Dialogue on Writing: Rethinking Esl, Basic Writing, and First-year Composition

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Citing Your Sources. Need Help? How do I connect to library resources from off-campus? How do I find and access scholarly articles? How can I avoid plagiarism? How do I cite my sources? Other Frequently Asked Questions. Find ebooks For additional ebooks on composition and rhetoric, search the library catalog and limit to "E-books. Landmark essays on basic writing by edited by Kay Halasek and Nels P.

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Highberg Call Number: ebook. Rethinking basic writing: exploring identity, politics, and community in interaction by Laura Gray-Rosendale ; foreword by Keith Gilyard ; afterword by Victor Villanueva Call Number: ebook. What writing does and how it does it: an introduction to analyzing texts and textual practices by edited by Charles Bazerman, Paul Prior Call Number: ebook.

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The solution? Find music, podcasts, TV shows and movies in the target language, and listen, listen, listen, as often as possible. Lack of curiosity. In language learning, attitude can be a key factor in how a student progresses. Linguists studied attitude in language learning in the s in Quebec, Canada, when tension was high between Anglo- and Francophones. The study found that Anglophones holding prejudices against French Canadians often did poorly in French language learning, even after studying French for years as a mandatory school subject.

On the other hand, a learner who is keen about the target culture will be more successful in their language studies. The culturally curious students will be more receptive to the language and more open to forming relationships with native speakers. Rigid thinking. Linguists have found that students with a low tolerance of ambiguity tend to struggle with language learning. Language learning involves a lot of uncertainty — students will encounter new vocabulary daily, and for each grammar rule there will be a dialectic exception or irregular verb.

Until native-like fluency is achieved, there will always be some level of ambiguity. The type of learner who sees a new word and reaches for the dictionary instead of guessing the meaning from the context may feel stressed and disoriented in an immersion class. Ultimately, they might quit their language studies out of sheer frustration.

Find a song or text in the target language and practice figuring out the gist, even if a few words are unknown. A single method. Some learners are most comfortable with the listen-and-repeat drills of a language lab or podcast. Some need a grammar textbook to make sense of a foreign tongue. Language learners who use multiple methods get to practise different skills and see concepts explained in different ways.

When choosing a class, learners should seek a course that practises the four language skills reading, writing, listening and speaking. For self-study, try a combination of textbooks, audio lessons, and language learning apps. To learn, improve, and truly use your target language, we need to speak. This is the stage when language students can clam up, and feelings of shyness or insecurity hinder all their hard work.

In Eastern cultures where saving face is a strong social value, EFL teachers often complain that students, despite years of studying English, simply will not speak it. The key is that those mistakes help language learners by showing them the limits of language, and correcting errors before they become ingrained. The more learners speak, the quicker they improve. Contributor Network May 5, "Share your voice on Yahoo! Start Here. Flag Post a comment. Since I moved to Thailand seven years ago, I've heard report after report naming Thailand as having the lowest standard of English skills in south east Asia.

As a former teacher, that fact didn't surprise me at all. Even after years of learning English, few Thais can hold a conversation in English on anything more than a basic level and some can't even do that. In the last few years, as countries like Vietnam and Laos now have English skills surpassing Thailand's, it's become obvious Thailand's education system is to blame. But why? When learning English, grammar and vocabulary is written on the board. Students copy and memorize. There's no discussion, no questioning the teacher and no thinking for themselves. It's no wonder Thailand's English skills are the lowest in south east Asia.

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Students are rarely expected to think for themselves, so don't question anything the teacher teaches. When Thai students have to use critical thinking skills to figure out complex English language structure, with the lack of these skills, they cannot. As having critical thinking skills also teaches self-confidence, this is also an important reason why most Thai students don't have self-confidence - also vital in learning a language correctly.

This means most Thai students are good at English grammar but, when it comes to speaking, they've had little practice so cannot. In fact, holding a conversation using more than the most basic vocabulary is impossible for them. They've come up through the same poor high school system, been educated at inadequate universities and taken teacher development courses that are, compared to western standards, useless. Most Thai English teachers also speak English poorly, so when teaching their own students, they pass on the same grammatical and vocabulary skills they were taught in school.

This means, Thailand is mostly left with native English speakers who a may have a university degree but not in Education, b may not have a university degree at all, or c in some cases, are individuals who are using fake university degree certificates to get teaching jobs. Thai students learning English are the ones who suffer, as most are being taught by native English speakers who are not qualified to teach English.

The Thai Ministry of Education is slowly making changes and demanding higher qualifications from native English speaking teachers. However, unless the salaries on offer increase, and the certification courses they require native English teachers to take are useful, it's unlikely Thailand can attract the caliber of teachers it needs. If anything, they're chasing off the best ones they have.

Until the Thai Ministry of Education can come up with standards for English teachers that are similar to western standards, and pay similar salaries, they stand little chance of getting better teachers, both Thai and native English speakers, for Thai students. As Thailand's standard of English skills continues to fall compared to other south east Asian countries, this also impacts the country's ability to grow its economy and also its stability.

Without a higher level of English language skills, most Thai employees cannot compete with the same employees in Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore and this will continue to hold the country back. I m a British-American writer currently living in Bangkok, Thailand. I ve been writing for Associated Content since and was named one of AC s Top Writers for , , and I primarily w View profile. July 12th, Photo by Daniel Vermillion, Vermillion Photo.

Lester is concerned. They come from some sort of cultural context. Jones, and a celebration of American music with performances and discussions of jazz, rock, gospel, barbershop, Native American music and more.

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Lester joined Research Matters writer Diane Boudreau to discuss what humanities are, why and how they are important, and where his own research has led him. What do the humanities encompass? As humanists, we analyze texts, we look at things, we raise questions. The thing that can frustrate people about humanities is that we are trained to pose a series of questions and a series of multiple answers.

How do you make moral decisions? How do you arrive at truth? How do you resolve conflict? One thing I study is the race and gender politics of hair. We may not have the same story, but we all have a story to tell. When I taught a class on hair, I had students make a collage of their hair stories, and the things that they came up with were always things that connected them to parents, or friends, or neighbors, or barbershops or boyfriends. There was one student who said that in her relationship with her boyfriend, every time she became angry with him, she would cut her hair.

Her hair represented her power and she knew that he liked her long hair. All this effort to comb hair, to tease hair, becomes a social construction of something. We are constructing meaning in that. It was a way of claiming a part of me that I felt was being taken because of a situation I was going through. So it was a spiritual reclamation of sorts.

We must all look alike—black males with dreadlocks! A parent contacted me because her son was not being allowed to play on a basketball team because of his hair.

Dialogue on Writing: Rethinking ESL, Basic Writing, and First-year Composition

So this research is not disconnected from everyday experiences. An interesting thing related to hair and its relevance came last year when there was a rash of hair thieving across the country. The New York Times and Channel 12 approached me for interviews. But each person who approached me did so with suspicion, as though it was funny that people were stealing hair. In these economic times people are trying to be entrepreneurial.

Can we really teach writing? - Gray Scott - TEDxTWU

It was actually quite clever—you can steal this hair, it has no barcodes on it to trace origins, and you can sell it out of the trunk of your car. Photo by Jared Lester.

Tell us about your research on personal ads. I was curious about personal ads because I teach courses on biography and autobiography. To me, personal ads were just abbreviated versions of autobiographies and biographies. You choose what you want to write about yourself and another person based on some activity or desire, but you do it in this really succinct and abbreviated way. The existing literature on personal ads looks at sexuality and gender and even class, but people had stayed away from race. So I came up with this idea that I would see how we can read race in these ads.

What is interesting about personal ads is that they illustrate this difference between the public and the private. We can be very polite and politically correct in our everyday lives but in these private spaces of our imaginations, some of the most racist, sexist and homophobic things happen. Personal ads give people a place where they can hide behind anonymity.

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  6. I found they were blatantly not neutral. Can you tell us more about that? Somebody made a decision, whether consciously or not, about their height, how they were going to be dressed, what their hair would look like. The class actually started because of very real stuff that was happening. Then-Senator Obama was running for president.

    Books and Ebooks - English: Composition and Rhetoric - Research Guides at Wright State University

    And I kept seeing on the Internet where this word was used to refer to him. I started looking to see just how prevalent this kind of blatant personal attack on him was. And there was also this sense that the word was being used in hip-hop. The class starts with a word, but the word exists in a context. You cannot talk about a word without talking about historical contexts, without talking about race, gender, class and in this case, American history. The word is just a series of sounds coming together to make meaning. How then is that meaning constructed, by whom, and why?

    And now this work is getting international attention. They were studying an African-American text from the Harlem Renaissance, and the tutor was uncomfortable with the white students reading the n-word out loud with no real understanding of the context. And the human capacity is much bigger than that. We care about people, fundamentally. Is that what Project Humanities aims to demonstrate? Project Humanities allows people to recognize that we are more alike than we are different, and each of us is trying to make sense of our everyday lives and experiences.

    http://tf.nn.threadsol.com/sitemap46.xml What I think makes Project Humanities interesting and a model for other universities is that it involves students, it involves faculty and it involves staff. For example, we sponsored a poetry contest about defining the humanities though couplets that was staff-created and staff-judged. Then we moved those boards around campus and they became public art pieces. So much of ASU is about place. Where are we as a New American University? What is our place among other institutions? It was also coming out of the headlines—what is the perception of the Southwest generally and of Arizona specifically relative to the Tucson Tragedy, or the ban on ethnic studies, or the signing of SB?

    We formed right after the major crisis in the economy, and a lot of universities were cutting their language programs. We are doing important and necessary work within ASU and beyond. How do you respond to universities cutting humanities programs, and to the claim that schools should focus on disciplines that provide job prospects? Well first of all, people have jobs in humanities. I recently went to Italy to present at a conference. While there, I also went on a number of excellent research-related cultural tours. The people who led these were art historians.