Abstract: This research project investigated the role of the literary text in intermediate reading instruction in an attempt to address the question of how instructors can integrate literary selections into all levels of language instruction. Specifically, the study examined one particular classroom environment and explored its relationship to our present understanding of the teaching of literature and reading comprehension. Using a qualitative research approach, the study investigated: (1) the interplay between “reading” and “literature” in the second language (L2) classroom; (2) the underlying beliefs and assumptions that the instructor and students bring into the classroom regarding literature and reading comprehension; and (3) how these underlying assumptions affect what occurs in class. A presentation of course goals, classroom roles, and class activities and tasks elucidates how each of these issues is influenced by the students' and instructor's conceptualization of the reading process. Suggestions are made to help language teachers incorporate literature into classroom instruction. Attention is also given to the Standards for Foreign Language Learning and to their implications for incorporating literary texts into an intermediate reading course.