Wednesday, February 28, 2007

English Update February 28, 2007

How help students realize that certain constructions are grammatical errors? Have students create the error in their own words from models, then resolve the error. M Gliserman in RL Larson. CCC (May 79), 201.

What is the purpose of individualized instruction? Make students responsible for their own learning. Prepare them to learn on their own after their formal school experience. [Individualized instruction makes students responsible for their own learning. At first this may be a novel and even rather frightening experience for many students. But there’s no alternative if a major goal of education is to prepare individuals to learn on their own after the formal school experience is completed. Professional Report; Secondary. Croft Teacher’s Service. JB Cunningham & CH Heimler. 1973, 4.

How help students learn to work in small groups? Each student is assigned a role with typical questions that put that role into practice. Elaborator: “I’d like to know more.” “Would you please expand on that idea?”/ Clarifier: “What exactly do you mean?” “I don’t understand; would you please rephrase that statement?”/ Comparison: “I would compare that to….” “How does that compare to what was previously said…?”/ Contrast: “How would you contrast that idea with what Sam said previously?”/ Justification: “What are you basing your answer on?” “I think that idea would work because….”/ Evaluation: “My reaction to that idea is….” “What do you think of that idea?” JH Bushman. LA (Sept. 76), 631.

What are some ideas for improving inservice programs? Handouts with ideas for teaching.

How use literature to make history interesting? We should bear in mind that children don’t relate to names of battles, to dates of treaties, to statistics. Like us, they relate to individuals, to emotions they can feel within themselves, to stories that arouse their curiosity. C Gay. LA (Jan. 76), 11.

How help students become better interviewers? Interviewing influences improvement of oral expression through formulating worthwhile questions; speaking in a clear and easily understood voice; developing listening skills; expressing appreciation for the information given; developing poise and self-confidence; summarizing what was learned. EG Cowe. LA (Sept. 76), 633.

What are some suggestions for helping students become a community in the classroom? Group résumé: background, accomplishments; hobbies; special talents; special interests; travel experiences; family; sports; musical abilities; groups and organizations. Students give name and finish unfinished sentence on board. Give three things they enjoy doing ending in –ing.

What problems do students encounter in interpreting poems? Difficulties encountered by students in interpreting poems. [Cf. Squire whose work with the same problems in reading short stories appears to be a knock-off of Richards’ 1929 book, Practical Criticism.] 1) Making out the plain sense. 2) Put off by the unexpected form of the poem. 3) Failure to understand the imagery and the figurative language. 4) Sidetracked by personal experience. 5) Stock responses. 6) Sentimentality. 7) doctrinal adhesions. 8) general critical preconceptions. RE Shafer. JR (Nov. 70), 101-108. Reasons for failure to interpret literature accurately: 1) Failure to grasp the meaning; misunderstand key words; fail to grasp implications of details; make incorrect inferences. 2) Reliance on stock responses, such as “adolescents are not responsible for their own actions”—“like father, like son,” etc. 3) Happiness binding. 4) Critical predispositions: It’s true to life or it’s not. 5) Irrelevant associations—association of the elements in a story with personal experiences of the reader. 6) The search for certainty. James R. Squire. “Sources of Difficulty in Literary Interpretation.” [Source unknown.]

LA = Language Arts. CCC = College Composition and Communication.

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