Exploring an Aesthetic Reading in an EFL Context: Integrating Learners’ Experiences into the Reading Text
Previous research indicates that few studies have done interactive reading modes in EFL classrooms since most EFL learning environment emphasizes on linguistically efferent reading. This study thus attempts to explore an interactive reading—aesthetic reading mode—in an EFL context. An aesthetic reading evolves through personal feelings and sensation, and focuses on the transaction between the reader and the text. Three major components consisting of the reader, the text and the teacher involved in this type of reading will be discussed under the framework of Ruddell and Unrau (2004). Participants were 34 junior college students in northern Taiwan. The text used for reading in the classroom is the short story book, The Little Prince. To promote students’ interaction with the text, they were encouraged to leave messages evoked from class reading discussion on a webblog. Data were collected from essay interpretations in the midterm and final exams, a short written report, and blog messages. The results of students’ evoked aesthetic interpretations range from straightforward summaries to syntheses which reveal the reader’s underlying beliefs and emotions evoked by the text. Students’ writings are classified into three categories: visualizing problems presented by the characters in the text, catching the essence of other people’s problems which in turn leads learners to reflect on their own, and activating them to recognize their own special qualities.
Keywords: Aesthetic Reading, Interactive, Learners’ Experience
Josephine Mei-Hsia Dai
Lecturer, English, National Taiwan Normal Unviersity, Ta-Hwa Institute of Technology