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Arab World English Journal
Volume 2, Number 1 2011                                                                                                           pp. 122-140

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The Responses of Native and Non-Native Speakers of English to English Short Stories

Rahma Ibrahim Said Al-Mahrooqi, Ph D
English Department, SQU

With a reader response theory as its backdrop, this paper compares the responses of both EFL students and native speaker teachers to short stories written in English. The results show that the responses of both groups differ more in terms of quantity rather than quality with both groups scoring the highest in interpretational responses. The paper argues that teachers should involve the learners’ background knowledge and feelings in order to engage them in literature classes and not place excessive emphasis on received interpretations. Aesthetic responses are as important as efferent ones and should be used in the EFL literature classroom.

Key words: reader response, aesthetic response, efferent response, types of responses, native speakers,
non-native speakers