Sunday, September 26, 2004

basic writers in the cw i classroom

Vinny asked me about what to read to get a handle on the problems basic writers have in the CW I classroom. Here's a response.

You might start with what Renee wrote about Malcom X: the growing awareness of language seems to be key here.

But also read, in Corbett, Myers, and Tate

- Mina Shaughnessy, ''Diving In: An Introduction to Basic Writing," p. 94, to get a sense of how to think about the kinds of problems basic writers encounter.
- Mike Rose, "Remedial Writing Courses: A Critique and Proposal," p. 193, and the essay following it
- Peck, Hoffman, and Rose, "A Comment and Response," sketch out what a course might look like and how it might proceed.

That's a start. I'll be looking for more.


Blogger adam said...

I don't see problems in writers--I see habits that are difficult to break because first year writers have not been taught to create distance between self and the page.

Step into the shoes of a frosh... their experience as writers has been molded by teachers passing down rules and textbooks establishing proper vocabulary. Many students write for you (the non-human teacher) which forces formulaic thought and communication. They do not write to discover--they tend to defend a point already established in their mind. By composing in this fashion, students may percieve negative comments on "problems" as personal attacks.

If you can, check out your essays as a first year student. Notice what habits you had as a writer; compare those habits with your techniques today. In doing this activity I have discovered positive changes in my habits of thought and style, not simply cures for "problems." I try to instill this metacognitive device in my students from day one. If they are aware of their writing habits (*what they have been told is correct*) they can make conscious decisions while composing, rather than continuing to write stale themes.

September 27, 2004 at 10:55 PM  

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