Blogging about teaching
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Hi everybody:

I teach writing to college freshmen, and I love my job. My students have never heard of a subject and a verb (or have vague memories from fifth grade), and have never thought about how language is constructed, how meaning is made, and what the role of language is in their lives. Everybody already knows how to speak English, right? They enjoy learning about the dread subject "grammar," which teachers are usually discouraged from even mentioning.

To remedy this situation, and save the world, I wrote an article, Beyond Grammar: Linguistics in the Writing Classroom which was published in this quarter's issue of the Duke University journal, Pedagogy, and began writing a blog to follow up with more short explanations and class exercises (http://www.linguisticsintheclassroom.com). It's doing pretty well -- people are reading it in Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Australia, Ghana, 47 countries.  I find that exciting, not so much for me, but for the world in general.  We can share knowledge so widely and so fast.

It would be interesting to know about the experiences of other people who are teaching English or other languages, and to share our solutions to the problem which I hear people griping about all the time -- that general writing competence is at a pretty low level.

My students are bright, ambitious, interesting, hard working, and generally lovable, but the strength of their ideas is squandered if they don't know how to express them.  

Anybody working in the same area?

Let's be friends

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