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ERIC Number: ED015185
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
LET'S TEACH COMPOSITION--IMPRACTICALLY.
PICHE, GENE L.
AS ENGLISH EMERGED AS A RELATIVELY IMPORTANT SCHOOL SUBJECT IN THE POST-CIVIL WAR ERA, IT ALSO UNDERWENT A DEBILITATION IN CONTENT, PARTICULARLY AS IT BECAME MORE AND MORE IDENTIFIED WITH WRITTEN COMPOSITION. BEHIND THIS DECLINE WAS THE IMPOSITION OF PRACTICALITY AS THE RATIONALE FOR THE EMPHASIS GIVEN ENGLISH, THAT IS, THE UTILITARIAN NECESSITY TO SHOW IMMEDIATELY MEASURABLE IMPROVEMENT IN STUDENTS' WRITING SKILLS, PARTICULARLY IN TERMS OF A NARROWLY DEFINED FORMAL CORRECTNESS. A MORE EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE MIGHT BE TO TAKE THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE LINGUIST--THAT THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE IS HUMANE AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN ITS IMMEDIATE UTILITY IN IMPROVING SKILL--AND INSIST ON THE HUMAN MEANINGS OF THE PROBLEMS OF CHOICE AND ADDRESS THAT WE FACE AS WRITERS AND SPEAKERS. THUS, COMPOSITION MIGHT BECOME AN IMPORTANT PART OF A GENERAL AND SEQUENTIAL STUDY OF LANGUAGE WITH A BROADER PERSPECTIVE THAN NARROWLY DEFINED "IMPROVEMENT." CONCEPTS WHICH MIGHT THEN BECOME THE CORE OF A SEQUENTIAL CURRICULUM WOULD INCLUDE (1) LANGUAGE ORIGIN AND ACQUISITION, (2) THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF CULTURE AND LANGUAGE, PARTICULARLY THE MANNER IN WHICH THE STRUCTURE OF LANGUAGE INFLUENCES OUR PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORLD, (3) "COMMUNICATION" AS A PROCESS VIEWED FROM THE PERSPECTIVES OF THE SEMANTICIST, PSYCHOLOGIST, SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST, AND LITERARY CRITIC, AND LEADING TO THE STUDY OF (4) PROSE STYLE, WITH A SELF-AWARENESS, ON THE STUDENTS' PART, OF LANGUAGE AND THE RANGE OF BOTH CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCE IN USING IT. THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN "MINNESOTA ENGLISH," VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY 1967. (DL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Council of Teachers of English.
Identifiers: N/A