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ERIC Number: ED162346
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Oct-21
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
English, an Endangered Species? What Can We Do to Safeguard It?
McPherson, Elizabeth
If English teachers are an endangered species, as is sometimes said, they must attempt to survive by adapting to a changing environment and explaining their work to the public. Community college teachers should teach critical reading skills by starting with materials relevant to students' lives, should teach writing by stressing conceptual skills before technical skills, and should provide students with information-and act on it themselves-about the nature of language and dialects and about emotional biases toward certain language choices. English teachers should also work to counter the current tendencies to regard English as a "tool subject" and education as a business, and to mandate competency testing programs. They should familiarize themselves and the public with the findings of an investigation of declining Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, which suggest that the causes and potential solutions are complex and which fail to provide support for a back-to-basics movement; and they should work hard interpreting what tests measure and what they mean. English teachers should speak out in letters to Congressional representatives and news media and in public meetings. Humane English teaching and equal educational opportunities are indeed endangered, and English teachers should fight to protect them. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Keynote address presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeast Regional Conference on the Two-Year College (12th, Buffalo, New York, October 21, 1977)