ERIC Number: ED326885
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Discourse Communities through Active Inquiry.
At Massachusetts Bay Community College a course was designed to create a transition from the process-based basic writing course to the traditional required freshman English course. WTG 100 was designed as an inquiry into academic writing, where students would learn about the various discourse conventions and expectations they would encounter as students. The educators also wanted to build students' awareness of a variety of discourse communities outside academia and empower them to know that their personal forms of discourse were as valid as others. By putting students in the role of researcher, educators hope to bring students' knowledge and identities to the forefront of the course. The primary goals of the course are to recognize the existence of various forms of academic discourse and personal discourse and analyze and understand how and when to use each. The course requires students to write six essays exploring various uses of language. Students also keep journals where they respond to required and personally chosen reading and analyze what they have learned about their own writing processes and use of language. By predicating the course on the idea of many discourse communities fraught with contradictions, the educators hoped to create initial, as opposed to resultant, confusion which would change by the end of the semester to acceptance, if not complete understanding. (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Massachusetts Bay Community College; Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (80th, Atlanta, GA, November 16-21, 1990).