• Nasharil Nazrin Ramli Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM Penang, Malaysia


Background and Purpose: Despite being previously exposed to literature for many years during secondary school, Malaysian International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma students tussle to cope with the English syllabus outlined by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). This is mainly due to the different instructional objectives of learning literature in Malaysia as compared to the IB Diploma’s. In short, students are not trained within the remit of the two key literary competence skills, which are literary reading comprehension and analysis as they progress to a more challenging post-secondary syllabus as such the IB Diploma Programme. Hence, this study investigates how virtual literature circles provide optimal learning opportunities to promote IB Diploma students’ literary competence in reading literature. The research questions focused on the ways that virtual literature circles are able to support students’ literary competence, as well as their experiences upon participating in the discussions.


Methodology: A mixed-method research design was employed in carrying out the aims of the study. Quantitative data were collected through a quasi-experimental method focusing on two groups of IB Diploma students in the experimental and control groups. One-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to determine whether there are any significant differences between the independent groups on the dependent variable, which is literary competence, whilst controlling for the effects of their initial abilities which co-vary with the dependent variable. The qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews, and the data analysis was conducted using principles of thematic analysis.


Findings: This study found that virtual literature circles enhanced IB Diploma students’ literary competence by encouraging them to become critical readers of literature. It also provides students with the avenue to develop their literary reading comprehension and analysis skills in order to understand, analyse, and interpret literature critically.


Contributions: This research aids in the design and implementation of virtual literature circles as a socially mediated reading approach to assisting ESL students with their literary competence.


Keywords: Virtual literature circles, literary competence, literary reading comprehension skill, literary analysis skill, IB Diploma.


Cite as:  Ramli, N. N. (2022). The influence of virtual literature circles of students’ literary competence. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(2), 358-376.


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