JoLIE 5/2012

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Alcina Sousa

University of Madeira, Arts and Humanities Centre, Madeira, Portugal






At a time when individuals are required competence in (Micklos 2001: 5) “new literacies” in a technological world (Ong, 1993), this paper suggests a renewed view on an ever-problem posing issue: reading literary texts intensively and extensively in English as a foreign or international language. Indeed, research in this field has accounted for the role of reading literary texts, for instance, to facilitate the encounter between mother tongue (L1) and foreign language (FL), thus enabling speakers to interact with broader communicative contexts in the global world. This paper draws on evidence from an empirical study undertaken in Madeira Island, back in 1998-9, compared with data collected in 2008-9. Evidence from learners’/undergraduates’ reading habits in a FL context sheds some light on the need to devise strategies to improve reading and research environments among Humanities undergraduates at university level. The process of interpretation of respondents’ output borrowed from a cross-disciplinary framework (Traugott, & Pratt 1980), in a postmodern paradigm of applied research to which Foucault (1972), Bakhtin ([1935] 1990) and Barthes (1990) have left their contribution, also resorting to exploratory data (Woods et al. 1996).


Keywords: Reading Habits; Literacy; FL education; Literary text.





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How to cite this article: Sousa, A. (2012). Overcoming boundaries towards EFLit education in the digital era: EFL undergraduates’ reading habits in retrospect (Madeira, 1998-2008). Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 5, 157-190. DOI:



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