Wednesday, March 7, 2007

English Update March 7, 2007

Reading. What is the purpose of reading? “Most critics consider reading a goal in itself….” P Shannon. LA (Sept. 04), 23.

Writing. How should teachers respond to students’ errors in writing? See if students’ errors cluster in patterns. Is there an underlying pattern that unites the errors? MP Shaughnessy. CCC (May 78), 190-191.

Writing. Should English teachers write? “English teachers should write. They should write even when they have papers to correct, lesson plans to make, reading to do, committee meetings to attend, Anacin to buy for their headaches, TV programs to watch, spouses to love, meals to eat, a face to prepare to meet the faces they must meet. Yes, English teachers must write even if there is little time to write. Because writing is important, they must find time to write.” EF Suderman. CCC (Dec. 77), 357. When I share with the students my own frustrations and problems in writing, a barrier begins to come down. CA Jacobs. TETYC (Sept. 04), 43. Teacher says that to teach writing well, one must write—along with the students—in order to share the experience of the process with them. The teacher becomes a student in her classroom. J Domuragli. EJ (Sept. 04), 22.

Writing. How should teachers give writing assignments? “Some of us would benefit if we adopted the procedure of never assigning a paper which we ourselves have not attempted.” EF Suderman. CCC (Dec. 77), 357.

Writing. How relate writing and literature? “The teacher [or student] who has tried to write a sonnet can more easily appreciate Shakespeare’s mastery of the form….” EF Suderman. CCC (Dec. 77), 357.

Writing. What is the relationship between the way teachers teach writing and the writing which their students produce? Not too surprisingly, a correspondence usually exists between the way English instructors teach a class and the way their students write essays, between the kind of class they create and the kind of essay their students write. In other words, there is a formal relationship between how instructors teach (means, method, style) and the product they expect to be produced, what they expect to be learned (end, outcome). A Yoder. CCC (Oct. 77), 257.

Writing. What should teachers focus on in teaching writing? Focus the writing program on coherence. Focus on the problems in grammar and punctuation that students actually exhibit. [What is implied by focusing on coherence? What do you teach in teaching students how to produce coherent writing?] L Rockas. CCC (Oct. 77), 273-275.

Writing. How could writing teachers benefit from training in counseling? Teachers should learn counseling techniques in order to improve their teaching of composition. “Finally, training of this sort pulls into the teaching situation the most fundamental goal of counseling and psychotherapy—an increase in students’ abilities to discover, verbalize and communicate ideas of great concern to them. Obviously, this is a goal at the very heart of any composition program (374). I Spear. CCC (Dec. 78), 372-374.

Writing. What can students learn from analyzing the work of professional writers? Study passages from a particular writer. What rules about writing can be inferred? L Garrigues. EJ (Sept. 04), 59-65.

Curriculum. Why test? Not to indicate ability.[If the day ever comes when test reliability is 99 percent, then test results may be used as true indicators of ability and for determining what students may or may not do. Until that time, tests must be used to aid students in making decisions, not to order human lives. LH Manson. JR (Mar. 72), 441. ]

JR = Journal of Reading. EJ = English Journal. CCC = College Composition and Communication. TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. LA = Language Arts.

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