Thursday, July 3, 2008

Topic: Writing Letters and Reluctant Writers

Title: “Chatting with Letters: Developing Empathy ;and Critical Literacy through Writing Communities.” Mary B. Nicolini. English Journal (May 2008), 76-80. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The audience for the journal is secondary schools.

Summary: The author had students who were reading different books in class write letters to other students about the books they were reading in class. Suggests that letters provide a format that would be more casual than a formal essay. Therefore reluctant writers might enjoy the conversational aspect of the letter format.

Comment: There is a history of great letter-writers. Now the form appears to have disappeared. Will there be great e-mail writers? The thought never occurred to me that e-mail and letters might not be the same thing. Exactly how are letters and e-mail conversations different? I need to think about that one. Maybe the letter could make a comeback. RayS.

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

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