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Mid-term Reflection

Mid-term Reflection

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Published by Nichole Buchanan

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Published by: Nichole Buchanan on Dec 07, 2010
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Buchanan 1 Nichole BuchananProfessor Jan RiemanEnglish 1103October 26, 2010English 1103: Past, Present and FutureSo far through the course of our English class, we have written an assortment of  papers as well as participated in forum posts and kept a daybook of our daily classwritings. This class has been such a huge change from the average English classes thatI’ve been used to for years. In high school we were trained to write strict, structured papers and to pretty much throw creativity out the window. Our papers were vandalizedwith that dreadful red pen. Teachers told us formal writing will prepare us for CollegeEnglish, where according to them this was the only way of writing that was accepted inthe college community. After years of past teachers taunting me about what to expect incollege, I was more than nervous about beginning this class. I knew there was going to bea lot of work ahead of me, but to my surprise this class has been nothing that I expected.Yes, this class does demand a lot of writing, as this is a writing course, and it involvesquite a lot of commitment, but it has been a big relief compared to what I was warned inhigh school about.From the first day of class I knew this would be unlike any other English class Iwas accustomed to. I immediately felt a sigh of relief when I understood what our expectations and goals as a class were. As a class we created our own unique ClassroomCulture document. This document states what our class agrees is the perfect learningenvironment to fulfill our class objectives. We agreed to participate in class, think outside
 
Buchanan 2of our comfort zones, to be open-minded, ambitious, and so on. I feel that creating thisdocument enabled us as a class to come to an agreement on what we expect from oneanother. So far, I have really appreciated Dr. Rieman’s teaching approach of guiding usthrough our reading and writing processes and helping us learn to improve them insteadof scolding us for not immediately writing at a scholarly level. Writing is a learning process and only improves with practice over time. Throughout this course we are notonly expected to become aware of our individual writing, reading and thinking methods, but to also experiment with using different strategies.To me, this course has been a way to break free from the strict, tasteless writing Ihave been required to write for years. Dr. Rieman has opened the doors for creativity andexploration to us. I have come a long way in these short 7 weeks since the first day of class and realized there is more to reading and writing than just words on paper, or on acomputer screen as I should say, since technology has taken over and has enabled us togain literacy through a variety of components. This, I realized through a Writing toExplore prompt I answered as I sat at a coffee shop and observed people using all sorts of reading and writing mechanisms. Writing to Explore are weekly assignments we areresponsible for, in which their purpose is to encourage us to explore different ways of writing and step outside the boundaries of how we usually write. I would have to say,these weekly assignments have definitely helped me practice my writing skills as I havenoticed gradual improvement. They have also helped me brainstorm questions I wouldlike to explore for my upcoming inquiry paper.So far in this course, we have read several articles written by and intended for academic scholars. These texts were not written for a freshman in college to understand,
 
Buchanan 3so they were fairly challenging to read. At times I would have to read the text more thanonce to understand it. After reading a few of these, though I still struggle a tad, I think Ihave definitely improved my comprehension of these types text. Through reading thesearticles and essays, I have gained a different outlook on literacy. Literacy is not justreading and writing, but also the knowledge and skill we possess in a certain communitysuch as computer literacy, biology literacy, or health literacy. I have also learned thatreaders typically tend to trust that whatever they are reading is error free just because ithas been published, when really this is not always true. Several grammar errors are made,even by those who study grammar. I have also read about and come to agree with thetheory of “intertextuality”. Intertextuality means that there is not a sole author of a text.All text are intertwined and influenced by one another. These readings are also meant toinspire us to come up with topics that interest us in the literacy field and to further research them for our inquiry paper.After much brainstorming and trying to come up with a unique topic, I decided tostick to a simpler question to conduct research on. What is the connection betweenwriting and reading? After doing a little research, I have actually decided to alter mytopic. I found that a lot of the articles I was finding had a lot to do with the reading andwriting connection and how it has assisted in the process of teaching English as a foreignlanguage. I found much interest in this topic after skimming through a study done atYang-Ming University in Taiwan. I’ve always been fascinated with foreign language andhow it is taught and learned. I myself, only speak English. In high school I studied Frenchand to me it was such a challenge. There are so many verb forms to have to memorizeand I just couldn’t understand how French speakers remembered everything. I thought

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