Tuesday, March 6, 2007

English Update March 6, 2007

Language Rhythm Is English an iambic language? …if by iambic, or trochaic, we mean an alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables, the answer is probably that basically it is not. But if we mean that one element is balanced against the other in equal proportion, the answer is yes: it is an iambically balanced language. We are still creatures of balance…balance in the diastole and systole of our hear t beats…. The principle of proportionate distribution, especially where it approaches an ideal balance between stressed and non-stressed syllables, provides us with our inherent need for completion.

Curriculum Scheduling What is modular scheduling? Modular scheduling: Combinations of fifteen to twenty-minute modules of time have replaced the traditional forty-five minute periods. L Schottenfeld & FW Lang. JR (Nov. 73), 104.

Writing Science How help students simplify technical writing? Students given passage in science. They must replace technical words with common words that explain the technical term. CR Elliott. CCC (May 78), 184.

Writing Sentence Combining How can sentence combining help students improve their writing? But for many students, syntactic-based instruction demystifies the act of writing; instead of a God-given gift, writing becomes a complex skill, like playing a musical instrument, which can be acquired through practice. LL Faigley. CCC (May 79), 181. Uses sentence combining as a method for helping students improve style. EPJ Corbett. 1976. CCC (May 77), 183.

Language Sexism How can one detect sexism in dictionaries? To check dictionaries on the sexist content, look up the words “doctor,” “philosopher,” “author” and “professor.” MS Rose. CCC (Dec. 79), 375-379.

Curriculum Social Intervention When should colleges and universities attempt social intervention? An article on the failure to help an Indian Reservation improve its high school English program. Concludes that those who had been funded to help did not realize the difficult situation with which they were dealing. “We simply decided that the problem was too great for our limited personal and professional resources.” “…children need to be taught brevity, clarity, spelling, grammar, and how to enjoy using the dictionary.” “People here are intolerant and suspicious of change; they blame all of the problems on outsiders.” “…betrayed by those who offer help without knowing how to give it.” A O’Regan. EngEd (Spring 72), 165-172. [File.]

Writing Spelling What is the basic assumption behind spelling instruction? Author challenges the notion that the most effective method of learning to spell a word is by sounding it out. Sipe in They Still Can’t Spell? 2003. Reviewed by HM Miller in JAAL (Sept. 04), 85-86. [File.]

Speaking Storytelling How prepare for effective storytelling? Storytelling is yet another mode in which a teacher may enrich the linguistic environment. The following suggestions for the preparation of storytelling experiences in the classroom are based on a speech by Stewig (1975). 1. In choosing a story, read several, maybe a half-dozen and let them “marinate” in your mind for several days before selecting the one that stays most predominantly with you. 2. Think through the story’s scenes of action; work on remembering the sequence. 3. Some small portions of the story should, perhaps, be memorized. The criteria for choosing such selections is that the language in the written text is essential to the story and is stated better than you could tell it yourself. 4. After memorizing those selected portions, try telling the story in sequence with the memorized sections. 5. When you are satisfied that you know it well, tape record the story. 6. Wait a day or two before listening to the tape. This allows you a “cold” ear with which to assess your tale. SE Fox. LA (Sept. 76), 613-614.

Writing Style What is style? Emerson in “Poetry and Imagination”: Write, that I may know you. Style betrays you, as your eyes do. We detect at once by it whether the writer has a firm grasp on his fact or thought. Qtd by G Cowan. CCC (Oct. 77), 262. [Strunk and White: Style is a matter of attitude.] Strunk and White: Style takes its final shape…more from attitudes of mind than from principles of composition. CS Stepp in Rev. of B Ross-Larson’s "The Web’s Impact on Writing…." American Journalism. Issue 8, 2002, p. 2.

Writing Style How can student writers improve their style? Students should study the style of modern essayists for the purpose of adding stylistic features to their own writing. S Reece in RL Larson. CCC (May 79), 209.

Writing Subtitles How help the reader follow the writer’s thought? [B Ross-Larson] favors ‘engaging titles and subtitles,’ powerful section headings. CS Stepp in Rev. of B Ross-Larson’s "The Web’s Impact on Writing…." American Journalism. Issue 8, 2002, p. 2.

Curriculum Teacher preparation How help teacher trainees prepare for a teaching career? Correspondence journals: 5th to 10th graders write to and receive replies from teachers in training. The teacher trainee’s role: help children realize what they are doing well; assist in children’s developing skills. PL Bloem. RT (Sept. 04), 54-62.

JR = Journal of Reading. CCC = College Composition and Communication. EngEd = English Education. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literary. LA = Langauge Arts. RT = Reading Teacher.

No comments:

Post a Comment