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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.