Forming Hermeneutic Connections: Students' Interpretations of an Arthurian
James Leslie MYERS
Ming Chuan University, Taiwan
In this exploratory investigation. I attempted to demonstrate
how a final-exam test question in a History of English course linked to a classroom
activity opened up a hermeneutic passageway toward greater self-understanding
of cross-cultural factors in language learning. The procedure involved provision
of an in-class video presentation accompained with a text (script) of Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight from the video series
The Power of Myth.
I holistically analyzed Taiwanese university students' interpretations of the
story and their efforts to think of stories from Chinese literature and history
that make similar moral points. Results showed that most students were able to
find some common values shared in both Western and Chinese literary culture traditions.
At the same time, they practiced a variety of language learning skills and creatively
engaged in reading. To a certain degree, students were able to construct their
own textual interpretations although individual variations existed as to the extent
students were able to provide autonomous readings of the text.