In the classrooms and offices of the modern world, we are putting out ever more information in ever shorter time spans. Grammar attends to those nuances of writing that go beyond basic information to eloquent communication; teachers and students have not had time for in-depth study of the writing craft. 2.The belief that the way to become a better writer is to read more. There is a misconception that prolific reading leads to good writing. Certainly more reading can make you
When Rachel Maddow recently spoke at her alma mater, Stanford, she decried the lack of writing skills in the job applicants she interviews. In her estimation, college graduates do not know how to craft an argument especially in the form of a resume. In other words, students leave college without the ability to formulate a persuasive case for why a company should hire them. She stressed the value of a humanities education even in a culture where all the accolades go to scienti
EdWeek Digital Directions Article on Teacher Survey Here is the latest in a string of polls that basically asks the same question over and over again. HAS TECHNOLOGY HURT STUDENTS WRITING ABILITY? Inevitably the survey comes up with the same results. Students still have a lot to say but sometimes don’t know the correct way to say it. Researchers always point to a lack of spelling and grammar knowledge as the result of students texting and using word processors. What is always
Edweek Article on US Government Waivers The U.S. Department of Education granted waivers to some of California’s largest districts including Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Oakland. The waivers allow these districts to opt out of NCLB accountability measurements and instead be measured by a new accountability organization called California Office to Reform Education. This organization has been given permission to base 20% of school performance on culture and climate factors measu
CNBC posted an article by Kelley Holland on employer frustration with job applicants’ writing skills. CNBC Article While the article sites a few new statistics to back up its premise, one of the most surprising insights comes from William Ellet, an adjunct professor teaching writing at Brandeis International Business School. Ellet disagrees with the standard argument that new technologies like texting have ruined everyone’s ability to write. He points out that the amount of w
Edweek published an interview with John Owens, the author of Confessions of a Bad Teacher. It is a fascinating look at an outsider’s experience trying to break into the pressure cooker that is now public education. The interview focuses on the highly volatile relationship between Owens and his principal. The adversarial relationship between teachers and administration has definitely become much more prevalent in the last decade. It is a shame that his experience is echoed in
1. Students think that revising is synonymous with proofreading. Students often feel that correct means you are done. As they are typing a paper, they are satisfied with their writing as soon as the word processor shows no squiggly underlines. This signifies to them that what they have written is correct and therefore good. After all, correct is good in math. In our rush as teachers to promote the writing process model we have accepted any corrections made to a draft as r
Active voice is often heralded as the preferred mode of communication over passive voice. It has been shown to provide clearer explanations with less confusion. However, the preference for passive voice, which began in the 19th century, was actually based on the idea that the passive voice represented objectivity. A fact or conclusion is emphasized in passive voice rather than the creator or actor, and the general and objective are valued over the specific and subjective.
One of the hottest trends in written communication these days is the listicle. A listicle is essentially an article (blog, print magazine, newspaper) that is written in the form of a list. Here are some listicle titles from a recent Google search. If you want to try this, type in “top __” or “___ ways” and fill in a number. Top 5 Marie Antoinette Scandals (There were more than just the cake eating.) The Top Six Exercise Excuses and How to Beat Them (There are only 6 excuses.
#5 In high school, language standards are recognized to be moving targets not unchanging edicts. Three important standards are introduced in the high school that should help students to understand the changing nature of language and the various guidebooks and manuals that that will guide and limit their writing in college and career. The Common Core approach of teaching writing as a craft will help students to adapt their writing as needed to these changing requirements. 9t