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“They are Classics for a Reason” - A study of teacher and student attitudes towards classics and contemporary literature in the Swedish EFL classroom


  • Anton Grandi

Summary, in English

This study has sought to propose didactical approaches to find a balance between the teaching of classic and contemporary literature in the Swedish EFL classroom by exploring and comparing the attitudes of Swedish upper secondary school teachers and students towards both forms of literature. The study was conducted through two quantitative questionnaires, one researching the attitudes of 44 EFL students, and the other the attitudes of 31 EFL teachers. The items of the questionnaires were mainly quantitative with subsequent qualitative follow-up questions seeking to illuminate the reasonings behind these attitudes. The results of the present study were then compiled and presented through graphs and the qualitative answers were analysed with content analysis.
The present study found that students and teachers had quite different attitudes towards classical literature, with most teachers having positive attitudes whilst the attitudes of the students were less positive. Both parties seemed to have positive attitudes towards contemporary literature. The results also showed that a majority of teachers and students could see the values in using both classic and contemporary literature, although some students held that the classics were of little relevance to their culture and history. These findings indicate that teachers could benefit from showing students why these different forms of literature are valuable to a modern society, and that it is possible to do so by drawing on universal themes found in the literature, or by combining contemporary literature with the classics. The paper concludes that there is room for both forms of literature, but that teachers should focus on the type of literature that works best for the requirements of the course at hand, whilst also taking their own literary knowledge and student proficiencies into account.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • EFL
  • Teacher attitudes
  • Learner attitudes
  • the classics
  • contemporary literature


  • Elina Siltanen