Teaching William Blake's The Songs of Innocence and of Experience to university ESL students with reader-response and Freirian pedagogy
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This study examines the use of reader-response theory and Freirian pedagogy in the teaching of selected poems from William Blake’s The Songs of Innocence and of Experience to university ESL students in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. It explores whether reader-response is useful in helping students understand Blake’s poems. It determines if the students were able to understand the poems from the Romantic poet by working in a student-centered environment created by reader-response. In order to determine the value of reader-response, students’ written responses during a six day teaching plan of small group discussions were collected and studied. The results indicated that the cultural background and personal experiences of the students have an influence on their comprehension of the poems as students found the poems to be of critical importance to life issues and Christian faith.