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Students’ Perspectives on Extensive Literature: Using Literature to Enhance Communicative Competence and Cultural Understanding in the EFL-Classroom
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the use of literature within the Swedish Upper Secondary EFL-classroom from the students’ perspective. How do the students in the study relate to literature and its use to enhance and enable their communicative competence and cultural understanding? Also, how do their answers compare with their teacher’s and the adult perspectives and findings from previous international research?

The empirical data obtained from the study has been analysed from the perspectives of sociocultural and motivational theory, and the findings show that the participating students believe literature to be a good didactic tool to apply in the EFL-classroom, both in order to enhance their communicative competence and their cultural understanding. The students prefer to have a sociocultural approach to their literature-learning, with group-discussions of various sizes. The key for the students in this respect is interesting, relevant and engaging subject-matter, as well as a positive and motivational teacher.

The responses given by the students correlate with those given by their teacher as well as previous international research. The students regard literature as a way of gaining new perspectives, as well as experiencing language in use. Where they diverge somewhat from the international research is in regard to literature’s use for enhancing their competence to speak in class, and that some students seem to think that communication and cultural understanding are separable. Future studies within this field might include the conducting of a larger and more in-depth survey regarding the students’ ideas about literature, culture and communication. Why do so many of the student respondents neither agree nor disagree with the statement concerning communication and cultural understanding being inseparable? This can be an important issue to investigate in today’s global climate of cross-cultural and intercultural experiences, especially in view of the political climate of diverse attitudes towards refugees, immigrants and emigration

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
EFL, literature, communicative competence, cultural understanding, Swedish upper secondary school, sociocultural theory, and motivational theory.
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-21115OAI: diva2:905879
Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-23

Open Access in DiVA

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