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ERIC Number: ED138983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
English--or What?
Gerber, John C.
All English teachers share an occasional uneasiness about whether English really matters. Three major sources for this uneasiness are: (1) English teachers are uncertain about their basic purpose. Historically, the emphasis in the English profession has shifted from sharing the best that has been thought and said, to literary history, to rigorous literary analysis, to the function and relevance of the literary work. (2) English teachers are uncertain about the parameters of their subject matter. (3) English teachers are uncertain whether English is essential to the life of our time. In fact, the English profession does have a unique and essential service to offer: training students to read, for pleasure and stimulation as well as understanding, and to write every type of written discourse. English subject matter should be everything in writing that is the product of the verbal imagination, and teachers must be flexible enough to suit the material to the students and to build bridges between popular works and traditionally admired works. The undergraduate program should focus on training students in the arts of reading and writing; graduate programs should stress the acquisition of skills for future occupations, rather than subject matter; and, increasingly, the obligation of the profession should extend to adults throughout society who seek intellectual stimulation. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the 1976 Modern Language Association