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What's Real In English Class?

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

Good literature, no matter how great the demand for suspension of disbelief, is an expression of truth. Adults may look to fiction as an escape from reality, but students come to English class to embrace it and find a place to express their own truth. I couldn't keep the "real world" out of the classroom if I tried, but its presence was especially intrusive one summer. I was teaching a Omega Replica make-up course for seniors who had failed English and therefore had not received diplomas with their classmates. Desperation was their primary motivator; reality was their primary obstacle.
I gave the standard advice: "Write what you know; draw from your own experience." For once, the students seemed to listen and take me at my word. They wrote startlingly honest, interesting, and sometimes disturbing essays that had nothing to do with the literature or topics I assigned, but they certainly drew from their experiences.

Dennis wrote about a personal crisis that seemed to cry out for intervention. I shared his essay with the school psychologist and she agreed to speak with him. Although she did not repeat the substance of the conversation, she assured me that his situation was not as dire as he made it seem, and that she had offered him advice and support. I wondered if I'd overreacted until I read his final exam. For writing prompt, I used an article describing a computer program designed to grade essays. In addition to saving teachers' time, the goal was to provide a less subjective assessment for students. Dennis wrote that he would not want to see such a program, because he liked thinking about the teacher reading his essays as he wrote them. It made it possible, he said, to "drop hints" about things going on in his life when he might need help.

More recent results, however, suggest that these gains may be eroding in the face of an increased emphasis on reading skills, and Breitling Replica Watches perhaps also on high-stakes tests in which writing may have little place.

How Would You Respond to Someone Who Says English Teachers Don't Live or Work in the "Real World"?

Total Views: 78Word Count: 359See All articles From Author

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