Friday, April 8, 2011

Reassessing Developmental Writing


Re-Assessing Developmental WritingI really enjoy teaching lower level English classes at the college level. Doing so forces me to reassess how I explain the basics of grammar, sentence structure, analysis, argumentation, etc., as well as constantly change my pattern of teaching, especially because at the lower levels of English and writing classes, you're likely to have a broader spectrum of students.
This morning I was reading "Remedial Levels," in which the blogger made the following point: 
"This week I saw a webinar by Complete College America...that suggested a 'co-requisite' strategy for developmental. In other words, it suggested having students take developmental English alongside English 101, and using the developmental class to address issues in 101 as they arise. It would require reconceiving the developmental classes as something close to self-paced troubleshooting, but that may not be a bad thing. At least that way students will perceive a need for the materials as they encounter it. It's much easier to get student buy-in when the problem to solve is immediate. In a sense, it's a variation of the 'immersion' approach to learning a language. You don't learn a language by studying it in small chunks for a few hours a week. You learn a language by swimming in it. If the students need to learn math, let them swim in it; whey they have what they need, let them get out of the pool."
I haven't thought through yet all the implications and problems, but I thought it was an extremely intriguing possibility.

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