ERIC Number: ED351681
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Making a Living, Making a Life: English and Business.
Murphy, Thomas P.
The question of whether the study of English is good preparation for business distracts attention from the more critical question of whether business is a good place to continue to study English. Three projects undertaken by a Ph.D. in Old and Middle English working for a freight railroad suggest that there are possibilities. As part of his job, he worked on a corporate history, read and studied in the field of labor dispute resolution, spent time on the railroad translating labor agreements into logical propositions and learning about how "natural language interfaces" worked. The critical step was to realize that he was not simply considering the language of labor agreements, but that he was studying linguistics and how language works. In an effective classroom, students see how the interaction of experience and literature allows them to grow in their understanding of both literature and experience. The first step is for English teachers to drop their defensive posture and be clear about what they have to offer. The study of literature has always helped people understand the larger context. An experience with literature supplies students with experience in and models for understanding their actions in a context larger than themselves. English classes should be equipping students to make jobs fit what they see as valuable. The first step is to give them experience at seeing the power of context. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Professional Concerns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (23rd, Pittsburgh, PA, March 27-29, 1992).