ERIC Number: ED210922
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Talking on Paper? An Antidote.
Jeske, Doreen Pat
A technique to help English as a second language students master the basic elements of expository prose is considered in terms of course objectives and the types of assignments used to accomplish them. A characteristic of many highly verbal students entering a college program is their propensity to "talk on paper" in an informal, ungrammatical, disorganized fashion. To prevent the students from reinforcing their own patterns of errors, a tightly structured approach using model essays incorporating definite grammatical constructions is used. The technique focuses on a limited but correct set of sentence structures, accurate punctuation, use of transition words, and the ability to use organizational patterns. Examples are presented of combining simple sentences into complex ones and of how time clauses beginning with such subordinates as "when", and "before", can begin or end a sentence. The assignments concentrate on using a particular sentence structure in essays with student-chosen topics. As students write essays following models, the mistakes that they make in other constructions appear and become a second component of instruction. In addition, the choice of topics not only forces the fluent use of many complex structures but also incorporates repeated experience in using the basic rhetorical patterns and their related structural vocabularies which are necessary for competent college-level writing. By the end of the course, five ways of organizing a paragraph have been practiced, and the art of developing supporting ideas has been taught. (Author/SW)
Descriptors: College Second Language Programs, College Students, Course Objectives, English (Second Language), Essays, Expository Writing, Grammar, Higher Education, Paragraph Composition, Punctuation, Sentence Combining, Sentence Structure, Student Writing Models, Teaching Methods, Writing (Composition), Writing Instruction, Writing Skills, Written Language
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the CATESOL Conference (Monterey, CA, 1981). In its CATESOL Occasional Papers, Number 7, p84-93, 1981.