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ERIC Number: ED154385
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Language Trap.
Millar, Bruce; Nystrand, Martin
The swinging of the educational pendulum in English-from a disillusionment with teaching grammar in the 1960s to the romance with "the basics" in the 1970s reveals the failure of English teachers to come to grips with languge and learning. This failure is due largely to a prevailing orientation toward the study of language as an object, rather than as a communicative process. An investigation of students' writing competence was conducted through assessing adult readers' ability to respond to clozed samples of the students' writing. The investigation began with an examination of the pieces of writing as objects and the development of an elaborate taxaonomy of textual errors; this approach proved inadequate and indefensible, however, and the investigators shifted to an analysis of the text as part of a communicative, interactional process with the reader. Basic distortions of the textual space between writer and reader were distinguished, and good written communicaton was defined and assessed as writing that relevant readers can understand. (A clozed student writing sample, adult responses to it, a portion of the "Taxonomy of Written Communicative Misconstraints," and the "Typology of Textual Space Distortions" are included.) (GW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Reproduced from best copy available