Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reflections on the Chat with Amie Wolf (3)

To continue my former topic, I would like to explore further Amie’s talk and share more what I’ve thought about regarding to it.

Back to the old issue of whom basic writers are. Objectively speaking, basic writers are those whose writing lies in the basic level, which means that to grasp the fundamental factors of writing should be the main task for them, including appropriate formats, grammatical correctness, clear expressions, etc. As I mentioned above, that’s ONLY the OBJECTIVE and PROFESSIONAL measurement of basic writers, and also that’s just something showed up on the SURFACE, so what’s the SUBJECTIVE measurement of basic writers and what’s the value and significance of looking into this measurement? Meanwhile what’s HIDING underneath this surface and what would this finding help?

The SUBJECTIVE measurement is usually held by teachers, tutors and the people concerned. That’s something either the attitude or the judgement in these people’s mind towards basic writers, as well as how they think whom basic writers are. To me, rather than classify them into the category of the “not smart”, the “not intelligent”, even the “stupid”, I prefer to hold the opinion that they are students of the same kind who have devoted less time, energy, concentration and work on the soil of writing, which might be caused by either a sense of frustration writing once brought to them or lost of interests or indifference in writing itself. If we could think this way, my belief is that the problems we see in these students may turn out to be much easier to handle, and the burden we put on our shoulders of conducting a big project of transforming their thinking and writing ways will be alleviated, for that the students indeed in themselves have the talent and competence of writing well, the treasures have already been stored in them, thus they actually hold tremendous potentialities ready to break out ONLY IF there’s some sort of sparkle to light it up! We teachers ARE the sparkles!

As a result, a most important mission for teachers to accomplish besides giving instructions and guidance is, working on as stoneworkers polishing the rough surface of these seemingly ordinary-looking “stones” so as to let the UNIQUE brilliance in each of them SHINE OUT by firstly building up their confidence through finding out their intelligence and then showing our recognition, secondly drawing their attention and attracting their interests into writing by stirring up their willingness and eagerness to write after the training of letting them write down whatever happened and is happening in their real lives and whatever they want to express out to the outside world, finally they will realize that writing is really a true-fun, it’s an awesome medium to communicate with the rest of the world, and it can also be the most intimate friend of themselves—it’s no longer a headache boring and terrifying them! The students are becoming much more willing to improve their writing ACTIVELY and AUTONOMICALLY! At the very last, you’ll see all your goals and expectations beautifully achieved and fulfilled!

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