Students’ Perception towards Literature Integration in the English Language Departments at Duhok and Zakho Universities

Aveen Mohammed Hasan, Zaiton Fareeq Hasan


This study investigates the students’ perceptions towards literature integration in language learning in the English Language Departments (henceforth ELD) at Duhok and Zakho universities. Knowledge about students’ perceptions will influence their interest and language learning development. Literature is an important part of the syllabus at most ELDs in the Kurdish universities. Although studies have shown the importance of the learners’ perception, no studies have examined the students’ perceptions towards their literature modules in the ELDs at the Kurdish universities. The study is based on the responses of 268 undergraduate students to a questionnaire consisting of close-ended, multiple choices (quantitative data) and open-ended questions (qualitative data). The quantitative data is analyzed using the statistical analysis software (SPSS) and the qualitative using thematic analysis. The majority of the students have positive perceptions towards literature integration in their study program. They show that it contributes to the their language development in general and their vocabulary, speaking and reading skills in particular and novel is selected as the most beneficial literary genre for language development. Additionally, literature contributes to develop the learners’ cultural awareness in general and helps to identify the similarities and differences between the English culture and the learners’ own culture. The study also shows the contribution of literature to the learners’ personal growth in terms of active participation in class activities, increasing their critical thinking and analytical skills and helps them to understand theirs and other people’s experiences. The students are satisfied with the selected literary texts and topics and to some extent with the teaching methods which are mostly teacher led, but they suggest more students’ involvement. However, students face some difficulties, mostly language difficulty, that need to be taken into consideration. Thus, it is recommended that literature should be kept in the ELDs curriculum and teachers and administrators should make students aware of the value of the literature, understand the students needs and work to overcome the problems they encounter in literature study. Generally, knowing the students’ perceptions towards literature classes will be helpful for the researchers, educational policy makers and the language teachers to determine English language learners’ genuine needs, motivation or challenges and issues in relation to the use of literary texts as teaching materials and to develop a suitable teaching approach to use the literary texts.


Literature Integration, Perceptions Of Literature, English Language Learning, Students’ Perception, Kurdish Universities

Full Text:



Ahmad, F., & Aziz, J. (2009). Students' perception of the teachers' teaching of literature communicating and understanding through the eyes of the audience. European Journal of Social Sciences, 7(3), pp. 17-26. Retrieved from

Ainy, S. (2006). Use of literature in developing learner's speaking skills in Bangladeshi EFL contexts. PhD thesis. University of Nottingham. UK. Retrieved from

Alfauzan, A. H. & Hussain, A. G. (2016). Attitude towards and Perception of Literature in EFL Setting: A Case Study on QU Male Undergraduate Students. English Language Teaching; Vol. 10, No. 1.

Baba, W. K. (2008). An investigation into teachers’ and students’ attitudes towards literature and its use in ESL classrooms: A case study at the matriculation center in Malysia. PhD thesis, University of Leicester, UK. Retrieved from

Bernaus, M. and Gardner, R. (2008). Teacher Motivation Strategies, Student Perceptions, Student Motivation, and English Achievement. The Modern Language Journal, 92, iii, (2008) 0026-7902/08/387–401, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00753.x.

Boyle, J. and Hirvela, A. (1988). Literature courses and student attitudes. ELT Journal, Vol. 42, No. 3. pp. 179–184,

Brown, M. W. (2009). The teacher-tool relationship: Theorizing the design and use of curriculum materials. In J. T. Remillard, B. A. Herbel-Eisenmann, & G. M. Lloyd (Eds.), Mathematics teachers at work: Connecting curriculum materials and classroom instruction (pp. 17–36). New York: Routledge.

Brumfit, C. (1985). Language and Literature Teaching: From Practice to Principle. Oxford: Pergamon Press. John Higgins, Reviews, ELT Journal, Vol. 40, Issue 4, April 1986, pp: 331–332,

Brumfit, C. and Carter, R. (eds.) (1986): Literature and Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cadorath, J., & Harris, S. (1998). Unplanned classroom language and teacher training. ELT Journal, 52(3), pp. 188-196.

Carroli, P. (2008). Literature in second language education. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Chambers, E. and Gregory, M. (2006). Teaching and Learning English Literature: Teaching and Learning the Humanities in Higher Education. London: Sage Publications.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methods in Education (6th Ed.). London: Routledge.

Cook, G. (1994). Discourse and Literature. New York: Oxford University Press.

Davis, J. N. et al (1992). Readers and foreign languages: a survey of undergraduates‟ attitudes towards the study of literature. Modern Language Journal, 76(3): 320-332.

Finsrud, A. (2017). Literature and teaching methods: a study of students’ attitudes and textbooks. Master thesis. Retrieved from

Ghouti, K. M. (2013). Investigating EFL Learners’ Attitudes towards Literature Teaching Methods: Case of 2nd Year LMD Students at the University of Tlemcen. Master thesis, University of Tlemcen, Algeria.

Gibbs, G. R. (2007). Analysing Qualitative Data. London: Sage Publications.

Hismanoglou, M. (2005). Teaching English through Literature. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies. Vol.1, No.1.

Jiang, J. (2011). Using literature for integrated language instructions at the college level in China. Master thesis, University of Oregon. Retrieved from

Lavrakas, P. J. (2008). Encyclopedia of survey research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. doi: 10.4135/9781412963947).

Lazar, G. (1993). Literature and Language Teaching: guide for teachers and trainers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Littlewood, W.T. (1986). Literature in the School Foreign Language Course. In Burmfit, C. and Carter, R.A.(eds) Literature and Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Maley, A. (1989). Down from the pedestal: literature as resource. In R. Carter, R. Walker and C. Brumfit (eds.) Literature and the learner: methodological approaches. Hong Kong: Modern English Publications/The British Council.

Maley, A. and Duff, A. (1990). Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McKay, S. L. (1986). Literature in the ESL classroom. In Burmfit, C.J and Carter, R.A. (Eds). Literature and Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Murphy, M. (1997). Making Textbook Language More Literary. In Falvey, P. and Kennedy, P. (Eds). Learning Language Through Literature: A Sourcebook for Teachers of English in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Nunan, D. (1992). Research methods in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Othman, N. I., Shah, P. M., Karim, A. A., Yusof, A., Din, R., Ramli, N. A., & Salleh, N.S. (2015). Personalizing learning of English literature: Perceptions and challenges. Journal of Personalized Learning, 1(1): 104-112.

Paran, A. (2006). Literature in Language Teaching and Learning. Washington: Teachers of English to Speakers of other languages Inc. Virginia: TESOL, Inc. Retrieved from

Rivers, W. M. (1981). Teaching Foreign-Language Skills. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Sivapalan, S. & Subramanium, G. (2008). The Incorporation of Literature in the English Language Program for Engineering Students: Learner Interest and Perception. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature.14:45-73.

Stern, S. L. (1991). An integrated approach to literature in ESL/EFL. In M. Celce-Mercia (Ed.). Teaching English as a second or foreign language (Second edition). Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 328-346.

Tseng, F.P. (2010). Introducing literature to an EFL classroom: teacher’s presentations and students’ perceptions. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol.1, No.1, pp.53-65. DOI: 10.4304/jltr.1.1.53-65.

Ur, P. (1991). A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Violetta-Irene, K. (2015). The Use of Literature in the Language Classroom: Methods and Aims. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, Vol. 5, No. 1. DOI: 10.7763/IJIET.2015.V5.479.

Wasti, A. T. (2016). The role of literary texts in Pakistani EFL classrooms: Issues and Challenge. PhD thesis, University of Essex, UK. Retrieved from

Widdowson, H. G. (1990). Aspects of Language Teaching. New York: Oxford University Press.

Yimwilai, S. (2015). An Integrated Approach to Teaching Literature in an EFL classroom. English Language Teaching, Vol. 8, No. 2.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.