Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

From reading literature in secondary school to its learning assessment in the 12th year national exam

Maria Carolina C. V. Pereira da Costa, António Carvalho da Silva


Literature plays a core role in the class of Portuguese Language, a specialised context for teaching literacy competencies. This text reports a study about knowledge and skills privileged in literary texts’ reading in national exams. A document analysis of seventeen exams of Portuguese, used by the Ministry of Education between 1996 and 2012, was conducted to identify the “reading objects” chosen for the exams, the text structures that were the focus of the questions and the reading operations requested. The results show that besides the central role of the national literary canon in the assessment, contemporary poetry texts are the preferred “reading objects”. This allows the conclusion that questions about literary contents aim to evaluate student’s critical thinking regarding works by canonical authors. The study also showed that reading literature is perceived as the act of understanding and (re)constructing the meanings of a text by an active and competent reader.

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Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature (BJTLLL)

ISSN 2013-6196
Legal Deposit Number (Spain) B. 23873-2013
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