A Historical Connection: The Innovative Interactions among Young EFL Learners in Taiwan
Lichiu Lee, Ph.D

This paper aims to combine high school English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learning with children’s literature by reading John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2006), an award-winning historical fiction, among high school students in Taiwan. EFL learners in Taiwan have long been criticized of the lack of the abilities in independent thinking, social interactions, and cooperation during their English language learning. For the past decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in literature as useful material for learning in EFL settings. Children’s literature itself has been vastly enriched by developments in the field of critical theories. Through the method of exploring both language and literature, this study tries to fill in the gaps related to the theory and practice in the high school EFL curriculum in Taiwan. The idea of innovative interactions among peers embraces the concept of peer discussion and is intended to create more independent, student-centered learning environment. This paper draws mainly on Rosenblatt’s (1995) reader-response theory and intends to vividly illustrate the major components of children’s literature reading as a historical connection by carefully exploring into different roles in multicultural readers’ learning. John Boyne’ The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is expressed and articulated in a series of scripted discussions among high school junior and senior students in the English reading club in the spring semester in 2017 in Taichung area. Several major themes emerged through the critical and independent peer discussions. At the end of the study, some pedagogical implications are also provided.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v6n2a20