Readers Reading Literature

  • Geoff. Hall
Part of the Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics book series (RPAL)


In this chapter examples are given of significant investigations into the reading of literature, including:
  • the activities and processes involved in literary reading (reading poetry; reading short stories);

  • possible distinctive features of reading of literature (as opposed to reading of non-literary texts);

  • relative successes and failures in reading literary texts, and possible reasons for these;

  • the special circumstances of reading literature in a second or foreign language.


Language Teaching Short Story World Knowledge Literary Text Literary Reading 
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Further reading

Researching the reading of literature

  1. Alderson (2000) makes useful methodological observations and alerts readers to the difficulties of this area.Google Scholar
  2. Zwaan (1993) is the most extended and one of the more interesting investigations of literary reading, and discusses issues of ecological validity.Google Scholar
  3. Hunt (1991; 1996) approaches the same theme from the angle of his own methodological reflections on a decade of investigating literature reading.Google Scholar

Protocol studies

  1. See Chapter 7 below.Google Scholar
  2. As well as the studies examined in this chapter, which illustrate the method well, seeGoogle Scholar
  3. Pressley and Afflerbach (1995).Google Scholar
  4. Cohen (1996) considers second language research applications of protocol studies.Google Scholar
  5. Other good example studies using protocols with methodological reflections are Andringa (1990) and Davis (1992).Google Scholar
  6. Protocol research is a useful illustration of how teaching and research can support each other, and do not have to be in tension.Google Scholar
  7. See also Chapter 7, Further reading.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoff Hall 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoff. Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Applied Language StudiesUniversity of Wales SwanseaUK

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