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At 08:05 PM 8/4/97 -0500, Margaret wrote:
> -- people who haven't worked with these different
>types of students wouldn't realize the differences in their approaches to
>writing.

TRUE, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE ARE SOME VERY INSIGHTFUL TEACHERS WHO
MIGHT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE VALID INPUT.

>
>I'm reluctant to even call what these students do to/with their writing
>"problems."  I'm getting more and more uneasy with the notion that college
>English is "standard."

dID ANY OF YOU TRIED TO SEND THE SAME PAPER (WRITTEN BY A STUDENT) TO THREE
DIFFERENT COLLEGE TEACHERS TO COMPARE THEIR OPINIONS? I BELIEVE THAT THERE
IS A FUNDAMENTAL/BASIC COMPONENT THAT COULD BE CALLED "STANDARD" BUT ALSO
THERE ARE MANY SUBTLE (AND NOT SO SUBTLE) VIEWS REGARDING WHAT IS ACCEPTED
AS GOOD-ENOUGH-FOR-ACADEMICS.

 If we recognize that differences in dialects are
>as vast as differences in languages, we might have a more enlightened
>approach to our teaching.  In China, people who live in southern regions
>cannot understand the spoken Chinese of other regions.  The USA is not
>all that different. Regional dialects in Great Britain can be mutually
>incomprehensible.
>
>Why should we expect a student who is fluent in one dialect be equally
>fluent in academic English -- anymore than we would expect a monolingual
>American to be fluent in Spanish?

bECAUSE THAT STUDENT IS SUPPOSSED TO BE ALSO EXPOSSED TO 'THE OTHER
ENGLISH', THE ONE WHICH MIGHT HELP HIM TO COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE BEYOND THE
LIMITS OF HIS/HER SURRONDINGS. AS WELL, SOME BRODERING OF THE HORIZONS COULD
OCURR THROUGH READING , LET'S SAY MORE ACADEMIC MATERIAL.
I DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR LAST STATEMENT. ENGLISH AND SPANISH ARE TWO
DIFFERENT LANGUAGES WITH DIFFERENT ROOTS/ORIGINS (THOUGH WE DO SHARE SOME
WORDS).LET'S NOT BUILD ANOTHER TOWER OF BABBEL -oops, I don't know the
English spelling for that one-

Even more, why should we consider lack
>of fluency a character flaw, or a sign that the student "isn't college
>material?"  I've heard that one all too often.
>

YOU ARE RIGHT... IT WOULD BE THE SAME NOT TO ALLOW A STUDENT IN AN
INTRODUCTORY COURSE OF HISTORY BECAUSE S/HE DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT
KNOWLEDGE -RIGHT NOW- TO PASS THE FINAL EXAM.

>On Sat, 2 Aug 1997, Jon Ausubel wrote:
>
>> This, I feel, is the real issue in defining ESL students.  Especially in
>> freshman composition classes to monolingual/monodialectic English speakers,
>> I emphasize the generic nature of SWE (or SEAE, or whatever).  I have found
>> the monodialectic part the hardest to tackle, because these students need
>> first to learn about levels of language.  Stylistically, monodialectic
>> students write like they talk,
>
>There are at least 5 good solid avenues of study right here in the middle
>of your sentence! I wish I didn't have this annoying job that prevents me
>from spending my life doing research on how to do my job (which I
>adore.....)

THAT'S LIFE! EXCELLENT TEACHERS LIKE YOU, DO NOT HAVE THE TIME -OR THE $$$-
TO DO RESEARCH ON THEIR FIELD OF EXPERTISE... BUT THERE ARE MANY WHO HARDLY
HAVE SPENT MORE THAN A YEAR IN FRONT OF A CLASS OR ALONG SIDE STUDENTS, AND
THOSE ARE THE ONES WHO GET PAID TO DO RESEARCH WHICH WILL AFFECT OUR WORK
-BECAUSE OUR ADMINISTRATORS WILL READ THE LATEST ARTICLES PUBLISHED BUT NOT
OUR POSITION PAPERS AND/OR REPORTS!

>
> not having any useful conception of
>> "formality" in language.  True "second language" students (at least
>> bilingual and, thus, at least bidialectic) students, on the other hand,
>> already understand distinctions in levels of language--a fact evidenced by
>> their peculiar fascination with dirty words/impolite speech.  I think you
>> are right in wanting to extract "-dialectic" from "-lingual."  Exactly how
>> one would do that, though, I won't hazard.
>
>I guess educating the educators is the answer, but that calls to mind the
>god-awful flap about Ebonics. NO one seemed to get it that the kids didn't
>need to be taught it -- nobody needed to be taught it -- the instructors
>needed to understand and acknowledge it, and then go on to teach the
>academic dialect the kids needed for success in school.
>
>At UH-Downtown we've devised the term "developing writers" to describe
>students in the pre-Freshman comp courses who needed more help than their
>classroom instructors could give them and hence were to work in the
>Writing Lab with tutors. The rubric is less than ideal, of course, since
>there is no such critter as a writer who's skills are perfected, but I'm
>glad to see anything that works at redefining the group. The designation
>has been used most often for "ESL" students but gradually other students
>are filtering into the group. We're no more sensitive to multi-dialectal
>issues, but we may be addressing the students' writing needs a little
>better.
>

IT SOUNDS INTERESTING. AT THIS MOMENT, I AM TRYING TO DRAFT AN OUTLINE FOR A
COURSE AND/OR APPROACH (THROUGH THE WRITING LAB, PERHAPS) TO HELP STUDENTS
IN THE BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORKER PROGRAM DEVELOP "ACADEMIC" WRITING SKILLS.
THERE IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT, BECAUSE THESE STUDENTS ARE MAINLY OF FIRST
NATIONS ANCESTRY, "CANNOT PRODUCE A PROPER RESEARCH PAPER, DUE TO CULTURAL
DIFFERENCES". IF YOU HAVE THE TIME AND WISH TO DO SO, I WOULD LIKE TO KEEP
ON TALKING TO YOU  OFF THE LIST.

>Have you noticed that the writing problems attributed to ESL students and
>addressed in the ESL sections of grammar books are also common to L1
>students?  The missing articles, inventive verb tenses that wander
>between passive voice and past and present participles, scrambled
>sentences in which the noun in the complement turns into a subject for a
>new clause -- I've done quick little surveys with my tutors-in-training,
>asking them to classify the papers "ESL" and "non-ESL" based on the type
>of errors they find -- and they are never even 50% accurate in their
>guesses.
>

WHEN SOME OF OUR STUDENTS ARE IN GREAT NEED FOR THE BASICS BUT EXTREMELY
SHORT ON TIME -AND PATIENCE- I RECOMMEND THE BASIC GRAMMAR BOOKS WRITTEN BY
DIXSON. tHEY SEEM TO DO THE TRICK BECAUSE THE CONCEPTS ARE EXPLAINED
DIRECTLY/SIMPLY AND ARE FOLLOWED BY SEVERAL EXAMPLES AND PRACTICE
EXCERCISES. MANY OF OUR STUDENTS CONSULT THOSE ESL TEXTS WHILE TAKING FIRST
YEAR ENGLISH.

>I haven't written a "Part 2" to my first post because that's the one in
>which I wanted to talk about how and what to teach multi-dialectic, and
>frankly, I wasn't sure more than a few of us knew what I was talking
>about. Maybe this exchange will draw a little more discussion.
>
>This stuff is *real* hard to talk about. We're in uncharted territory and
>must redefine things that most teachers think is already all squared away.
>I understand fully why other lrnasst-listers would hit the "d" key.  But,
>if anyone would like to participate in a little consciousness-raising, I
>think the benefits would be very, very great.
>
>Best wishes --
>
>Margaret
>
>Margaret Clark
>[log in to unmask]
>
>

KEEP ON POUNDING AT THE DOORS OF IGNORANCE... SOMEBODY IS BOUND TO ANSWER
YOUR CALL. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK (AND THE ABILITY TO THINK)
Catalina Colaci   <[log in to unmask]>
Coord.Learning Assistance Centre &
Support Services to Students with Disabilities
Yukon College
Whitehorse, Yukon   CANADA