Using Comprehension Questions and Reader-Response Strategies with Second-Semester University Spanish Students


  • Brian Hibbs Dalton State College


For most of the 20th century, literary criticism has focused on uncovering the author’s intended meanings of a given text. In contrast, reader-response theorists have concentrated on the role of the reader in literary interpretation. This article details an exploratory study which documents second-semester university Spanish students’ perceptions of their experiences reading children’s novels in Spanish. Learners participated in curricular engagements designed to facilitate their understanding and promote the development of their own interpretations of the books. Results of the study suggest that such engagements may either contribute or impede students’ comprehension and interpretation of literary texts due to various contextual factors.


literature, comprehension, reader-response, children’s literature, interpretation


Ada, A. (1993). Me llamo María Isabel. New York: First Aladdin Paperbacks/Libros Colibrí.

Chi, F. (1999). Reading as transaction in EFL: A thematic analysis. ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED437855.

González, I. (2006). Reader response as a focal practice in foreign language acquisition.

Copyrighted Master’s thesis.

Karolides, N. (1999). Theory and practice: An interview with Louise M. Rosenblatt. Language

Arts, 77(2), 158-170.

Kern, R. (2000). Literacy and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Liaw, M. (2001). Exploring literary responses in an EFL classroom. Foreign Language Annals,

(1), 35-45.

Rosenblatt, L. (1982). The literary transaction: Evocation and response. Theory into Practice,

(4), 268-277.

Rosenblatt, L. (1994). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory of the literary

work. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Rosenblatt, L. (1995). Literature as exploration (5th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language

Association of America.

Selden, R., and Widdowson, P. (1993). A reader’s guide to contemporary literary theory (3rd

ed.). Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.

Short, K., Harste, J., & Burke, C. (1996). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers.

Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Soto, G. (1990). Béisbol en abril y otros cuentos. Miami, FL: Santillana USA Publishing Co, Inc.

Author Biography

Brian Hibbs, Dalton State College

Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education




Download data is not yet available.