Exploring the Effectiveness of Intercultural Awareness in Enhancing EFL Learners' Comprehension and Interpretation of Literary Texts: The Case of Second-Year Students at the Department of English - University of M'sila-

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Intercultural communicative competence shows that learning a language usually requires learning its cultural knowledge. Literature can be viewed as a means of learning a foreign language, as it plays a crucial role in the EFL classroom. However, literature can never be reduced to the level of its text only and becomes a mere subject of language teaching, its importance includes the development of personal and social skills as well as aspects related to culture and literature, which replace the mere teaching of a foreign language. Along this line of thought, this research attempts to explore the effectiveness of intercultural awareness in developing EFL learners' comprehension and interpretation of literary texts and to demonstrate that promoting intercultural awareness while teaching literary texts in EFL classes may increase learners' ability to comprehend literary texts that result in a good appreciation and an effective analysis. In pursuing this objective, the targeted population of this study is second-year students at the department of English, University of M'sila, and thirty teachers of literature from different universities. Various research methods have been used; the experimental and the descriptive, both of which require necessary data collection using specific research tools. Thus, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) was used in order to assess the level of awareness of the chosen sample of students, in addition to two questionnaires, conducted on the two samples from the two different populations, students and teachers. Moreover, an experiment was conducted on a sample of second-year students in class, while teaching the American and British courses, to obtain the necessary quantitative and qualitative data. The findings obtained revealed that despite the great enthusiasm and passion of students to learn more about other cultures, the level of intercultural awareness is low, but after providing students with sufficient knowledge through a variety of literary texts, we noticed a positive change and a remarkable development in the students' level, both in terms of cultural knowledge and analysis of literary texts. In light of the conclusions of this study, it is recommended to consider ways of integrating culture into a language education program for overall competence in intercultural communication because literature significantly changes the context and scope of foreign language learning; it redefines foreign language education, shifts its focus towards new goals and makes it more convenient in terms of opening new horizons for EFL learners to discover and learn about other cultures different from their own.