Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number4   December 2021                                       Pp. 37- 52

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Online Literature Circles in Learning Hamlet among Pre-service Teachers

Tina Abdullah
Language Academy
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
Corresponding Author:

Yee Bee Choo
 English Language Department
Institute of Teacher Education Tun Hussein Onn Campus, Malaysia

Norhanim Abdul Samat
Language Academy
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia


Received: 7/6/2021                 Accepted: 9/30/2021                          Published:12/15/2021


Literature instruction may serve multiple functions. This case study aimed at investigating the perceptions on the use of online literature circles among 62 first year Teaching English as a Second Language pre-service teachers in a literature course at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. The participants were assigned to read and participate in online literature circles about the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Based on cooperative learning, the participants rotated in playing the roles of the Discussion Director, Device Detective, Imaginative Illustrator, Creative Connector, and Passage Picker in each group. Data from a survey were analyzed in descriptive statistics, while data from the role sheets based on the five roles and the online video of 3    literature circle discussions were analyzed thematically. The findings are significant for teacher training institutions and in-service teachers. This study was able to show that online literature circles were perceived as interesting, engaging, challenging, and fun. The participants engaged in different learning processes involving cognitive, affective, and language skills. Though this study identified some challenges, online literature circles have many benefits and are recommended for literature instruction for pre-service teacher training.
Keywords: Online literature circle, pre-service teacher training, roles in literature circles, Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Cite as:   Abdullah, T., Yee, B. C.& Abdul Samat, N. (2021). Online Literature Circles in Learning Hamlet among Pre-service Teachers.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (4) 37- 52.


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Received: 7/6/2021
Accepted: 9/30/2021
Published: 12/15/2021 

Dr. Tina Abdullah is a senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia with 28 years of teaching experience. Actively involved as a teacher trainer, her areas of interests are in Literature in ELT, Meaning Making, and Materials Development.

Dr. Yee Bee Choo has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She is a lecturer at Institute of Teacher Education Tun Hussein Onn Campus, Malaysia. Yee obtained her Ph.D. in TESL. Her research interest is in ELT, teacher education, and literature. ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7169-1396

Dr. Norhanim Abdul Samat is a teacher trainer attached to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia with a PhD in Process Drama. Her areas of expertise are Applied Literature in ELT, Process Drama, Drama Education, Communication and Language Arts. ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0110-5798