From Teflpedia

Literature is writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.[1] Thus it is a broad genre.

Studying English literature can be worthwhile if students are interested in it, but it’s probably better to follow the students' interests rather than the teacher’s. Hard literature is often too difficult for students, hence graded readers.

In some countries, e.g. France, knowledge of English literature is considered to be extremely important for upper-intermediate and advanced learners.