Honestly, just from the title I thought this was going to be a difficult read. But my assumptions were wrong. Overall, it was a very insightful chapter. I enjoyed jumping through time periods where rhetoric and composition were evolving and being comprehended. I appreciated what Janice Lauer mentioned on Page 3 of Chapter 2 ,“ In most cases, if students decide to major or even to do graduate work in English, they assume they will be studying literature. What these students often do not realize is that “English” also encompasses the discipline of rhetoric and composition”. Whenever I tell anyone that I am studying English, they always assume I am going to be a High School teacher who just reads books to students everyday. English is such a broad subject, where people emerge and become scholars, authors, and enlighten other curious scholars. It is beyond belief considering we’re in the 21st century where people have PHDs in this subject. Janice Lauer touched on the emergence of writing, the composing process, teaching of writing, different styles of writing, and even disagreements when it comes to the topic of rhetoric and composition. Many inventions such as journaling encouraged students to explore connections within themselves to make their writing more originative and authentic.
As an Asian American student, born in Bangladesh, I had the opportunity to be raised in the United States at such a young age I was not put into ESL classes. However, many of my peers lost out on opportunities because of the diversity aspect of their education. Lauer had cited that scholars have made it more accessible for ESL students to be taught rhetoric and composition based on their culture. I highly support this approach, as it involves the students’ culture, hence comfortability in understanding writing language and composition. Since we’re on this topic of students, I was scrolling through TikTok this weekend, and I am on the side of Teacher Tok. Multiple educators have been bringing awareness to the fact many students are struggling to read basic words. A 7th grade teacher mentioned that his student could not spell “Window”. He was appalled at the lack of students knowing how to formulate sentences at a 7th grade level. This brings me to the topic of Foundationalism. I read that collaboration and making students evaluate their peers’ work makes their knowledge of rhetoric and composition stronger. Perhaps teachers can start making groups for students who are struggling to read and compose so they know that they are not alone in this struggle. Maybe they can even jump off of each others ideas when coming up with stronger sentences.
I can fully agree that textbooks do not help students whatsoever. Majority of the time in High School, I barely understood what the reading was trying to say. I would read the pages assigned and wait for the teacher to explain everything because I had little to no idea what was being discussed. This issue continues today because there are still a set of rules on how a person is supposed to read, and how it is supposed to be comprehended. I read very fast, and I pretend as if I am reading a script because it helps me understand better. Whereas someone else may read very fast, and monotoned but understand the text a lot more differently than I did. Teachers and sometimes even scholars need to understand that rhetoric and composition is still being studied today. More theories are being brought to light, new research is emerging and students are eager to learn about these new discoveries. As a writer, this insightful reading has just proved to me that English is not just teaching Gatsby to a bunch of 11th graders. So much dedication goes to understanding this broad subject. Traditions are changing, diversity helps comprehend everything so much better, and simply understanding that everyone has a different way of taking in information and formulating it.