8:30 - 9:20 AM
Minimizing ESL Students'
"Fear" of Literature in English
Ada J. Loredo,
Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
Cosmos C, Olympic ParkTel
Most ESL teachers agree that
Literature is a valuable resource in English Language Teaching.
A common problem among ESL students, however, is a "fear" of participating
in literature class activities, brought about by a low level of English
language competence. In the Philippines, for example, some ESL teachers
are forced to do Teacher-Talk during literature discussions because
students hesitate to voice their thoughts and feelings on literary texts.
Since they are 'mere' students, as well as 'mere' learners of English
(not native speakers), they feel inadequate to comment on or criticize
a literary work usually written by an 'expert' in the English language.
They are also intimidated by "expert literary opinion' on such texts.
This paper will suggest some
ways of overcoming this particular attitude among students. Specifically,
it will suggest the application of Reader-response criticism in the
ESL classroom. Actual classroom experience will be used to illustrate
the value of this reading strategy.