Monday, April 28, 2008

Response to Literature

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: Response to Literature

Title: “Weblogs and Literary Response: Socially Situated Identities and Hybrid Social Language in English Class Blogs.” Kathleen C. West. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (April 2008), 588-598.

Summary: Each week students in 11th-grade American Literature go to the computer lab where they write blogs in response to the literary works they are reading. It’s a free for all. Students can respond in any way they wish. Other students in the class enjoy reading their responses, but the freedom afforded to the students allowed them to go beyond academic requirement: “In doing this they absolutely called upon the tools of formal literary analysis that they had learned…but they also disrupted AP notions of language embedded in the curriculum of their school by incorporating out-of-school literacies into their work."

[Comments: I wish the author had written the last part of her title in English: “Hybrid” means simply using academic and out-of-school language. Otherwise, the idea of allowing students to respond freely to what they have read sounds good. They might not like doing the same thing on paper with the teacher as the only audience, but they surely will love doing it on the computer with other students as an audience who can enjoy reading unconstrained ideas about what they have read. RayS.]

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