Thursday, November 15, 2007

Professional Journals on Writing 14

How do teachers learn to teach writing? “Teachers become effective mentors of writing when they live through the process themselves, reflect on their experiences and explore instructional implications.” P Whitin. English Education (Jan 06), 128.

How can young students learn to spell when they write? Word wall. Young students search the “word wall” for words spelled similarly to the word the children want to spell: “could,” “should,” etc. C Williams and RP Lundstrom. Reading Teacher (Nov. 07), 204-212.

How can students learn to expand their vocabulary of verbs? Give students sentences without verbs. They supply the verb based on the context. Compare to the actual verb used. A way to expand the vocabulary of verbs. SC Greenwood and K Flanigan. Reading Teacher (Nov. 07), 249-254.

What is the politics of college writing courses? Why do college teachers teach writing? “So it’s become clear that several of the graduate students placed under your charge are either unready to teach writing or cynically indifferent to the work? Too bad, you’re struck with them for the remaining years of their fellowships. Those part-timers still Xeroxing course materials composed on manual typewriters? Or the perpetual ABD’s? Well, they’ve all been around so long they’ve accrued a kind of de facto tenure, so there’s not much you can do about them either. And the same goes for the spouse of that powerful faculty member, and the really good local poet who needs health insurance, and the technical writer who’s an awfully nice person and really not such a bad teacher, and of course all those recent PhD’s produced by the graduate program who didn’t find jobs in their fields but who are willing to take on a couple of sections of comp while they work on their manuscripts and look for something better. Any time a writing director is asked to hire someone for such reasons—that is, for any reason other than that she or he is a good teacher—then she or he is being urged to set some other set of interests above those of undergraduates.” J Harris. College Composition and Communication (Feb. 06), 541. Never hire any teachers of writing for any reason than that they are very good at teaching writing. J Harris. College Composition and Communication (Feb. 06), 535-541.

What should the introduction of a composition do? “A properly constructed introduction provides a general context that either implies a thesis for the essay or leads to an explicit declaration of it.” J T Crow. English Journal (Mar. 05), 48.

What are some alternative methods for writing in journals? Write a journal, using the form of letters to someone. "Letter Journaling." K Campbell. The Writer (May 05), 15.

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