ERIC Number: ED388989
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Reading and Teaching Literature. Occasional Papers, 13.
Educators can help students develop enthusiastic, committed readers who are mentally sharp by developing approaches to literature teaching that are based upon informed concepts of reading and response rather than upon conventional inherited ideas of comprehension and criticism. A study of how 15-year-old students responded to a poem indicated that the substance of the responses shared common elements; the strategies for reading and notetaking were markedly individual; and, as storytellers, the students became more deeply involved with the literature. At least three reasons exist which help to explain why reader response has replaced New Criticism's hegemony in literature teaching: it honors both the integrity of the text and of the reader; it reflects the contemporary concern for process as well as product; and it redefines the question of value. The question remains whether response-oriented practices are appropriate for work with second-language students. A series of classroom activities were set up for first-year students in a Danish university to engage them more fully in the process of response. These students found the verbal/visual combinations of the activities as engaging and accessible as had the students in the earlier study. Teaching methods based on reader-response approaches should engage and motivate students, trust the reader, trust the text, and regard the practice of critical evaluation. (Contains figures which illustrate students' responses to poems and 39 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southampton Univ. (England). Centre for Language Education.
Note: Paper presented at the British Council's Symposium on "New Approaches to the Teaching of Literature" (Salamanca, Spain, September 20-26, 1992).