Adult Refugee Language Learners’ Perceptions of Literature Circles to Support Reading Comprehension and Reduce Foreign Language Anxiety


  • Sekineh Nasiri Sam Houston State University
  • Dr. Lory Haas Sam Houston State University


English Learners; Refugees; Literature Circles; Reading Comprehension; Foreign Language Learning Anxiety


The number of adult refugee English language learners is growing in the United States.  As a new resident and English learner there are many obstacles, they face such as, English language ability, academic achievement, and foreign language learning anxiety. Many adult refugees seek educational opportunities to learn to communicate effectively in English and increase career opportunities. A qualitative method design was applied to examine the perceptions of adult refugee English language learners toward Literature Circles while enrolled in an advanced reading comprehension course in the United States. The purpose of the study was to determine if participation in the Literature Circle discussions better supports reading comprehension versus traditional approaches to second language learning. Additionally, the second purpose of the study was to examine the influence of Literature Circle discussions on English learner’s foreign language learning anxiety level. 

The participants were five adult refugee English learners enrolled in an advanced reading comprehension course in a bilingual language institute in the United States. Findings of the study revealed adult refugee English learners’ perception toward the Literature Circle approach was positive. Participants strongly believed the Literature Circle approach enhanced their reading comprehension skills, reduced anxiety in learning English, and improved English language ability.