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English Journal, Vol. 91, No. 2, November 2001

Cover Art for English Journal, Vol. 91, No. 2, November 2001

Table of Contents

  • Beyond Filling Out Forms: A More Powerful Version of Workplace Literacy

    Jacqueline Darvin

    Abstract: In this article, Jacqueline Darvin shares her observations of her students--self-proclaimed poor readers--reading highly technical professional texts, and writing articulate journal entries. She also provided ideas for creating a more powerful vocational English curriculum by integrating creative writing assignments with the reading of informational texts.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Literacy, Pedagogy, Standards, Professional Development

  • Weaving Workplace Writing into the English Classroom

    Bruce Robbins

    Abstract: In many school districts and states, there is a trend towards addressing workplace literacy within the English class, but how can that be done in an already overcrowded curriculum? Rather than reducing traditional curriculum to make room for workplace training, Robbins suggests ways to use the functions of workplace documents--such as memos, status reports, and newsletters--to support work routinely done in the classroom.

    Keywords: Secondary, Assessment, Pedagogy, Writing

  • The Missing Link between School and Work: Knowing the Demands of the Workplace

    Judith Cape Craig

    Abstract: In this teacher research project, Craig helps you to answer your students when they ask, "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" Here she reports on the results of a survey that asked workers at various skill levels about the type and quantity of reading and writing in the workplace, as well as details related to quality standards. The results underscore the importance of many things currently taught in the English classroom, and suggest steps to take to strengthen the connection between school and work.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Prewriting, Planning, and Professional Communication

    Elizabeth Blackburn-Brockman

    Abstract: Students may have an oversimplified notion of what it means to prewrite, suggests the author, and they could grow by analyzing and experimenting with alternative forms of prewriting exercises. Citing a case study by Jack Selzer, in which he observes a professional writer who did not write drafts, Blackburn-Brockman reminds us that research, interviews, related reading, and content grouping, are all valuable prewriting activities, and she suggests how this professional writer's tasks might translate into classroom activities.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Assessment, Pedagogy, Writing

  • Telling the Tale: Sharing Elie Wiesel's Night with Middle School Readers

    Alexander A. Hernandez

    Abstract: The job of teachers, explains Hernandez, is to impart lessons from the past to the next generation. Here he explains how he uses Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel's autobiography, Night, in a nine-week unit on tolerance and prejudice, and relates how his tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau personalized his classroom instruction and affected his students' responses to the concept of bearing witness and to Weisel's autobiography.

    Keywords: Secondary, Diversity, Literature, Pedagogy, Writing, Reading

  • How Comic Books Can Change the Way Our Students See Literature: One Teacher's Perspective

    Rocco Versaci

    Abstract: A delicate balance exists between passing on our literary judgments and encouraging students to develop theirs, says Versaci, and the challenge begins in the middle and high school classroom, where teachers must present literature at once in a way that interests students and teaches them to evaluate literature. One way to do this, he suggests, is to use comic books. In this article he details the many merits of using comics and graphic novels in the classroom, suggests how they can be integrated into historical and social issues units, and recommends several titles.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • "Challenge Us; I Think We're Ready": Establishing a Multicultural Course of Study

    Nancy W. Robinson

    Abstract: When changing standards forced the faculty of a predominantly white, white-collar secondary school in suburban Philadelphia to address multicultural education to include more minority writers, the teachers were up to the task. Here, Robinson outlines the multicultural literature program, which includes an author lecture series. She describes the progress thus far and the plans for the future, noting that taking a global perspective of literature provides students with a complete picture of the real world.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Language: A Pernicious and Powerful Tool

    Jessica Parker

    Abstract: Two principles guide Parker's teaching: first is the belief that curriculum should connect with life, and second, is that she has an obligation to promote tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality. An important aspect of this is revealing to her students her own sexual orientation. In this article, she explains why she exposes her personal life, and describes how she creates a dialogue with her students about homosexuality, beginning with how the word "gay" is used in everyday language, specifically as a term to belittle peers. She also explains how infuses gay and lesbian literature with studies of canonical literature.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Grammar without Grammar: Just Playing Around, Writing

    Deborah Dean

    Abstract: Bored and discouraged by workbook style grammar instruction, Dean took example from the past and implemented sentence imitation in her classroom. In this article, she explains how she uses passages from literature for grammatical patterns and allows her students to apply their creativity in writing sentences imitating the same form. The method has many benefits, says Dean. Students get to practice grammatical structure without being weighed down by grammatical terminology, and they gain an understanding of how to look at what they read as a model for what they want to say.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Lighting the Flame: Teaching High School Students to Love, Not Loathe, Literature

    Michael Milburn

    Abstract: In this article, Milburn takes a critical view of a recent article appearing in Harper's magazine, in which the author condemns English teachers and the materials they teach as the reason students learn to loathe literature. On the contrary, says Milburn: every day kids show us how to help them love literature; all we have to do is listen.

    Keywords: Middle, Secondary, Assessment, Literature, Pedagogy, Professional Development

  • An Attitude Adjustment: How I Reached My Reluctant Readers

    Kimberly Gutchewsky

    Abstract: Gutchewsky tells how she incorporated researched approaches to reading in her classroom

    Keywords: Secondary, Literature, Pedagogy, Research, Reading

  • From the Editor

    Virginia R. Monseau

    Abstract: The editor shares her experience of finding a school newspaper from 1979. An article written by former student inspires her to reflect on the personal connections she's made with her students throughout the years.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • EJ Extra: A Visit from Dewey Neill

    Gregory Shafer

    Abstract: In this narrative, a teacher argues with a new student who won't take a state-mandated exam… or does she?

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Speaking My Mind: The Problems with Feel-Good Education

    Andrew Reiner

    Abstract: Teaching students-feel good curriculum that nurtures their self-esteem, says Reiner, has been done to the detriment of self-respect and confidence that they deserve. It has denied them of a sense of responsibility for their own grades and behaviors and has prompted them to seek quick fixes and easy answers.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • From the Secondary Section: NCTE Secondary Section Activities

    Dave Wendelin, Chair

    Abstract: The Secondary Section Steering Committee remains focused on one of its major goals - secondary reading - and thus continues to sponsor reading workshops that invite secondary teachers to learn about and share experiences with the challenge of incorporating reading instruction into the secondary curriculum.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Cross Conversations

    Sherri A. Whiteman and Jay L. Gordon

    Abstract: In the Internet Age, the price of an 'A' is $9.95. Is there a solution to Internet Plagiarism? In this exchange of ideas, two teachers argue the possibilities.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Insights for Interns

    Christina Vanoverbeke and Judy Cavanaugh

    Abstract: Vanoverbeke, a pre-service teacher, wonders: How does a teacher strike a balance between not caring at all and caring so much about students that it affects health and well-being? Cavanaugh responds with advice and words of encouragement.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • FOR FUN: Same Name Fame Game

    Stephen Sniderman

    Abstract: Answers can be found in this issue at the end of "English in the News."

    Keywords: Secondary

  • English in the News

    Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens, editor

    Abstract: Recent news stories related to literacy, literature, and language arts.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Learning with Technology: An End to Intolerance: Exploring the Holocaust and Genocide

    Trevor Owen, editor, and Honey Kern

    Abstract: Kern writes about how preparing an online learning project about the Holocaust has informed her thinking about classroom-based teaching practices.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Poetry

    David Hassler, editor

    Abstract: Poems by Robert Fox and Bonnie Bishop.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Professional Links: The Power of Words: Teaching Writing, Vocabulary, and Literary Classics

    Connie S. Zitlow, editor

    Abstract: The three books reviewed in this column show ways that we as teachers can engage our students in learning more about what words can accomplish and what they convey in various kinds of writing.

    Keywords: Middle

  • Talk About Books: Fathers and Sons

    John Noell Moore, editor

    Abstract: This month's column explores the relationship between fathers and sons in My Old Man and the Sea, by Wallace Green, and Jim the Boy, by Tom Earley.

    Keywords: Secondary

  • Young Adult Literature: 2000 Honor List: A Hopeful Bunch

    Chris Crowe, editor

    Abstract: This month's column features the 2001 honor list of new YA books.

    Keywords: Secondary


    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Secondary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts