ERIC Number: ED424739
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
The Transforming Power of Critical Autobiographies.
Brisk, Maria Estela
The rationale for using critical autobiography projects in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) instruction is discussed, and procedures for implementation are outlined. Writing a critical autobiography involves the student's presenting a personal narrative while exploring external factors influencing his life. Critical experiences in life provide fertile starting points to motivate students to read, write, and learn, and helps language learners understand that problems associated with living in a new culture are the result of social factors rather than personal shortcomings. Four case studies illustrate how critical autobiographies can be used in different settings and the effects they can have on students, their parents, and teachers. The cases include: a reading teacher working individually with a first- grader; a bilingual fifth-grader working with the whole class, assisted by ESL and computer teachers; a sixth-grade bilingual teacher using critical autobiographies in Spanish language arts and social studies classes; and a high school ESL teacher working with a small group of students. Topics discussed include: literacy development through critical autobiographies; situational factors affecting bilingual learners; classroom techniques; and project outcomes. Contains 15 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Autobiographies, Bilingual Education, Case Studies, Classroom Techniques, Elementary Education, English (Second Language), Grade 1, Grade 5, Grade 6, Immigrants, Literacy Education, Personal Narratives, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Self Concept, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Writing Exercises
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (32nd, Seattle, WA, March 17-21, 1998).