All posts by fosteken

Voice within Self

Learning Different Languages with Cultural Styles (Voices Within) 

The first time I’ve stepped foot into Writing and Theory as a class Dr. Zamora gave the class a question just to open up a bit “Why Do you Write?” me personally, starting at a young age of having a journal and also watching my father write as well as an educator. Gaining more in my personal writings, I kept a journal noting daily thoughts, personal ones and as well as poems soon as going off to college as an undergrad studying Mass Communications (Print Journalism).  

Growing and having a passion for creative writing and having power in my own voice as I written to the reader that was reading a piece of my writing that I’ve done for the Mass Communication department or internship that I’ve worked for. Although, while being in this course writing and theory my expectations were to grow not only as a person but being a better writer and learning from my classmates from different backgrounds in education and having different mindsets as me. 

From me coming up with “Learning different languages with cultural styles (Voices Within)” each individual has their own voice in what they’ve experienced in this class. We all were capable of working with each other gaining strengths from one another, and writing different from having different cultural aspects. 

“So say the Asian, the 

Hispanic, the Jew,  

The African American and Native  

American, the Sioux, 

The Catholic, the Muslim, the 

French, the Greek, 

The Irish, the Rabbi, the  


The privileged, the homeless,  

the teacher. 

They hear. They all hear 

 The speaking of the tree.” 

                         -Maya Angelou (1928-2014) 

Final Blog Post, Final Goodbyes

Sadly, this semester has come to an end I’m glad I’ve gotten to experience different aspects of this writing course with you all. With writing becoming my first love and a way to expressing myself. I can certainly say that I’ve taken in a new leaf of experiencing different writing techniques. Thank You, Dr.Zamora for letting me experience being in a educated setting of being apart of the English Writing Studies masters program. I wish nothing but the best to you all in the near future and that this has not only become to an end but a new start for the future.

To have children love you and your enemies respect you; To find worth in little things and light in the darkest places; To forgive those that have betrayed you; To climb mountains of self discovery and never turn back no matter the weather or terrain: To give when there is nothing left or teach to noisy crowds; To discover fire and share it: To face fear and live anyway…

Ras Baraka

Finding Voice Within Self!

Voice /vois/


1.the sound produced in a person’s larynx and uttered through the mouth, as speech or song

2. a particular opinion, view, comment, feeling, wish, desire, vote, input.

verb (something) in words

2. utter (a speech sound)

Approaching last weeks discussion about the Writing & Theory final project we’ve all had the chance to voice each of our own opinions within bringing tying them into one. Voicing my own ideas, coming up with “Learning Different Languages with Cultural Styles.” I thought of this was a way of listening to each individual in the room with being in a classroom of diversity. Altough, Dr. Zamora insisted we all draw out something that identifies our individual project (which I thought was a creative idea). Drawing out a flower the meaning and significance of a flower is elegant and delightful each flower has it’s own meaning. Representing each of our my group had our own significance in our voice and ideas. Each petal on the flower that I drew out represents each of or own thoughts and ideas on this final project.

Learning Different Languages with Cultural Styles.

A new chapter opened up when I first stepped into my Dr.Zamora’s English course “Writing & Theory” class. I was humbled and willing to learn the importance of writing in the education system, since this course is coming to an end and it’s has been quiet an experience journey for me. Learning and engaging in each others backgrounds, strategies of writing and intaking each others information and wisdom.

What early ideas are exciting to you?

Coming up with “Learning Different Languages with Cultural Styles”. Being in a classroom with a diverse, cultural background of students we all  have our own “Voice, language and metaphors”. From posting every week on our blogs starting our final project I’m excited to say that we all get to display and tie our ideas into one. What learning outcomes matter more to you?

What learning outcomes matter more to you?

Learning outcomes matter to me from two reading I’ve actually read as being a substitute teacher I’ve used these reading as such in the classroom with my fifth grade students. “Exploring Students Writers’ Interpretive Practices” by Jennie Nelson and “Voice in Writing” by Peter Elbow.

How can you make this class project count in a way that is truly meaningful to you?

Displaying my ideas to this final project, I can look back and see how far I’ve come from learning within this course of writing that when I learned to have a voice writing on paper and standing out when it can to my performance as teaching as being in the education system.

Coming together is a beginning keeping together is progress; working together is success.” -Henry Ford

Multiliteracies & Writing

Reading “Tutoring ESL Students: Issues & Options” by Muriel Harris and Tony Silva being a substitute in the educational system being with all elementary grades from Pre- K through 8th grade. Personally speaking I have been in a bilingual class understanding a little bit of Spanish but not being so fluent. I’ve had grades: 2nd, 3rd, and 6th having the experience with the kids some have just come to the United States and their peers help them in anyway possible when their teacher isn’t there.

Stating on page 4 explaining how ESL students lack in speaking in English as their second language “For exam-ple, does the thin, undeveloped two-paragraph essay an ESL student brings in indicate the need to talk about how to develop topics or is the student’s lack of language proficiency in English keeping her from expressing a rich internal sense of what she wants to write about?” Being in the classroom and observing some ESL students write in Spanish and read in Spanish and other write in English but not so fluently and read in Spanish. If the students can’t develop or understand English as this being their second language of learning I ask the kids in the classroom to help each other.

“ESL Writers find it helpful: (1) to include more work on planning- to generate ideas, text structure, and language- so as to make the actual writing more manageable; (2) to have their ESL students write in stages; e.g., focusing on content and organization in on draft and focusing on linguistic concerns in another subsequent draft; and (3) to separate their treatment of revising (rhetorical) and editing (linguistic) and provide realistic strategies for each, strategies that do not rely on intuitions ESL writers may not have.”

A very important question come into to play while reading “Confronting Error: Does It Help to categorize sentence – Level Concerns?” Try to help ESL students not only understanding English but also writing in English. Stating “Although tutors do not work primarily on grammar and mechanics, some ESL writers-especially those whose first acquaintance with English was as a foreign language taught in classrooms in other countries-have a tendency to want to know rules. For example, in a tutorial with a native speaker of English or a student born in the United States who spoke another language before entering school, the student might ask “Is this sentence OK?” or “How do I fix this sentence?” From teaching and learning English as an ESL students is are because their adjusting to something that new and out of their culture.

For helpful tips listed for helping students and most teaching Teachers how to excel in helping ESL students.

  1. Ilona Leki’s- Understanding ESL: A Guide for Teachers
  2. Joy M. Reids- Teaching ESL Writing
  3. Barbara Kroll’s- Second Language Writing: Research Insights for the Classroom

Using Rubrics to Develop and Apply Grading Criteria

We all can come to an agreement that in school whether it was elementary of high school when teachers or professors assigned a paper there was a specific type of Rubric handed. When it comes to structured writing teachers want to see if you can follow the rubric letting the students be free in their own creative writing or argumentative paper but also having a flow to it.

In the reading John C. Bean talking about rubric and writings. A casual question comes to mind “What do teachers actually want when they ask students to write?” This brings in gathering thoughts for the students to have general standards when it comes to writing. Stating, “Diederich’s was able to train readers to balance their assessments over the five criteria.” Diederich states “This strand of grading practice – which right be called the pro- rubric” strand -aims to minimize differences among readers in order to achieve interrates reliability in the application of communally determined criteria. I say the “pro-rubric” strand because not everyone values rubrics, although there seems to be a consensus in favor of rubrics within most composition programs and WAC/WID programs.

When students are writing a paper or an argumentative statement paper their are different rubrics given.

  • They can be analytic or holistic
  • They can be generic or task- specific (sometimes called primary trait)
  • They can use different methods of discribing performance levels.
  • They can have a grid or a non-grid design.

Reconsiderations: Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries – Peter Elbow

“Voice is an important dimension of texts and we should pay lots of attention to it. Everyone has a real voice and can write with power. Writing with a strong voice is good writing. Sincere writing is good writing. My voice is my true self and my rhetorical power. The goal of writing is develop the self. -Peter Elbow

In the honor in taking this reading “Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries” is really an interesting topic everyone has their own voice whether it’s talking or writing. Everyone is very different and has their own way. Elbow, around the 1960s there was a powerful movement of enthusiasm forgetting voice into writing.

Speaking of Greeks Sophists offered in effect to help craft anyone for any speech to help win any argument or lowercase- no matter what kind of self. “Plato, in reaction, argued that the power of language derived, to some real extent from the nature of rhetor’s self: only a good rhetor can create really good worshippers. To learn to speak or write better, we need also to work on being persons.” As well as another Greek stating in the passage “Aristotle refused this either/or conflict. He wrote that “We believe good men more fully and more readily than others” (Rhetoric 1356a), but then he went on to acknowledge that speakers can fool listeners and persuade them with a consciously constructed voice. He talks about the ability to “make ourselves thought to be sensible and morally good. [. . .]” (1378a, my emphasis)—noting that this is a matter of skill, not character”.

“We can now see that writers disguise his art and give the impression of speaking naturally and not artificially. Naturalness is persuasive, artificiality is the centrary; for our hearer are prejudiced and think we have some design against them.” I hear Artisotle giving kind of pragmatic, common sense affirmation of both positions. It helps to be trustworthy but; if you’re skilled you can fake it.”

The Current Situation

Everyone or even some people have a journal or just a daily notebook they write in where they can just be themselves in their own writing(s) and no one can judge them. In the “Current Situation” speaks on students having voice inside of a classroom when it comes to writing papers Jane Danielewiczs a teacher quotes of her students “I turned down your suggestions for revising just because I thought it took away some of my personal voice in some places.” As a teacher this takes up a personal space for them in my opinion not wanting their student to feel as though they’re being attacked in away of their teachers words. We all can agree this has happened before receiving feedback from your teacher when you were in elementary or high school.

Voice is well alive in politics which is a big factor in today’s society. For example this part of the reading talks about a special politic that was once our President of the United States George W. Bush stating “George W. Bush was probably elected because his voice was more persuasive and believable to more voters.”

Not going deeply into his presidential past. May I ask a question to the reader that’s reading this? Can you say that you personally have been persuaded by politics from either or parties? There’s a few politics that have their own voice in who they truly are, what they stand for and stand firm on everything they’re promising to the people which makes them very powerful (self-in-voice).

At a young age I can admit when it comes to the internet I was engaged. Voice takes a big part of the internet On pg.5 quotes “Voice is alive on the Internet and via email. It used to be that must writing occurred in school or at work (although we shouldn’t underestimate how many people wrote mostly privately in other settings; see D. Barton and R. Ivanic)” Far as writers, real writers this is as taken on a big deal for as strangers being on the internet when it comes to writing on the internet.” Such as strangers they’re on the internet everyday talking to whomever they contact and have a way of persuading.

I know some of you can admit to having personal blogs, myspace, Facebook accounts reveling your true comfortable self, wether it’s based on your opinion or chatting with a family member, or close friends in a group chat. pg.5 also quotes “On blogs and websites such as Myspace, lots of people eagerly use written words to reveal “who they really are,” while just as many use the same website to “construct a self.”

“Among the latter group, some want to disguise what they feel are their “real selves”, some want to give voices to what they experience as multiple selves, and some don’t feel they have actual selves at all until they created them with language”. Personally speaking, having a personal journal no one can pinpoint out anything wrong such as my slang in my writings , or how I’m writing in my dialect. Critics get exhausted of criticizing something that no one defends, tired of not reaching people who don’t listen to them. “This, critical commentary in our field goes on to other topics, such as: digital media, public writing, service learning.”

Either/ Or Battle

Question: “How do people respond to contradictory view? The most common response is to try to win- engage in an either/ or zero-sum attempt to discredit the overview.” Jospeh Harris argues about voice in his opinion on “A Teaching Subject” Harris compare/contrast essays from approaching and approving between the one he criticizes. Harris writes: “These contrasting views of what ought to go on in a writing classroom stem from deep and conflicting intuitions about how language and self and related.”

The compare/contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two things, people, concepts, places, etc. A comparison essay usually discusses the similarities between two things. the contrast essay discusses the differences. Examples: A compare/contrast essay may discuss … the likenesses and differences between two places, like New York City and Los Angeles; the similarities and differences between two religions, like Christianity and Islam; two people, like my brother and myself.

Explaining, a student using their own form of language to the understand of their own knowledge but yet, not anyone elses. (42) “This unfolds in this chapter his either/ or analysis of two approaches to voice becomes a larger analysis of two approaches to the teaching of writing.” Studying Harris’s metaphorical world writing in real voice from expressing yourself. Using powerful words and connecting to your audience as their reading you work. On the other side as “school” composition this type of reading has been mislead into understand “There are no outward linguistic characteristics to point to in writing with real voice.” Why? because there is a form of writing that is handed to the students in the classroom that most students can’t formally adjust this is also called “Structured Writing”.


“Compromise is surely a healthier way to deal with conflict or contradiction. If were going to avoid war, you can’t have mine. They are mutually incompatible we both have to give in a bit – back down some- and work out a middle position of some sort.” Introducing Newkirk’s book “The Performance of Self in Student Writing” he concludes the 4 C’s “College Composition and Composition in College English” (CCCC). He wants to point out the limitations of compromise way of handling contradiction in writing.

Aristotle uses in various places in his work. He often deals with tricky issues by saying, “in one sense, X; but, in another sense, Y.” He wants others to understand his method. “Analyzed through one frame of reference, good ethos requires good char- acter; but, analyzed through another frame of reference, good ethos is available to skill alone.”

Here a click of Peter Elbow speaking on the “Western Massachusetts Writing Project Speaking on Voice.

Formulaic Writing,High Stakes & The Erasure of the Sentence : 3 all in 1

Wiley speaks on Popularity of Formulaic Writing from Jane Schaffer’s method of this reading is used for students to use this formula in essay writing establishing her teaching materials in 1995 in San Diego, California where she teaches. Starting in the formula she uses the key terms that teaches and students must memorize so that both share a common language when talking about writing viewing the diagram.

  • Concrete detail #1
  • Commentary #1a
  • Commentary #b
  • Commentary #2
  • Commentary #2a
  • Commentary #2b
  • Concluding Sentence

Each body paragraph must have eight sentences. “Several students high school teachers also whom spoken with who have been using the Schaffer method generally saw rapid improvement in the writing of struggling students.” Although, using ” Strengths of Formula”

  • Topic Sentences
  • Thesis
  • Concrete detail
  • Commentary
  • Chunk

This helps the importance students must learn and student reading and informative instructions to the rubric. “Teachers while acknowleding that students must move beyond the Schaffer method if they are to continue improving, were never less left wondering what to do next.”

“Criticism of Formulaic Writing”

When it comes to students the classroom of criticism of formulaic writng student must educate themselves and make decisions about ” genre, content, structure, organization, and style.” They must learn to hone their judgments about the effects of the choices they make as writers.

This openly gives the students choices to know the basic of taking in criticism of formulaic writing in their own self writing when others are reading their work.

High Stakes and low stakes in assigning responding writing Peter Elbow

Elbow breaks down the high and low stakes in assigning responding writing.

*Assigning Writing

Low stakes writing is often informal and tends to be graded informally.

*Importance of Low Stakes Assignments

In truth, if we are looking for the best possible low stakes arena for language for using language to learn, explore, take risks, or commune with ourselves and not have our language be evaluated- writing is much better than speaking.

Also students have low stake writing assignments such as : frequent, informal assignments that make students spend time regularly reflecting in written language on what they’re learning from discussions, readings, lectures, and their own thinking called



*Free writers

*Think pieces

*Ink shedding

When it comes down to the last minute students slow down with their reading till an exam or major paper is due, they learn much less from discussions and lectures.

*Responding to Writing

Although teachers are to leave comments on students papers, students are likely to not understand these feedbacks from their teachers responding to them in a negative way and make a criticism judgement. pg. 8 “Even when we write clear, accurate, valid, and helpful comments, our students often read them through a distorting lens of resistance or discouragement or downright denial. “(Don’t we sometimes read responses to our own articles by professional reviewers through similar lenses?) When students read what we write, they are usually reacting at the same time all the past teacher comments they have received on their writing. The most obvious example of this that students tend to take almost anything we write as criticism- even if we are just asking them a question or making an observation, or even if we are just asking them a question or making an observation, or even making a low-key statement of mild praise.”

*Continuum Between High and how Stakes Responding

zero response (lowest stakes) “Many teachers require some low stakes writing that they don’t even read. Students can appreciate and benefit from the freedom of this private writing.

*Conclusion: Concrete Suggestions

“For high stakes assignments, it can be very helpful to require a draft a week or more before the final version. Teachers handle drafts in a wide variety of ways depending on their circumstances and styles.” This has been a good way to see what students sugggestions of starting their writing and to better their writing as well.

The Erasure of the Sentence by Robert Connor

*Christensen Rhetoric

“A Generative Rhetoric of sentence.” The last piece this reading in this article and in the works published up to his death in 1970, Christensen described a new way viewing sentences and a pedogoical method that could be used to teach students how to write longer, more mature, more varied and interesting sentences.

Process is not a Product: Bad ideas about Writing

This weeks readings touches bases with “Teach writing as a Process not a product” and “Bad Ideas about Writing“. Starting with process is not a product it teaches a student how to be a writer and to have their own unique, creative way with writing. Taking a side note: “How would I begin my students to start writing in the classroom?” Every language-arts or English teacher teaches a student structure. The students must grasp their own thoughts of writing regarding to this is a process not a product quoting from pg.4 “The process itself can be divided into there stages: prewriting, writing, and rewriting. The amount of time a writer spends in each stage depends on his personality, his work habits, his maturity as a craftsman and the challenge of what he is trying to say.”

Beginning as a writer, every writer has to begin to start somewhere with expressing their thoughts and opinions on paper. Another question comes to mind “How can you build your own creative way of writing?”. “To be a teacher of a process such as this takes qualities too few of us have, but most of us can develop. We have to be quiet, to listen, to respond.” We must respect our student for his potential voice. We are coaches, encourages, developers, creators of environments in which our students can experience the writing process for themselves.” Being in the education system as educators have to push the students to do their best when it comes to writing feeling free to see what the students are thinking and see how they process their way of thinking.

Following onto “Bad Ideas About Writing” there are four steps of this topic. but two where mainly in my focus Carillo, speaks on children that can’t read majority of students really can’t comprehend their work other than now-a-days students would rather tweet, text or play on their technology devices. AS a substitute teacher being in the classroom teachers would rather have student be put on a laptop rather than going over work probably that the student needs help in. Since I was in school if a student needed assistance they would ask the teacher but also there was a Human Resource teacher they’ve been a big help to the school systems. A human resource teachers is a certified educator that consentrates on helping children with physical or educational learning problems to develop their reading and writing skills.

Carr, “Failure is not an optionin any way of education I was taught this as a child, as my parents being educators in the school system my parents taught me to “Never give up” or “There’s always ways to do things another way.” When it came to writing it felt good to write what you wanted or beginning a writing assignment with ” What would you like to be when you grow up.” or “Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years.” Giving a students a head start to have access to writing but in most cases some students lack laziness. Growing up in the school systems as the reading as “No child left behind”. No child should be left behind in any way education is key to help succeed the students get extra help.

The Role of Revising in Writing & Remix/ Creativity

When it comes to writing a paper do you revise your paper yourself, or would you rather have someone revise your work? Personally, when it comes to my writings I like to revise my work myself then have someone revise it to receive feedback on my work from another persons point of view.

Reading “The Role of Revising in Writing & Remix/ Creativity” by Nancy Soomers

Sommers, talks about student writers and adult writers. Bringing two representatives of writings first Gordon Rohman he speaks about prewriting to writing to rewriting and second James Britton bases theory of writing call (following Jakoboson). Personally speaking being a student in the classroom we’re taught to always brainstorm write down everything your thinking of on paper which ties into prewriting to writing to rewriting. As Britton theory of writing were also taught to learn how to structure a paper.

Reading the “Five parts of discourse

* Inventio- Discovering

*Dispositio- Organization

*Elocutio- Expressing speech

*Memoria- arguments of a discourse

*Pronuntiatio- the way in which a word is pronounced

These are the five steps to structuring and organzing how to begin your paper and revise it as well.

“Revision Strategies of Student Writers” The Stand Five Paragraph Essay Outline Format should be a go-to in the elementary level up unto high school this is teaching a student how to structure their writings with expressing how they feel. From writing, reviewing, redoing, marketing out, slashing and throwing out yet, every paper needs correction. Quoting from the text on pg. 380 “Most of the students I studied did not use the terms revision or rewriting” stated Sommers stating. Usually, just writing about what the assignment or topic is on without going back and checking their work based on a college level.

Although for experienced writers they use revising to push their argument of what they’re writing about stating on pg.384 “One writer explained,”I have learned from experience that I need to keep writing a first draft untilI figure out what I want to say. Then in a second draft, I begin to see the structure of an argument and how all the various sub-arguments which are buried beneath the surface of all those sentences are related.”

Rhetoric & Composition: Othering & Belonging

rhet·o·ric/ˈredərik/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

com·po·si·tion/ˌkämpəˈziSH(ə)n/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1.  the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.
  2. a work of music, literature, or art.

When it comes to writing I write freely, as a student in the classroom usually when a teacher or a professor has given an assignment for writing I usually give myself questions just to give myself a head start of what I’m going to be writing about or what’s the subject/ topic is on.

Growing up in grammar school to high school ongoing to college I’ve always started jotting notes putting my ideas on paper. Far as being in a English course there’s always structure when it comes to writing a paper for an assignment. Starting off you should want to bring your reader in. Beginning your paper there should be a Hook ( Thesis Statement) clarifying what your purpose is on about the topic.

Reading “Rhetoric & Composition” there different forms of writing but there were 3 major topic’s of writings that I was interested in pointing out by Lauer.

  • Style, Voice, Ethos and Affect pg. 116
  • The concept of voice has also been a staple of composition instruction over the years, although several meanings of term voice have circulated. In the 1960s, new theories were postulated by scholars like Roman and Wlecke, who suggested that students could self-actualization, their authentic voices, by using the journal meditation, and analogy. Walker Gibson demonstrated how every writers choices (of words, sentences, structures, and other features) create a personality or voice, condemning the artificial language in academic writing he called “English.”

From personal experience doing self-actualization, having an authentic voice and also using journal mediation and analogy has helped me all in one expressing myself through blogging and first started journaling made me love the studying of writing. Having a voice is very important letting people know and identity who you are as an individual through your writings.

  • Responding to Revising, and Evaluating Texts
  • “In contrast to the practice of giving students a single grade on a finished paper scholars began to argue for alternative ways to respond.”

I remember in high school my English teacher would give students argumentative papers just to see what’s the students point of view and what’s their purpose of standing with the argument or coming against it sometimes I would struggle because I wasn’t always good at these papers.