Multiple Responses Through Verbal Discourse in the Reading of Literary Texts

  •  Malachi Vethamani    
  •  premalatha nair    


The past decade has viewed the important role literature plays in enhancing the learning process among students in Malaysian English classrooms.  However, most English teachers in particular are not prepared to teach literature due to the lack of training and exposure on the subject.  This paper seeks to explore the ways teacher trainees from one teacher training institute attempt to provide multiple responses on two Malaysian short stories through verbal discourse.  This qualitative study uses the transcripts from the audio recorded discussion among dyads to analyze the ways subjects respond to  two short stories.  Using a constant comparative method, recurring themes were lifted based on Newell’s (1996) typology of responses.  The findings of this study revealed that the subjects used four different types of responses, namely associations, interpretation, personal response and evaluation. These responses describe the subjects’ maturity in relating their understanding of the literary texts besides the capability of making critical judgments and rationalization.

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