ERIC Number: ED283214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Archaic Concepts: Cloakrooms, Wraps and Compositions.
Small, Donald D.
Many of the concepts that English teachers traditionally deal with are too "fussy" and inappropriate for the kinds of children who currently fill American schools. These minority students and latchkey kids find the archaic vocabulary and concern over grammatical niceties baffling--to them teachers are like "Doily People," people who are so nice they spread doilies before making love. Doily People diagram sentences, think there are more than two tenses in English, tell students "this is he" is always correct, and use words like "tardy" and "composition." In the world of students (the real world) no one really says "tardy" and no one ever has to write a "theme" or a "composition." Teachers should not make fun of the writing of government agencies when they themselves teach writing from antiquated handbooks that recommend equally stuffy vocabulary. Teachers should instead concentrate on the writing of commerce to teach students to write. Examples are advertising copy, journals, letters of different types, job descriptions, articles, minutes, technical manuals, and abstracts. Knowing how to write these kinds of documents is vital to success in almost any profession, and modern teachers of English would do well to stress these skills. (SKC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (76th, San Antonio, TX, November 21-26, 1986).