The effective reader should master certain skills and strategies which allow him to convert the words on the page of a literary work into literary meanings. He knows certain conventions about how a literary text should be read and understood.
Literary competence includes a number of skills and sub-skills which the teacher should identify in order to plan his lessons and to offer his students clear procedures and techniques for dealing with literary texts. 
The literary skills high school students would mostly benefit from are:
1. The ability to recognize and decode:
- Figures of speech such as: metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, epithet, apostrophe, oxymoron, metonymy
- Narrative and poetic devices such as: plot, story, character, point-of-view, setting; irony, satire, paradox; assonance, alliteration, rhyme, rhythm
- Specific text features such as: theme, style
- Literary trends such as: Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism
- Literary forms such as: the diary, the epigram, the heroic poem, the mock-heroic poem, the ode, the sonnet
- Literary genres such as: novel, play, short-story, poem, sketch
2. The ability to use literary notions in order to interpret the text
3. The ability to produce a personal response to the text
Although the meta-language to which the above-mentioned terms belong seems to be quite difficult for our students, the literary terminology provides them with tools for identifying, interpreting and appreciating the value of the distinctive features in a literary text. Besides, the learners feel more secure to express personal opinions about the text if they master the appropriate language.
Another argument in favour of learning and using literary terminology is a more pragmatic one – the students are expected to be familiar with it in exams.
 Brumfit, C., Carter, S. – Literature and Language Teaching, Heinemann, 1983
Gower, R., Pearson, H. – Reading Literature, Heinemann,1985
Widdowson, H. G. – Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature, OUP, 1990