Challenges to Studying English Literature by the Saudi Undergraduate EFL Students as Perceived by Instructors

  •  Hammad Ali Alshammari    
  •  Elsayed Abdalla Ahmed    
  •  Mukhled Atta Abu Shouk    


Studying English literature is interrelated to studying English as a foreign language (EFL), and thus incorporating literary texts into EFL learning curricula is important for providing EFL learners with the necessary language skills and emotional growth. However, EFL learners prefer to avoid studying English literature due to several challenges that may extend from difficulties inherited in literature itself to the learning and instructional processes. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the reasons that   may discourage EFL learners to study English literature as perceived by their instructors. The sample of this study consisted of 20 English instructors at one of the northern Saudi universities. Two instruments: a survey and a semi-structured interview developed by the researcher were employed to collect the data. Descriptive statistics and qualitative methods were employed to interpret the gathered data. The findings revealed that there were six main different types of challenges that played an important role in the phenomena under investigation, namely: a) literature inherited difficulty, b) learners' cultural misperceptions, c) learners' negative attitudes, d) learners' intrinsic demotivating factors, e) unfamiliarity/ learners' poor prior knowledge, and f) instructional difficulty. Implications for addressing these problems were included.

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