ERIC Number: ED381803
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Let the Writing Speak for Itself: Assessing the Composing Skills of Inner-City African American Students.
Try as she would, one instructor of preservice teachers could not convince her students that such skills as reading and vocabulary are not good indicators of how well a secondary student will write, especially in the case of minorities. One of the hardest sells to new teachers is that students--at all levels--should write extensively, regardless of their poor grammatical constructions, glaring spelling errors, etc. When these beginning English educators enter the classroom and observe students' struggling, error-laden prose, they immediately want to apply remedial fixes and grammar lessons, and skills sheets which they are convinced are necessary, "until these non-writers gain some facility with the language they are using." In an attempt to bring her students around, this educator shared with her students the results of writing tests administered to students of all abilities in three different states. Those results showed, to the surprise of the preservice teachers, that even students with low skill test scores in grammar and vocabulary can score quite high in writing. Other research supports the conclusion that minorities often do much better on essay exams than on multiple choice tests, contrary to popular belief. (Contains two tables and seven references as well as figures containing student essays.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans; Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (83rd, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17-23, 1993).