This qualitative study investigated the experiences of students during their reading tasks for their university Spanish courses during the Fall 2013 semester at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The purpose of this research was to explore what types of reading strategies university Spanish students use during literary readings tasks and their perceptions of the reading strategies they use. This case study employed stimulated recall protocol interviews, student reading logs and student notes in texts. Interviews were conducted within 24 hours of the reading, while reading logs and notes were completed during the reading. The data collected were analyzed for recurring patterns. Results suggested that students employ a variety of reading strategies but are less aware of metacognitive and affective strategies. Furthermore, it was found that individual affective factors such as stress, fatigue, frustration, confidence level and motivation might have a greater impact on strategy use than proficiency in the second language. Assessment and time constraints were also found to affect strategy implementation suggesting a strong washback in the foreign language classroom. Finally, participant comments demonstrated that students perceive reading in the foreign language class to be a pragmatic stepping-stone towards individual learning goals that may differ from the learning outcomes of a literature course.



College and Department

Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese



Date Submitted


Document Type





foreign language education, second language acquisition, literature, reading, reading strategies, motivation, affect, assessment, washback, university curriculum, student perceptions, foreign language proficiency, motivation, anxiety, differentiation