Friday, February 16, 2007

"Second, both Bruffee and Farrel explicitly look for teaching methods aimed at reducing the feeling of 'anxiety' or 'psychic strain' accompanying the process of acculturation."(p142 LE)
To my opinion, I think this orientation toward this direction is really a good teaching method and will surely see the relative effects if we continue to stick on this guideline of reducing the feeling of " anxiety" and "psychic strain".In the relaxed and anxiety-free or low psychic strain conditions, students tend to be with higher spirit to think and write and they must become more creative in what they want to write and in the way they convey their ideas.

In most circumstance,the same for teaching, when we can provide and make a very relaxed atmosphere and environment, it can be an advantageous factor objectively, and in this way it can consequently bring about the good and positive results subjectively to the students themselves!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Unity & Diversity

I just want to say something about I heard from one of our classmates in class--He mentioned the subjunctive feature of punctuations.

I agree that although we have a fixed,unified way of using punctuations, and we are all used to obey these rules and principles--that's a good thing and we need to know and obey them. However sometimes or in some not formal situations I think that we can just feel free to use whatever punctutions we like to express ourselves--a lot of times it is really important to use our self-invented punctuations--full of our own personality and kind of special feeling--that just can not be conveyed by the normal standard punctuation, and at the same time we can make the writings more diversified!

That's the reason why I think he said punctuation is sometimes subjunctive rather than objective.So probably once a while we need to both write our own punctuations and understand others in this kind of sunbjunctive way!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Several Little Thoughts

After this Monday's class,I fell into kind of meditation about what exactly graduate classes look like and what actually American way of study should be,then I suddenly realized that since I have already been in America and been a member of the graduate class,I should let my ways of thinking and expressing be more likely to the ways of Americans--that is ,feel free to express one's own thoughts and opinions no matter what they are--which is indeed good to learn for a Chinese student, I, who once is too shy to do.

After the class I reread the books carefully and this time I found myself something eager to say about what I have read.

Nothing, it seemed, short of a miracle was going to turn such students into writers. Not uncommonly, teachers announced to their supervisors (or even their students) after only a week of class that everyone was probably going to fail. It comes from page three in Errors &Expectations. These sentences throwed me into somewhere else I read before:You are not what you look like at present, but are what others think you can be and should be.To my opinion, the students came from various academic backgrounds surely had a countless number of problems and errors in their writings,but that was common and natural-- some just had very little or poor education in the previous years of their lives. As teachers, since they had to face these kinds of students, their obligation and responsibility was to firstly find out what the students' problems or common errors were and then try their utmost to help them improve step by step, little by little. Among this long process, the most important guideline lied in that teachers must first of all have a strong sense of confidence in their students,secondly encourage them to build up the same strong sense of confidence in themselves--they can improve, they can write well or even excellently! How can teachers make this? My advice is that they can achieve it simply through thinking that all students are good at writing after a process of proper training and instruction, through telling them that they are making a progress, and also through trusting their ability and encouraging them all the time! Then you will see one day they will become the good writers that you for a long time thought they would become someday!!
Isn't it the happiest thing in your life that because of your optimistic attitude toward the seemingly helpless students and also your constant efforts, you finally turn them into the shining gold?
work cited
Shaughnessy, Mina P. Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing. New York: Oxford UP, 1977.