blog 3

Thoughts on "Grammar, Grammars, and the Teachings of Grammar" plus what I want to contribute to the group project.


                                                            _____________


“students will only learn what we teach/ only learn because we teach’ Very interesting intro. I like challenging the assumption that students don’t learn anywhere besides a classroom with guidelines, when it is generally the opposite.

“perverse beliefs” as if humanizing students, de-glorifying “tired and true” (antiquated) teaching styles, and suggesting teachers stand of the ground instead of pedestals (soapboxes) is so radical.
“nor on their ability to avoid error”

So many things wrong in one paragraph. I disagree with the proposed definition of grammar. Especially specifying the “native” nature of language. Grammar is supposed to be the rules that make language technically correct and structured. And suggesting a heavy focus on just grammar is appalling. It is the content of a message that matters, not its delivery. A sentence can violate every grammatical rule, but can still be understandable. And why would anyone suggest grammar-centric lessons when grammar doesn’t even teach people how to write? (Ironically.)

“seems designed to perpetuate…the issue” funny, since we’re all still arguing over grammar.
“improved neither writing quality nor control…” I kind of like to see results that prove grammar lessons fail. Then maybe we could stop acting like “correctness” is the absolute most important thing.
“does no harm” thinking that drilling grammar into students does no harm is laughable. Not only did grammar-based lessons not help students improve, but it also damaged their opinion of the subject. V frustrating.

“conclusion can be…ignored” seriously. I was wondering how so many people could read the same study and have such opinions (does no harm!) but clearly, ignoring the results that contradict what you believe is the only plausible explanation for such opinions.

Good questions she proposes, but questions 2 and 3 seem kind of boring/redundant/unnecessary. 1 and 4 are really interesting in that they aren’t as concrete and more abstract. I think answering questions that have no “correct” answer are more likely to lead to learning/ gaining insight. Looking forward to what she says about 1 and 4.

“rigidly sequential” again with the “formula” of writing a good paper.

Francis had some good points, despite having written them in 1954. Amazing how the conversation hasn’t changed much in 61 years.

“stylistic grammar” nice. I like the breaking down of grammars. It seems way more practical this way.

“the four young French girls” shows how grammar is innate, in a way, and knowing every grammar rule is not necessary to be able to use it. I disagree with calling it “autonomous”.

The discussion of proper plural endings displays the link between literacy and writing skills, which we discussed in our second week of class. It makes me think that knowing proper grammar is more of a modeling thing than a learning thing. (We recreate words based on how we’ve seen other words.) This is kind of reinforced by the opening paragraph of “College English.”

 Learning grammar before learning to write/ learning to use utensils before being allowed to eat is an interesting comparison.

I disagree that Seliger’s experiment complicated the issue further. I think it measures (subconscious?) retention of grammatical rules. (Especially for ESL speakers; just because they can recite the rule, doesn’t mean they choose to use it. They may be speaking English, but their linguistic roots are still in their first language, and they probably rely on those grammar rules more than their new English-based ones.)  I know people who are fiercely intelligent—smarter than me for sure—and yet they constantly violate grammatical rules. One friend often says “I seen” as in “I seen the craziest thing yesterday,” as opposed to “I saw.” (Side note, he’s not the only one I’ve heard do this). But he is still one of the smartest people I know. Similar to the violation of the “your/you’re” rule. Just because someone breaks it, doesn’t automatically make them less intelligent (no matter how much it aggravates the rest of us).   

“clear only if known” summarizes the English language as a whole perfectly. The thing we all love most is someone else’s worst nightmare.

“unconnected with anything remotely resembling literate adult behavior” amazing. It’s the theory of “here are the rules, and why you can break them” thing we discussed un class again.
“worship of formal grammar study” laughed harder than I should have at this.

“accessing knowledge…learners have already internalized” this sounds better than when I said “innate ability” earlier. This is what I was trying to say.

“there are not four errors” that was unnecessary. Grammar is hard enough without throwing in trick questions like that.

“spoken dialect are…irrelevant to mastering print literacy” I disagree with that.

“skills at two levels” yes this is good. It’s not to say that grammar isn’t important at all, because it does matter. But the extent to which education stresses grammar is out of control. This is a much better approach/suggestion— work on conveying the meaning and do so in a way that is technically correct. Good, happy medium. Also, “active involvement” is a much better way to learn something; the expression “experience is the best teacher” doesn’t exist for no reason!

“constrained to reinvent the wheel” that’s probably very apparent when you look at today’s curriculums.

“guide our teaching” not dictate.

Overall thoughts: good essay, interesting sources and studies, and kind of what formalized what I already thought about grammar (probably what we all think of grammar).


As far as what I’d like to contribute to the final project, all I can say, really, is that I want to contribute my absolute best. It’s hard for me to say what, exactly, I want to contribute, because we haven’t decided on what we’re doing yet. I felt a lot of people leaning towards Idea #2 at the end of Monday’s session, and it concerns me a bit. I’m not a teacher, so I’ve never created a lesson plan or a syllabus or anything like that before, and I feel a bit out of touch with the curriculum aspect altogether (we all know that Catholic schools vary greatly from public schools in this regard). And when it comes to executive decisions, I am not the girl to go to; the thought of having to (possibly?) create my own lesson plan is concerning, since I feel I’m not nearly as good at generating completely new ideas as I am at revising existing ideas. Also, I’m awful at pop culture. Whenever someone says “pop culture,” my mind just says: ????????? I’m sure whatever we decide, I will figure it out, but as of now, I don’t have much to share aside from my reservations. I’m sorry if this isn’t helpful/ didn’t answer the question. I’m looking forward to discussing this more on Monday with you guys though.

blog 3

Thoughts on "Grammar, Grammars, and the Teachings of Grammar" plus what I want to contribute to the group project.


                                                            _____________


“students will only learn what we teach/ only learn because we teach’ Very interesting intro. I like challenging the assumption that students don’t learn anywhere besides a classroom with guidelines, when it is generally the opposite.

“perverse beliefs” as if humanizing students, de-glorifying “tired and true” (antiquated) teaching styles, and suggesting teachers stand of the ground instead of pedestals (soapboxes) is so radical.
“nor on their ability to avoid error”

So many things wrong in one paragraph. I disagree with the proposed definition of grammar. Especially specifying the “native” nature of language. Grammar is supposed to be the rules that make language technically correct and structured. And suggesting a heavy focus on just grammar is appalling. It is the content of a message that matters, not its delivery. A sentence can violate every grammatical rule, but can still be understandable. And why would anyone suggest grammar-centric lessons when grammar doesn’t even teach people how to write? (Ironically.)

“seems designed to perpetuate…the issue” funny, since we’re all still arguing over grammar.
“improved neither writing quality nor control…” I kind of like to see results that prove grammar lessons fail. Then maybe we could stop acting like “correctness” is the absolute most important thing.
“does no harm” thinking that drilling grammar into students does no harm is laughable. Not only did grammar-based lessons not help students improve, but it also damaged their opinion of the subject. V frustrating.

“conclusion can be…ignored” seriously. I was wondering how so many people could read the same study and have such opinions (does no harm!) but clearly, ignoring the results that contradict what you believe is the only plausible explanation for such opinions.

Good questions she proposes, but questions 2 and 3 seem kind of boring/redundant/unnecessary. 1 and 4 are really interesting in that they aren’t as concrete and more abstract. I think answering questions that have no “correct” answer are more likely to lead to learning/ gaining insight. Looking forward to what she says about 1 and 4.

“rigidly sequential” again with the “formula” of writing a good paper.

Francis had some good points, despite having written them in 1954. Amazing how the conversation hasn’t changed much in 61 years.

“stylistic grammar” nice. I like the breaking down of grammars. It seems way more practical this way.

“the four young French girls” shows how grammar is innate, in a way, and knowing every grammar rule is not necessary to be able to use it. I disagree with calling it “autonomous”.

The discussion of proper plural endings displays the link between literacy and writing skills, which we discussed in our second week of class. It makes me think that knowing proper grammar is more of a modeling thing than a learning thing. (We recreate words based on how we’ve seen other words.) This is kind of reinforced by the opening paragraph of “College English.”

 Learning grammar before learning to write/ learning to use utensils before being allowed to eat is an interesting comparison.

I disagree that Seliger’s experiment complicated the issue further. I think it measures (subconscious?) retention of grammatical rules. (Especially for ESL speakers; just because they can recite the rule, doesn’t mean they choose to use it. They may be speaking English, but their linguistic roots are still in their first language, and they probably rely on those grammar rules more than their new English-based ones.)  I know people who are fiercely intelligent—smarter than me for sure—and yet they constantly violate grammatical rules. One friend often says “I seen” as in “I seen the craziest thing yesterday,” as opposed to “I saw.” (Side note, he’s not the only one I’ve heard do this). But he is still one of the smartest people I know. Similar to the violation of the “your/you’re” rule. Just because someone breaks it, doesn’t automatically make them less intelligent (no matter how much it aggravates the rest of us).   

“clear only if known” summarizes the English language as a whole perfectly. The thing we all love most is someone else’s worst nightmare.

“unconnected with anything remotely resembling literate adult behavior” amazing. It’s the theory of “here are the rules, and why you can break them” thing we discussed un class again.
“worship of formal grammar study” laughed harder than I should have at this.

“accessing knowledge…learners have already internalized” this sounds better than when I said “innate ability” earlier. This is what I was trying to say.

“there are not four errors” that was unnecessary. Grammar is hard enough without throwing in trick questions like that.

“spoken dialect are…irrelevant to mastering print literacy” I disagree with that.

“skills at two levels” yes this is good. It’s not to say that grammar isn’t important at all, because it does matter. But the extent to which education stresses grammar is out of control. This is a much better approach/suggestion— work on conveying the meaning and do so in a way that is technically correct. Good, happy medium. Also, “active involvement” is a much better way to learn something; the expression “experience is the best teacher” doesn’t exist for no reason!

“constrained to reinvent the wheel” that’s probably very apparent when you look at today’s curriculums.

“guide our teaching” not dictate.

Overall thoughts: good essay, interesting sources and studies, and kind of what formalized what I already thought about grammar (probably what we all think of grammar).


As far as what I’d like to contribute to the final project, all I can say, really, is that I want to contribute my absolute best. It’s hard for me to say what, exactly, I want to contribute, because we haven’t decided on what we’re doing yet. I felt a lot of people leaning towards Idea #2 at the end of Monday’s session, and it concerns me a bit. I’m not a teacher, so I’ve never created a lesson plan or a syllabus or anything like that before, and I feel a bit out of touch with the curriculum aspect altogether (we all know that Catholic schools vary greatly from public schools in this regard). And when it comes to executive decisions, I am not the girl to go to; the thought of having to (possibly?) create my own lesson plan is concerning, since I feel I’m not nearly as good at generating completely new ideas as I am at revising existing ideas. Also, I’m awful at pop culture. Whenever someone says “pop culture,” my mind just says: ????????? I’m sure whatever we decide, I will figure it out, but as of now, I don’t have much to share aside from my reservations. I’m sorry if this isn’t helpful/ didn’t answer the question. I’m looking forward to discussing this more on Monday with you guys though.

Ideas for Final Project

For our final project, I think that the anti-theory idea has some potential. It we elaborate more on ways to expand that idea we could create something really different. What I was not in love with about that idea was the brainstorming we came up with in class. After thinking about it, I thought that we came up with a useful list of genres (narrative, persuasive, expository, poetry etc…) yet it is the same old we’ve been taught for years. These genres are important --- don’t get me wrong, but if we go with that we won’t be creating something different.

Idea #2 is good too but I am not sure that creating lesson plans will satisfy all members of our class. As a writer, I’ll be interested in being part of this project but I won’t feel like I’m truly doing something that connects with me.

Being that idea #3 still needs to be discussed further --- I’ll leave it at that and maybe we can talk more about it in class tonight.

Thinking about something different for this project that I could connect with I thought about creating a book for writers. It could be a section of the original handbook for writers that we talked about or a new one. A book where I would write reflective pieces or prompts, or both… one where I would write about my own experiences as a writer, what I’ve learn… something that can help and inspire younger writers to continue going. Perhaps some of the topics we’ve talked about in class like the comments teachers make on students papers or the importance of grammar could be incorporated in this books. Perhaps this idea can blend with Laura’s idea about the “collaborative narrative story/book”… not sure but it sounds exciting and DIFFERENT.


Looking forward to discussing more of this tonight in class J

Ideas for Final Project

For our final project, I think that the anti-theory idea has some potential. It we elaborate more on ways to expand that idea we could create something really different. What I was not in love with about that idea was the brainstorming we came up with in class. After thinking about it, I thought that we came up with a useful list of genres (narrative, persuasive, expository, poetry etc…) yet it is the same old we’ve been taught for years. These genres are important --- don’t get me wrong, but if we go with that we won’t be creating something different.

Idea #2 is good too but I am not sure that creating lesson plans will satisfy all members of our class. As a writer, I’ll be interested in being part of this project but I won’t feel like I’m truly doing something that connects with me.

Being that idea #3 still needs to be discussed further --- I’ll leave it at that and maybe we can talk more about it in class tonight.

Thinking about something different for this project that I could connect with I thought about creating a book for writers. It could be a section of the original handbook for writers that we talked about or a new one. A book where I would write reflective pieces or prompts, or both… one where I would write about my own experiences as a writer, what I’ve learn… something that can help and inspire younger writers to continue going. Perhaps some of the topics we’ve talked about in class like the comments teachers make on students papers or the importance of grammar could be incorporated in this books. Perhaps this idea can blend with Laura’s idea about the “collaborative narrative story/book”… not sure but it sounds exciting and DIFFERENT.


Looking forward to discussing more of this tonight in class J

Writing Theory and Practice 2015-10-12 15:32:00


Hartwell’s article “Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar” discusses the arguments, definitions, and complications of grammar. Because I use to struggle with grammar, this article was very interesting to me. I honestly like the argument proposed because it was contrary to what I am used to hearing. My past has been filled with teachers who place a lot of emphasis on grammar. I think if I was exposed to more teachers who took less of an interest in grammar, writing would have always been interesting to me. I still question how my writing would have turned out without grammar corrections and practice, and I am still very grateful for my past experience. I like the fact Hartwell’s article makes me question my own explanation to the question “how did you learn to write” by Dr. Zamora.

Furthermore the comment by Richard H. Haswell “that his students correct 61.1 % of their errors when they are identified with a simple mark in the margin rather than by error type” made me think about Nancy Sommers’s article “Responding to Student Writing” (Hartwell 121). I think it is very interesting that the feedback was not considered vague. In addition as I read the articles for this class and reflect on our class discussions, I am learning that the least expected topics or the topics we may think are completely understood are actually the topics that are unclear, confusing, and require a lot of research. In “Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting Out Three Forms of Judgment” by Peter Elbow I learned a different technique or style of teaching that made me think about my teaching experience. Elbow's article also helped me understand some of the practices my teachers engage in more. In conclusion, I like how these articles presented both their positions on the issue and the contrary. I also liked how Elbow's article showed the highlights of his position and the downfalls. Both articles helped me to think about and possibly expand my viewpoint.
                                                          Final Project
I would like to write a poem or give examples of how I journal. I think this will give me the chance to show how I express myself outside of school.

 

Writing Theory and Practice 2015-10-12 15:32:00


Hartwell’s article “Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar” discusses the arguments, definitions, and complications of grammar. Because I use to struggle with grammar, this article was very interesting to me. I honestly like the argument proposed because it was contrary to what I am used to hearing. My past has been filled with teachers who place a lot of emphasis on grammar. I think if I was exposed to more teachers who took less of an interest in grammar, writing would have always been interesting to me. I still question how my writing would have turned out without grammar corrections and practice, and I am still very grateful for my past experience. I like the fact Hartwell’s article makes me question my own explanation to the question “how did you learn to write” by Dr. Zamora.

Furthermore the comment by Richard H. Haswell “that his students correct 61.1 % of their errors when they are identified with a simple mark in the margin rather than by error type” made me think about Nancy Sommers’s article “Responding to Student Writing” (Hartwell 121). I think it is very interesting that the feedback was not considered vague. In addition as I read the articles for this class and reflect on our class discussions, I am learning that the least expected topics or the topics we may think are completely understood are actually the topics that are unclear, confusing, and require a lot of research. In “Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting Out Three Forms of Judgment” by Peter Elbow I learned a different technique or style of teaching that made me think about my teaching experience. Elbow's article also helped me understand some of the practices my teachers engage in more. In conclusion, I like how these articles presented both their positions on the issue and the contrary. I also liked how Elbow's article showed the highlights of his position and the downfalls. Both articles helped me to think about and possibly expand my viewpoint.
                                                          Final Project
I would like to write a poem or give examples of how I journal. I think this will give me the chance to show how I express myself outside of school.

 

Blog # 3 – Peter Elbow and Patrick Hartwell

Responding to: Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting Out Three Forms of Writing by Peter Elbow and Grammar, Grammars, and The Teaching of Grammar by Patrick Hartwell

From this week’s readings I truly enjoyed Elbow’s essay. In his essay, Elbow talks about three different acts we call assessment. He focuses on talking about Raking, Evaluating, and Liking. By ranking he means “the act of summing up one’s judgment of a performance or person into a single, holistic number or score.” By evaluating he means “the act of expressing one’s judgment of a performance or person by posting out strengths and weaknesses of different features or dimensions.” He then says that “evaluation requires going beyonda first response that may be nothing but a kind of ranking (“I like it” or “This is better than that”), and instead looking carefully enough at a performance or person to make distinctions between parts or features or criteria.”

Elbow says that if you take the time to get to know your students as the people they are, liking their writing will be easier. As he says this, I think about the importance between having a connection with your students. I cannot imagine having to grade papers from someone I literally don’t know. It is important to have a relationship with your students so that understanding their writing becomes easier. What Elbow talks about, makes me think back about professors I’ve had when I was attending Essex and Union County College whom had no idea who I was. They wrote “awkward” on my papers and didn’t really give me direction as to where to go from there. They didn’t know what I was trying to say and worst yet, I didn’t know what they meant by “awkward”. It wasn’t until I experienced professors starting to build relationships with me that I felt like they were understanding or liking my writing. Elbow also says that the process of evaluation permits us to make open statements about a piece of writing. Whereas to rank, is to be forced to translate those discriminations into a single number. I agree with what Elbow says because while grades are important it is more important to be able to communicate about pieces of writing rather than to just receive a rank without further conversation or connection.

Hartwell’s essay was a little less enjoyable for me to read. I felt it was dense and not straightforward like Elbow’s essay was. Hartwell talks about grammar and while I think is important, I feel like when a student is composing a piece of writing other aspects are more important than commenting on their grammar. Students should be taught grammar early in their academics. This can help them in their writing but I feel like as they become more experienced writers, grammar should be secondary in their writing. Their focus should be more in expanding their ideas and what they are trying to express in their writing. Rather than fixing their grammar when they are not done yet saying what they want to say in their piece of writing.


I think that perhaps the best way to address this grammar issues is maybe by working on it by sections. Normally, when we are drafting we are focused on the content, the ideas we are trying to express rather than if our grammar is correct. Therefore, I think that grammar should be part of the editing stage rather than the revision stage. 

Blog # 3 – Peter Elbow and Patrick Hartwell

Responding to: Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting Out Three Forms of Writing by Peter Elbow and Grammar, Grammars, and The Teaching of Grammar by Patrick Hartwell

From this week’s readings I truly enjoyed Elbow’s essay. In his essay, Elbow talks about three different acts we call assessment. He focuses on talking about Raking, Evaluating, and Liking. By ranking he means “the act of summing up one’s judgment of a performance or person into a single, holistic number or score.” By evaluating he means “the act of expressing one’s judgment of a performance or person by posting out strengths and weaknesses of different features or dimensions.” He then says that “evaluation requires going beyonda first response that may be nothing but a kind of ranking (“I like it” or “This is better than that”), and instead looking carefully enough at a performance or person to make distinctions between parts or features or criteria.”

Elbow says that if you take the time to get to know your students as the people they are, liking their writing will be easier. As he says this, I think about the importance between having a connection with your students. I cannot imagine having to grade papers from someone I literally don’t know. It is important to have a relationship with your students so that understanding their writing becomes easier. What Elbow talks about, makes me think back about professors I’ve had when I was attending Essex and Union County College whom had no idea who I was. They wrote “awkward” on my papers and didn’t really give me direction as to where to go from there. They didn’t know what I was trying to say and worst yet, I didn’t know what they meant by “awkward”. It wasn’t until I experienced professors starting to build relationships with me that I felt like they were understanding or liking my writing. Elbow also says that the process of evaluation permits us to make open statements about a piece of writing. Whereas to rank, is to be forced to translate those discriminations into a single number. I agree with what Elbow says because while grades are important it is more important to be able to communicate about pieces of writing rather than to just receive a rank without further conversation or connection.

Hartwell’s essay was a little less enjoyable for me to read. I felt it was dense and not straightforward like Elbow’s essay was. Hartwell talks about grammar and while I think is important, I feel like when a student is composing a piece of writing other aspects are more important than commenting on their grammar. Students should be taught grammar early in their academics. This can help them in their writing but I feel like as they become more experienced writers, grammar should be secondary in their writing. Their focus should be more in expanding their ideas and what they are trying to express in their writing. Rather than fixing their grammar when they are not done yet saying what they want to say in their piece of writing.


I think that perhaps the best way to address this grammar issues is maybe by working on it by sections. Normally, when we are drafting we are focused on the content, the ideas we are trying to express rather than if our grammar is correct. Therefore, I think that grammar should be part of the editing stage rather than the revision stage.