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Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Vol. 26, No. 3, March 1999

Cover Art for Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Vol. 26, No. 3, March 1999

Table of Contents

  • Views from the Underside: Proficiency Portfolios in First-Year Composition

    Alexis Nelson

    Abstract: Shares freshman-composition students' stories about portfolio assessment (interviewing students at length three times during the semester), to examine ways students understand portfolios, how portfolios work, and why sometimes they do not. Suggests concerns relevant to implementing department-wide competency portfolios. Argues that community colleges may be better situated than large universities to reap the benefits of portfolios.

    Keywords: Assessment, Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • Deconstruction in the Composition Classroom

    Jean Reynolds

    Abstract: Argues that postmodern language theory offers useful insights into long-standing writing problems encountered by writing instructors. Discusses a postmodern view of language, how language shapes reality, the contributions of Jacques Derrida, and deconstruction and composition. Applies these ideas to two pedagogical ideologies, and suggests some innovative classroom practices.

    Keywords: Language, Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • Publishing Group Projects: Decentering the Writing Classroom

    Kevin Alexander Boon

    Abstract: Describes a project for composition classes in which groups of five to six students conceive, write, design, print, and bind a book of their writings. Discusses methodology, defining form and content of the books, offering guidance, use of in-class time, evaluation, grading, and the results. Notes that the quality of student writing dramatically improved.

    Keywords: Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • Directive versus Facilitative Commentary

    D. R. Ransdell

    Abstract: Examines students' responses and comments on facilitative (helping the student rethink a paper analytically) versus directive commentary (teacher suggestions made in an authoritative manner). Argues that directive commentary has several legitimate uses and that its judicious use can coax students into writing stronger text.

    Keywords: Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • The Need to Understand ESL Students' Native Language Writing Experiences

    Yu Ren Dong

    Abstract: Investigates English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students' native literacy-learning experiences, via written learning autobiographies of 26 students from at least eight different countries. Discusses writing instruction in students' native languages; most satisfying writing assessment in their native languages; and differences between writing in their native language and English. Draws five conclusions for ESL instruction.

    Keywords: Diversity, Literacy, Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • INSTRUCTIONAL NOTE ยท Up Close and Personal: A Real-World Audience Awareness Assignment

    Shelley M. Ellis

    Abstract: Describes an assignment for a sophomore-level technical-writing course which teaches students to respond to different audiences with different needs by having them analyze and then respond to actual complaint letters (on the same topic but from two very different people). Includes successful and unsuccessful responses generated by the students.

    Keywords: Writing, College

  • "Fare from the Madding Crowd": The Lighter Side of Error in Student Writing

    Gary Vaughn and Barbara Wenner

    Abstract: Discusses two intriguing ways of explaining error in student writing--the work of Michel Foucault and the work of Roland Barthes. Describes in-class activities and essay assignments that use these perspectives to help students to reach improved understanding of error in writing.

    Keywords: Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • White Students' Resistance to Multicultural Literature: Breaking the Sullen Silence

    Constance M. Ruzich

    Abstract: Describes a writing assignment in which students study and imitate the language of a minority author. Discusses how the assignment helps negotiate conflicts when students resist multicultural literature, as their creative responses mediate between themselves and works they might otherwise find foreign and antagonistic.

    Keywords: Diversity, Literature, Pedagogy, Writing, College

  • Twists, Turns, and Returns: Returning Adult Students

    Libby Bay

    Abstract: Reports results of a study of adult students over the age of 24 at one community college in New York State. Explores (1) the reasons the mature person takes a life-step once confined to the young; (2) the difficulties and satisfactions they experience; and (3) what colleges can do to respond to their needs.

    Keywords: Research, College

  • WHAT WORKS FOR ME: An Assignment on the Job Market

    Abstract: Offers seven brief descriptions of class projects and assignments used successfully in writing classes of all sorts, from first-year composition classes to business communication to computerized writing labs.

    Keywords: Writing, College

  • EDITORIAL: On Publishing III-The Little Things

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: College

  • While Reading TETYC over Morning Coffee

    Laurie A. Dashnau

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: College


    Judith Angona; Merry G. Perry; Candace Spigelman

    Abstract: Reviews three books: Time to Know Them: A Longitudinal Study of Writing and Learning at the College Level, by Marilyn S. Sternglass; Feminism and Composition Studies: In Other Words, ed. by Susan C. Jarratt and Lynn Worsham; The Performance of Self in Student Writing, by Thomas Newkirk.

    Keywords: College

* 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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