Tuesday, March 27, 2007

English Update. March 27, 2007. Archive

Writing..... Evaluation..... When is conscious use of “mistakes” effective in writing? Author points out that many common “errors” [sentence fragments; “they” instead of “he,” and beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions] when used purposely can be very effective stylistically and are so used in published materials. [The problem is to make sure the students are using them stylistically, not making mistakes they don’t recognize.] D Gorrell. TETYC (May 05), 393-402.

Writing..... Evaluation..... How can teachers of writing improve their teaching? Teachers meet to evaluate their students’ writing samples. Enables them to identify problems that need to be addressed. D Fisher, et al. RT (Apr. 05), 656-666.

Writing..... Evaluation..... What are some effective methods for helping students improve their writing? Finds that both teacher correction and simple underlining of errors are superior to describing the type of error, even with underlining, for reducing long-term error. Teacher correction results in the most accurate revisions and is preferred by students for its efficiency, but students indicate that they learn more from self-correction based on teacher underlining of errors, which also requires less teacher time. [I do both—correction of 10-minute writings and student self-correction in major writing assignments. Ray. J Chandler. RTE (Nov. 04), 205. (abs.) Students make fewer errors if they learn to find their own errors and make their own corrections rather than having their errors corrected by the teacher. [How help students to “find” their own errors? Ray. ] DR Ferris. RTE (Nov. 04), 204. (abs.)

Writing..... Evaluation..... How do students’ timed essays differ from their untimed essays? Compare timed essays with students’ untimed essays. Y Cho. RTE (Nov. 04), 205. (abs.)

Writing.... Evaluation..... What are some challenges in teaching writing? Identify and describe a level of competence expected of students completing our writing courses. JF Kobler. CCC (Oct. 78), 264-266.

Writing..... Fiction..... What are some problems in writing effective fiction? “We are often offered novels of murder and detection set in some period past—Elizabethan England, Ancient China, Imperial Rome—but they are rarely successful because the author is more concerned with detailing the period than with telling a good story.” Rev. of The Detling Secret by J Symons. NYER (Feb. 7, 83), 123.

Writing..... Genre..... Are creative and expository writing categorically different? “…we need to recognize the false dichotomy between wheat we call ‘creative’ and ‘expository’ writing….” AR Gere. CCC (Oct. 78), 260.

Writing..... Grammar..... How help students improve sentence structure? After combining sentences, students choose which sentence seems to be better or best, but need to keep in mind that context and tone could affect the decision. Ray. Suggested by EH Schuster. EJ (May 05), 94-98 who had students contrast two sentences and decide which was the better expressed.

Writing..... Grammar..... How help students identify and solve problems in writing? Give students a monthly calendar. Each day of the calendar has a problem in sentence structure, usage or punctuation. Math Tchr (March 05), 480-481. [Reaction: Take the problems from grammar texts or SAT prep materials. Put them in the form of the SAT objective writing questions. You could use the same problem for a week, maybe for the entire month, like passive active voice. A way of highlighting the kinds of problems that will appear on the SAT writing section.]

Writing..... Grammar..... Are grammar and composition the same? “For years we have taught grammar and usage, thinking that we were teaching composition, but the kind of mental activity required for grammatical analysis is not the same as that required for composing a sentence.” RL Graves. CCC (Oct. 78), 227.

Writing..... Grammar..... How can a preoccupation with grammar inhibit writing ability? “This preoccupation with the skills of grammatical analysis rather than with the skills of composing is a subtle, yet crucial factor in the recently publicized decline of writing ability.” RL Graves. CCC (Oct. 78), 227.

TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. RT = Reading Teacher. CCC = College Composition and Communication. NYER = The New Yorker. EJ = English Journal.

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