Diapositive 1

 According to many scholars, teaching literature in EFL classes is
required. They see that literature ought to be taught because
literary works are often enjoyable to be read.
 Literary texts help students to know about other cultures. They
are a stimulus for language acquisition. They also build up
students’ interpretative skills. They develop students’ language
awareness. In addition, they push students to talk about their
opinions and feelings. In fact, literary texts promote personal
involvement in the learning process.
The present study aims at casting light on the attitudes of EFL
students at University of Ouargla towards literature courses.
The University of Ouargla is one of the developing
universities and it is located in the South of the country. It
can be considered as an average university in Algeria and the
academic ranking of the department is just above the average
and this fact has also been very convenient for the purpose of
the current study since neither a very good nor a very bad
sample can be considered as a good sample.
It was noticed that the academic staff themselves also
complained about the lack of students’ active participation in
literature classes and they noted that they would be very
pleased to know about their students’ attitudes toward
literature. Thus, it has been decided to conduct the study at
the English Language and Literature Department, Faculty of
Letters and Languages, University of Ouargla, Algeria.
Therefore, the present paper comes to answer the following
 What are the attitudes of EFL students towards literature courses?
 Do the teaching techniques used in the EFL class of literature
have an impact on students’ attitudes?
 What is the link between the students’ achievement and their
attitudes towards literature courses at the Department of English
at Kasdi Merbah University of Ouargla-Algeria?
 The participants of the study are 40 second year LMD students of
EFL at Kasdi Merbah University of Ouargla-Algeria.
 The undergraduate curriculum of English at University of Ouargla
is a three-year training leading to a BA degree (License), and
consists of six semesters of 14 weeks each.
 The students enter the department by means of their results in the
exam; there
examination. The literature courses taught in the department are
Literature, British
Literature, English
American Literature and Universal Theatre.
 The data for the study are collected through a structured
interview session.
 The interview aims at exploring the subjects’ attitudes
towards literature in the EFL context. The interview session is
audio recorded.
The 40 students are invited to a structured interview for 35
minutes.The interview consists of 7 questions:
 1- Do you feel that you are motivated to study literature? Yes/NoWhy?
 2- Which literary genre do you prefer to read? Short stories/
Novels/ Plays/ Poetry?
 3- What is your impression on literature courses? They are
interesting? / They are boring?
 4- Why do you read literary works? For enriching your language
diction?/ For fun?
 5- When do you read literature? Just when your teacher asks you to
do that?/You read by yourself?
 6- What kind of difficulties do you encounter when reading any
literary text? Vocabulary?/ Culture?
 7- In your opinion, does literature play an important role in EFL?
To answer the research questions, the interview script is transcribed and
used as a means for getting findings.
Most students involved in the interview are motivated to study literature.
They consider literature as an important module and a useful tool to learn
English. However, some other students feel that they are not motivated; they
maintain that using literature in EFL requires some authentic materials which
are not found in their classroom.
A great number of students prefer to read short stories and some others
prefer novels since the two literary genres are simpler than the other genres.
Literature according to most students is wholly interesting because it
enriches their knowledge at large; however, some still think that it is dull and
boring sometimes.
 Most students state that they read literature to enrich their
own diction and to have fun. Literature gives students a
chance to know about the other’s culture.
 Though some other students have the same outlook, they
still think that using other authentic texts may be more
useful than literary texts in the EFL classroom since they
lack vocabulary and they also find it difficult to understand
cultural aspects related to the writer’s community that is
far and totally different from theirs.
 Most students agree on the fact that they do not
receive much support from their teachers concerning
reading and studying literature. They add that teachers
understand and analyse literature. In fact, the majority
of students admit that they rely on some websites to
analyse literary texts without reading them since this
way is very simple and saves time.
 Some other students admit that even if they read the
target literary work, they need to have recourse to
some sites on the net so their reading intuitions come
to be true.
A great number of students involved in the interview maintain that EFL
teachers of literature ought to provide them with some appropriate methods
that enable them to get more clues about the text’s writer, his themes, his
style and his social background.
The interview has also showed that the majority of students complain about
their motivation and admit that their performance in literature courses is
It is most of the time evident that classes are highly teacher-centred and
students are usually tested on either memorisation of what the teacher or the
critical book stated about a given literary work, or on historical questions on
the time the literary work was produced and the author’s life and his/her
works. The majority of students also notice that the way teachers handle
literature classes lacks an appropriate methodology and that the classes are
often unexciting and boring.
 The results have revealed that the practice of using
systematic methodologies to encourage students to
attempt their own analysis is very rare.
 All of these results have showed once again the fact
that EFL students at university have positive attitudes
towards the courses of literature although they are
less enthusiastic about the teaching techniques used
by their teachers.
 EFL learners ought to be trained to create their own questions or
hypotheses about the texts they read. They should be guided into
higher level activities which require critical thinking skills so that
they are able to get both systematic knowledge of the language
and meanings interpreted.
 Gradually done, learners will become more critical readers in
literature classrooms in EFL contexts, and potentially more
autonomous so that they may enjoy learning more about
 Using literature in EFL classes provides a window into western
cultures, helping students understand how foreigners live and
think. It indeed helps students to expand their “linguistic and
cognitive skills, cultural knowledge and sensitivity”.
Halima Benzoukh  ([email protected])

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