Thursday, March 8, 2007

English Update March 8, 2007

Writing Textbook What is harder than teaching composition? Perhaps only one thing could be harder than teaching composition—and that is writing a composition text. LS Ede. CCC (Feb. 78), 69.

Writing Thesis Stressing the importance of a strong beginning, B. Ross-Larson writes, ‘Your main message is the one sentence you’d give to your reader if that’s what you’re limited to.’ CS Stepp in Rev. of B Ross-Larson’s The Web’s Impact on Writing…. American Journalism. Issue 8, 2002, p. 1.

Writing Thinking What is the relationship between writing and thinking? Peter Elbow attacks the rationalist, two-step model of first thinking, then writing and insists that writing is a way of thinking. J Kinney. CCC (Dec. 79), 355-356.

Writing Titles What kinds of titles grab the reader? …discovered the value of tags like, “The Story of…”; “The Truth about…”; “The Secret of…”; “Facts You Should Know About…”; “How To…”; and “…Made Plain.” L Conger. Wrt (Sept. 73), 10.

Curriculum Tracking What’s wrong with tracking? Creates expectations on the part of the teacher, affecting the quality of instruction. Teachers who teach upper-track classes often have more education and experience than those who teach lower-track classes.[To make matters even more complicated, teachers are also sorted into different tracks. Teachers who teach upper-track classes often have more education and experience than those who teach lower-track classes. S Caughlin & S Kelly. RTE (Aug. 04), 26. ]

Curriculum Tutoring How use tutoring? Use troubled older students to tutor younger students. P Lane, et al. JR (Feb. 72), 351-354.

Writing Usage Is sexist language discriminatory? In the spirit of combating sexism in language, an author named Jones objects to the indiscriminate use of people named “Jones” in examples used by teacher. VH Jones. CCC (Oct. 77), 283.

Writing Usage How use the resources of word processing programs to correct mistakes frequently repeated? [B Ross-Larson]: Modify the ‘auto-correct section of your word processor to flag frequent misusages such as ‘media is’ or ‘irregardless.’ CS Stepp in Rev. of B Ross-Larson’s The Web’s Impact on Writing…. American Journalism. Issue 8, 2002, p. 2.

Writing Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) What type of writing is emphasized in college? Most writing at the college level in all academic courses is expository. Not much use of “expressive” or “creative” writing. AR Gere. CCC (May 78), 185.

Writing Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) How do faculty outside of English feel about student errors in writing? “But do we have any evidence to support our assertion that faculty outside the English department are upset by English errors in student writing or that they are even capable of detecting such errors when confronted with them?” GC Klinger. CCC (Dec. 77), 343.

Writing Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) How do faculty outside of English feel about student writing? Author sampled college content teachers on “major” errors—those that are particularly irritating. Concludes, “English usage may not have a strong direct bearing on grading outside of English courses, but language errors are clearly distracting…to many instructors. On the other hand, undergraduates who have a firm command of proper English usage and who are skillful in written expression are likely to impress instructors favorably.” GC Klinger. CCC (Dec. 77), 247.

Writing Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) How teach students to write professional journal articles? Students in the social studies (history, psychology, criminology, geography and urban studies) learn how to write journal articles in their fields by reading them. EM Hoffman. CCC (May 77), 195-197.

Writing WAC How do content teachers use writing in their classes? Concludes that most faculty interviewed have not developed a coherent approach to the role of writing in their classes, are not aware of how to deal with problems in students’ writing and do not see possible connections between writing activities and other ways in which students learn. S Zemelman in RL Larson. CCC (May 79), 213.

Writing/Speaking What is the effect of our oral culture on students’ learning to write? [Ray: They write as they speak? Repetition, conversational vocabulary, i.e., “there,” “this,” “get,” “thing,” “it,” etc.?] Running words together (“alot”); confusion of similar-sounding words (“there/their”); misspelled words [tries, receive, existence, experience, persuade, neither, succeed, necessary, leisure, environment, dying, truly, writing, athlete, embarrass, definite, analyze, similar, disastrous]; sentence fragments; comma faults; omission of terminal “—ed”; proliferation of second-person pronoun; size of vocabulary. Compared 70s- and 50s-era papers. [File.] E Sloan. CCC (May 79), 156-160.

Literature Wonder What is the purpose for reading literature? It seems to me that we are losing our sense of wonder, the hallmark of our species and the central feature of the human spirit. M Konner. Psych Today (May 82), 91.

Reading Word recognition What do we mean by ‘word recognition’? We have to find the visual representation of a word in our visual memory and then apply phonological and semantic knowledge. (?) PH Salus and MW Salus in Understanding Reading Comprehension. J Flood, ed. Newark, DE, 1984, 138.

Literature YA What is the purpose for writing and reading Young Adult literature? M Hart: The young-adult writer’s obligation is to portray the world as teens experience it ‘in its glorious controversy.’ Qtd by EM Abbe, ed. Wrt (Oct. 04), 6.

Literature Young Adult How organize the literature program? The junior novel as a bridge from children’s lit to the classics. SI Ritt. JR (May 76), 627-634. [File.] “Most of the books chosen by the English committee at Alex’s [Mrs. Feinberg’s son’s] school are problem novels, and the curriculum proves inflexible. ‘We can’t ever say we don’t like the books,’ Alex tells his mother, because, according to his teacher, ‘if you’re not liking the books, you’re not reading them closely enough.’ The books are so depressing—‘Everybody dies in them,’ he told me wearily.” L Miller, NYT (Aug. 22, 04), Internet. [File.] …insistence on ‘making our children wake from the dream of their childhoods.’ Adults, she [Mrs. Feinberg] suspects, secretly resent the sheltered, enchanted world children inhabit and under the pretext of preparing them for life’s inevitable difficulties, want to rub their noses in traumas they may never actually experience and often aren’t yet able to comprehend. All the better to turn them into miniature grown-ups, little troupers girded to face a world where they have no one to count on but themselves. L Miller. NYT (Aug. 22, 04), Internet. [File.] Problem novels represent just a fraction of the YA market, but one particularly esteemed by educators and prize committees. (Newbery Medal winners are notoriously glum.) That, Daniel Handler, author of the best-selling Lemony Snicket series, told me recently in an interview, results from a ‘wrong-headed belief that the more misery there is, the more quality there is, that the most lurid, unvarnished stories are closest to the truth.’ Or, as one of Alex’s teachers put it, ‘A good book should make you cry.’ L Miller. NYT (Aug. 22, 04), Internet. [File.]

NYT = The New York Times. JR = Journal of Reading. Wrt = The Writer. Psych Today = Psychology Today. CCC = College Composition and Communication. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English.

No comments:

Post a Comment