

Publications currently listed on the ReN website (2018-2021 only):


Tsang, A. and Paran, A. 2021. Learners’ views of literature in EFL education from curricular and assessment perspectives. The Curriculum Journal

Paran, A., Spöttl, C., Ratheiser, U., and Eberharter, K. 2021. Measuring literary competences in SLA. In: P. Winke & T. Brunfaut (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Language Testing. 326-337New York: Routledge.


Tsang, A., Paran, A., and Lau, W. W. F. 2020. The language and non-language benefits of literature in foreign language education: An exploratory study of learners’ views. Language Teaching Research Online first.

Bloemert, J., Paran, A., and Jansen, E. 2020. Connecting students and researchers: the secondary school student’s voice in foreign language education. Cambridge Journal of Education. 50 (4), 429-449. Available as Open Access on


Kirchhoff, P. (2019). Your story in 280 characters max. – Twitter fiction für das kreative Schreiben nutzen. In: Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch 53 (160), 40–45.

Calafato, R. and Paran, A. 2019. Age as a factor in Russian EFL teacher attitudes towards literature in language education. Teaching and Teacher Education 79, 28-37. Free download:,GtqvjvX

Diamantidaki, F. (ed.) (2018). Teaching Literature in Modern Foreign Languages. New York: Bloomsbury.

Knaap, E. van der. 2019. Literatuur en film in het vreemdetalenonderwijs. Bussum: Coutinho [in press].


Bland, J. (ed.). (2018). Using Literature in English Language Education Challenging Reading for 8-18 Year Olds. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Bland, J. (2018). Learning through literature. In Garton, Sue, Fiona Copland (eds), Routledge Handbook of Teaching English to Young Learners. Oxford: Routledge. 269-287.

Diamantidaki, F. (2018). Literature in Chinese language teaching and learning supported by the use of the Internet and digital resources. In Diamantidaki, F., L. Pan and K. Carruthers (eds.). Mandarin Chinese Teacher Education: Issues and Solutions. London: UCL IOE Press.

Knaap, E. van der. 2018. Zur Bedeutung der Lexik für das literarische Lesen. Didaktische Erkenntnisse einer Textdeckungsuntersuchung. Informationen Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Info DaF) 45, 4, 2018, 444-463.


We have promoted our events and research via our ReN website:

4. Proposed ReN activities (2021-2024)


  • An edited collection, Taking Literature and Language Learning Online, bringing together research from the 2020 Online Symposium is currently in preparation and will be published with Bloomsbury in 2022.
  • We have been approached by Mouton De Gruyter regarding possible publication of papers from the AILA Congress symposium. We are discussing this possibility and aim to reach a decision about whether to work on this publication or not once we have submitted the manuscript of Taking Literature and Language Learning Online.


We will continue to maintain the ReN website to promote research and events as well as connect interested parties:

Continuation of ongoing programme of LiLLT Conferences

  • 2022 2nd LiLLT Conference (organised by Ewout van der Knaap, University of Utrecht)
  • 2023 ReN Symposium at the AILA World Congress
  • 2024 3rd LiLLT Online Symposium

2nd LiLLT ReN Symposium on upcoming AILA World Congress

We hereby confirm our commitment in organising a symposium at the next AILA World Congress.