Arab World English Journal
AWEJ Volume.3 Number.3, 2012                                                                                                  pp. 78 – 105

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The Literary text Wants Readers, not Readings: The Implications of Louis Rosenblatt’s Transaction Theory
in the Literature Class

Leila Bellour
Mila University Centre
Department of Foreign Languages
Algeria

Abstract:

The paper demonstrates that Louis Rosenblatt’s transaction approach to teaching literature would constitute a great gain if applied in the Algerian context. In its emphasis on the paramount importance of the learner, his personal experience and the pertinence of his socio-cultural background, transaction theory is likely to enhance students’ involvement with the text and their appreciation of reading. This research paper has used, as an instrument, two questionnaires. The first is designed for students to investigate their attitudes towards literature. It aims at eliciting responses to whether they apply Rosenblatt’s theory or not. The second is designed in order to investigate teachers’ practices and beliefs about literature teaching and the extent they incorporate the principles of Rosenblatt’s theory into their curriculum. As Rosenblatt’s theory has many implications for the literature class, the paper ends with some suggestions for implementing a transactional curriculum in the Algerian universities.

Keywords: Reader-response theory, transaction theory, aesthetic reading, efferent reading, learner-centered approach, traditional method

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