An Investigation Into the Implementation and Selection of Literary Texts to Teach Reading Skills in EFL Classes: The Case of Preparatory Schools in Awi Zone, Ethiopia


  • Netsanet Haymanot Belete Injibara University
  • Sualih Mussa Debre Markos University



literary texts, reading skills, selection, suitability, implementation


This study was conducted to investigate the selection and implementation of literary texts for teaching of reading skills in English as a foreign language classes in preparatory schools in Ethiopia. In doing so, descriptive survey design was employed. To collect data, observation, questionnaire, interview and text analysis were used as data collection tools. Using simple random sampling technique, 30 grade 11 English teachers for questionnaire and 6 teachers for observation and interview were selected. Text analysis was also used to evaluate the suitability of literary texts. The study revealed that literary texts designed in grade 11 English textbook are not suitable for the students’ age, interest, cultural background, social background, linguistic proficiency and literacy background. The reading tasks have almost no pre-reading activities, some while-reading activities and plenty of post-reading activities which are not well designed. Besides, EFL teachers perceived that literary texts are important to facilitate the students’ reading classes but they were limited in using literary texts meaningfully. The study also revealed that difficulty level of literary texts, unfamiliarity of the cultures from texts, lack of interest, lack of reading experience and students’ limited vocabulary were the major difficulties that  hindered the proper use of literary texts in reading lessons.


Abdollah, K. (2012). Use of literature in teaching English. Procedia - Social and behavioral sciences (46) 554 – 559. Islamic Azad University, Iran.

Alene Ketema. (2012). Investigation of EFL teachers′ and students′ views towards using literary text in EFL classrooms. (Unpublished MA Thesis). Haramaya: Haramaya University.

Brown H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. New York: White Plains.

Carter, R., & Long, M.N. (1986). Teaching literature. United States of America: Longman.

Carter, R., & Long, M.N. (1991). Teaching literature. New York: Longman.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Elena, S. T. (2016). Literature in ELT setting: Students’ attitudes and preferences towards literary texts. International conference on teaching and learning English as an additional language. 14/17. 160-169. Antalya, Turkey.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ministry of Education. (2003 E.C.). English for Ethiopia: Student text book for grade 11. England: Pearson Educational Limited.

Freeman, L. D. (1986). Techniques and principles in language teaching. (2nd ed.). England: Oxford University Press.

Hana Fikru (2016). The role of short story in developing reading comprehension skill. (Unpublished MA Thesis). Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University.

Ibrahim, M. (2014). Using literature in EFL classes: Assessing the suitability of literary texts to secondary school students. European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies Vol.2, No.4, pp. 9-21.

Lazar, G. (1993). Literature and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lazar, G. (1999). A window on literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McKay, S. (1982). Literature in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly Vol. 16, No. 4, pp.529-536.

Nuttall, C. (1982). Teaching reading skills in a foreign language. London: Heinmann Educational Ltd.

Ozkan, A. & Nejat, T. (2014). Use of literature in reading comprehension classes by ELT teachers. The international journal of social sciences. Vol. 25. No. 1. ISSN 2305-4557, pp 66-72.

Phillips, S. (1993). Young learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Povey, J. (1972). Literature in TESL programs: The language and the culture. In H. Allen & R. Campbell (eds.) Teaching English as a second language. New York: McGraw Hill.

Ramnath, R. (2016). Literature in language teaching: What, why and how? Proceedings of international conference on science, technology, humanities and business management. 104. Bangkok, Thailand

Stern, H. H. (1983). Fundamental concepts of language teaching. Oxford: OUP.

Yenealem Tesfaye (2014). Assessing teachers’ and students’ views regarding the role of literary texts in enhancing language use. (Unpublished MA thesis). Haramaya: Haramaya University.