The focus over the requirement of English proficiency tests in EFL education in Taiwan has inevitably been overemphasizing the cognitive aspects of reading (efferent reading), and ignore the importance of the affective aspects of reading (aesthetic reading).
The study, therefore, is an attempt to argue that EFL students deserve the opportunities to discover that English, like their own language, not only can accommodate facts and information but also can express feelings and ideas about love, death, hope, and fear. It is hypothesized that with carefully selected literary works and an appropriate teaching approach, students can develop appreciation and feeling for English and become intrinsically motivated to give oral and written responses.
In the study, twenty English majors in a southern University of Technology read a selected short story and give written responses in a reader-response-oriented literature course. A questionnaire for eliciting participants’ feedbacks toward the activities is administered at the end of lesson unit. Participants’ responses are collected and analyzed qualitatively by response types recurrent themes.
The findings indicate that the participants’ response types focus on self-involvement, associations, and interpretations. They can associate ideas and events in the story with their own experience, and involves themselves in the behavior and emotions of characters. Participants report experiencing an active role in learning and become more interested and confident in reading more English literary texts.
The study concludes with implication for instruction, literary text-selection, and future research possibility.