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ERIC Number: ED346489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Western Essayist Literacy"--A Way of Teaching.
Ybarra, Raul
College students, when writing essays in writing courses, are generally called upon to show that they have an ability to organize the essay according to an established pattern which includes an introduction, the body of the text, and a conclusion. This pattern of discourse, called "Essayist Literacy," is most favored by mainstream society. However, enlisting students to learn and use the language of mainstream academia is obviously not all there is to learning how to write well. Writing instructors must look beyond what they teach to how they teach it. To examine how writing teachers teach and the effects of that teaching on students, a study was conducted by observing one basic writing course for an entire semester, audiotaping all class sessions, and taping conversations with the students and instructor as well as conferences. The discourse patterns of the essayist literacy style dominated the class both in written and oral communication. This discourse pattern is not limited to composition courses, but pervades the college and virtually all social groups. Composition textbooks and handbooks also strongly hold to these patterns. Writing instructors must look at this model of discourse carefully in terms of its implications for the classroom. Clearly, the farther a student's culture is from the mainstream culture, the more problems that student will have when it come to doing well in schools based on the essayist literacy pattern. (Eighteen references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A