Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Bending the Rules: When Deaf Writers Leave College

Academic journal article American Annals of the Deaf

Bending the Rules: When Deaf Writers Leave College

Article excerpt

ON-THE-JOB WRITING of deaf college graduates at all degree levels was investigated. Institutional databases and questionnaires to alumni and employers were the sources for information. Respondents were asked about editing assistance, sources and types of assistance, and perceptions of such assistance by employers and employees. Results of the study confirmed that deaf employees did considerable writing regardless of degree or type of job. Their self-reports indicated grammar as the major weakness. Additionally, employers stated that clarity, organization, and spelling were serious writing problems. The study also showed that deaf employees asked for and received editing assistance and that employers were willing to support the improvement of writing skills. Because error-free texts are expected in the workplace and editing assistance is sought and received, postsecondary institutions should mimic these practices by providing copyediting services and instruction in the ethics and practices of working with editors.

On one hot summer, I was sitting on the beach in Ocean City New Jersey. Just sitting there, and thinking-something is bothering me that 1 need to get oui of America for once because America's culture is getting me into boredom. All the sudden, I see myself in third world across the ocean. Wandering around in many divergent astonish cultures that I never discover about a cultures. In Holland there are unfrequented cars driving around except for the bicycles, as if they respect and preserve the environment. In Africa, there are divergent tribes and wildlife that lives in jungles or forests. And in France, the cities are the eminently beautiful and romantic in the world.

However, after the dream that I had. I traveled to many different countries, and I saw nothing analogous to my dream. No bicycles in Holland, no tribes nor wildlife in jungles, or forests in Africa, and no beautiful and romantic cities in France. Their culture starts to vanish and the darkness brings the Americanization into the culture as if the world become One. What is Americanization? It is a process of popular culture, history, and government that shows and improves for the foreigners in their countries. Ever since people starting to following America's cultures, and the precious cultures start to vanish. I believe that Americanization need to be stopped. Yet, some opponents would disagree with my point of view.

-INTRODUCTION TO AN ESSAY SUBMITTED FOR A FIRST-YEAR COLLEGE WRITING COURSE

For writing teachers of many deaf college students, especially those at the basic writing level, this text will look all too familiar. Clearly, this writer has much to say and a strong personal voice, but the inconsistencies of language coupled with factual errors overshadow the complexity of ideas in her analysis of global Americanization. Significant and persistent mistakes in syntax and grammar like these complicate the instruction of many deaf college students. Surface errors often detour instructors from attending to the substance of student writing. Conversely, instructors may sacrifice attention to error in service of content. Or teachers might "outsource" this work by referring students to on-campus services such as peer tutoring, learning development centers, and grammar workshops, as well as electronic resources for grammar instruction. The assumption has been that these interventions-either alone or in combination-will help students achieve the minimum competencies of basic writing. The sad truth, however, is that many students do not reach these minimum levels. Composition teachers have not consistently succeeded in helping deaf students (such as the one quoted above) produce the more proficient rhetoric required to craft documents that manifest fluency in Standardized Written American English-documents that are at the level of those written by their hearing peers. (For information on the distinctions between Standardized American English and Edited American English, see Smitherton & Villanueva, 2003). …

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