Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number1.  March 2022                                Pp. 477-485

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The Role of Literature in Boosting EFL University Students’ Critical Thinking:
 Case of First-year Students in Algeria 

Nawel Meriem OUHIBA
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Letters, Languages, and Arts
Dr. Moulay Tahar University, Saida, Algeria


Received: 12/26/2021                       Accepted:3/7/2022                      Published:3/24/2022


The integration of critical thinking within the learning process is considered a crucial indicator of education’s quality. Nevertheless, with the reforms introduced in higher education, less importance was given to this skill; consequently, most Algerian EFL learners cannot think critically and creatively. To fill the gap, this study suggests using literature as a bridge between the teaching of the foreign language and the enhancement of learners’ critical thinking abilities. The research also proposes strategies and approaches to motivate students to use their critical thinking skills in literature class. To this end, the researcher raised the following research question: How do we enhance learners’ critical thinking abilities while teaching literature? And what strategies and approaches to adopt to motivate students using their critical thinking abilities within a literature class? The researcher adopted semi-structured interviews with teachers and classroom observations as instruments to collect necessary data. The participants are EFL university teachers and first-year students of different genders from the department of English language at the University of Dr. Moulay Tahar, Saida (Algeria).  Obtained results show positive feedback from the students towards the critical thinking approaches used by the teacher-researcher in literature class. It also revealed that teachers are aware of the effectiveness of critical thinking when teaching literature to improve the learners’ proficiency in English as a foreign language and enhance their critical thinking abilities.  This study recommended using high order of thinking as a strategy when teaching literature.
Keywords: Algeria University, critical thinking, EFL learners at Saida University, high-order thinking, literature teaching

 Cite as: OUHIBA, N. M.  (2022). The Role of Literature in Boosting EFL University Students’ Critical Thinking: Case of First-year Students in Algeria. Arab World English Journal, 13 (1) 477-485.


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Received: 12/26/2021
Accepted: 3/7/2022 
Published: 3/24/2022 

Nawel Meriem Ouhiba is a researcher in Literature and a full-time tutor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Dr. Moulay Tahar University, Saida, Algeria. She is particularly interested in Arab Anglophone literature, postcolonial criticism, Feminism, Race, and ethnicity. ORC ID: