ERIC Number: EJ776464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Comment: A Comment on "What Should College English Be?"
College English, v70 n1 p89-93 Sep 2007
A symposium in the November 2006 issue of "College English" addresses the question, "What should college English be?" In this article, the author presents his answer to this question--it should be a functional approach to English studies. By English studies he means everything that is done in English departments. Most English departments teach imaginative literature, but many of them also teach linguistics, creative writing, rhetoric, composition, and so forth. By a function he means a kind of activity, an orientation toward what texts "do," not merely what they mean. He proposes that every text (including those of imaginative literature) has rhetorical, poetic, and referential functions, to a greater or lesser degree, and that what is produced and written about in English departments is the cultural text. By the cultural text, he means not only imaginative literature, but also persuasive and expository texts of all kinds (e.g., political speeches, advertising, newspaper and magazine articles), the texts of popular culture, and visual texts. Furthermore, he outlines implications for college English if a theory of functions is adopted. A functional approach to college English won't cure all professional ills, but the author believes that it will add another voice to an important dialogue on what college English should be.
Descriptors: Popular Culture, English Departments, Creative Writing, College English, Course Content, Linguistics, Rhetoric, Writing (Composition), Literature, Teaching Methods, Expository Writing, Persuasive Discourse
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site: http://www.ncte.org/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A