Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number2.  June 2022                                  Pp. 253-266

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An Affective Approach to Teaching Literature: I Feel Therefore I am 

Allami Moustafa
Department of English
Faculty of Foreign Languages
University of Oran 2: Mohamed Ben Ahmed, Algeria
Corresponding Author:

Ghenim Naima
Department of English
Faculty of Foreign Languages
University of Oran 2: Mohamed Ben Ahmed, Algeria


Received:3/24/2022                      Accepted: 4/18/2022                          Published: 6/24/2022


The present research paper seeks to ascertain whether students respond emotionally to literature—as it is argued that the emotions experienced during reading help interpret literary texts. To that end, the study departs from an investigation of students’ personal responses only to determine whether emotion-based responses exist in the EFL context, thus answering the central question that guides this work: do affective responses to literature exist? The stakeholders involved in this study are master-one, EFL students who specialize in literature and civilization at the University of Oran 2, in Algeria. These students were asked to answer a mixed-methods questionnaire. Of the 61 students concerned with the study, thirty-one have answered. The analysis of the ensuing data showed that affective responses to literature are quasi-nonexistent, thus the urgent need to reassess the current literature teaching approaches.
Keywords: Emotions, EFL students, literature, literary experience, personal responses, teaching approaches

Cite as:  Moustafa, A., & Naima. G. (2022). An Affective Approach to Teaching Literature: I Feel Therefore I am.
Arab World English Journal, 13 (2) 253-266.


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Received: 3/24/2022
Accepted: 4/18/2022
Published: 6/24/2022 

Allami Moustafa is a secondary school English language teacher. He is also a doctoral student at the University of Oran 2, in Algeria. He holds a master’s degree in the Science of Language and the Didactics of English. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. degree in the Didactics of Literature. His fields of interest are TEFL, educational psychology, and American literature.

 Prof. Ghenim Naima is a professor of English literature at the University of Oran 2, in Algeria. She specializes in comparative literature, particularly postcolonial literature, literary theory, and literary discourse. She is also the author of A Woman in Black. Her recent contribution ‘Ni Oiseau ni Poisson’: Algerian Jewish Literature offers a glimpse into the Jews’ struggle with their identity in the tumultuous period of decolonization. ORCID: