Sunday, February 18, 2007

English Update February 18, 2007

Proofreading and revision. Lovitt (1975) noted that many writers consider revision as simply changing punctuation marks and misspellings. To move beyond this limited concept of proofreading, students must be taught specific steps to follow in revising their own written work. EA Polloway, et al. Focus on Exceptional Children. (Nov. 81), 6.

Teacher comments on student compositions. Knoblauch and Barnnon: “The depressing trouble is, we have scarcely a shred of empirical evidence to show that students typically even comprehend our responses to their writing, let alone use them purposefully to modify their practice.” RS sprinkle. TETYC (Mar. 04), 273.

Teacher responses to student compositions. Ask students as part of turning in the revised paper how helpful your comments on their writing were. A. Edgington. TETYC (Mar. 04), 287.

Cohesion and coherence. Cohesion is the sequence of related sentences; coherence involves the whole composition, how well the text holds together. RTE (Feb. 90), 49.

How does grammar contribute to making sentences memorable? LR Missiche. CCC (Jun. 04), 716=739.

A conference on “advocacy” [emphasizing your personal ideas on controversial issues] in the classroom. Most attendees were advocates of politically correct positions. Conclusion: Advocacy was not a problem so long as it didn’t slide over the line into indoctrination. However, Anne Shaver, a Woman’s Studies professor at Dennison, put it this way: “I let my students know where I’m coming from, and also that they’re free to write papers which disagree with positions I’ve taken in class, but those papers had better be very, very good because I’ll read them with a more critical eye than the ones I agree with.” WSJ (Jun. 29, 95), A16.

On how parents respond to teachers’ failing to consider the importance of the basics in writing: . In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Monday, May 24, 2004, p. B2, Nick O’Dell says, “I knew we were in trouble some years ago when my 10th-grade son brought home an essay for which he had received an A+, and it contained numerous spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, none of which had been corrected. At a parent/teacher conference I was told: ‘We don’t want to stifle a child’s creativity by being over (sic) concerned about technicalities.’ I then gave the analogy of an architect designing a beautiful building that fell down because he hadn’t bothered with technicalities like material strengths—and it fell on deaf ears.”

Research papers. Students construct annotated bibliographies on their topics BEFORE writing the research paper. CN+ (Jan. 04), 16.

On standard English. “Children need to perfect or acquire the prestige dialect—not because standard English is correct or superior in itself but because society exacts severe penalties from those who do not speak [or write] it. Unless they can learn to use standard English, many pupils will be denied access to economic opportunities or entrance to social groups. W Loban. EE (May 68), 693.

Memorable lines in Poetry. Students collect lines of poetry that are memorable. N Baart. EJ (Jan. 02), 103.

Significant sentences. Students look for significant sentences in the literature and books they read. When students read their compositions aloud, they listen for and record the significant sentences from their colleagues’ papers. The teacher records the significant sentences in students papers. PM Holloway. CN+ (Jan. 02), 2.

TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. CCC = College Composition and Communidation. WSJ = The Wall Street Journal. Inq. = The Philadelphia Inquirer. CN+ = Classroom Notes Plus. EE = Elementary English. EJ = English Journal.

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