Negotiating Academic Literacies: Teaching and Learning across Languages and Cultures

By Vivian Zamel; Ruth Spack | Go to book overview

With all his [Danny's] genius, his father raised him in a state of unassurance. He couldn't make his own mind up, what was best, psychology or his religion. The system which was going to make him a sound human being couldn't help him come to a decision.

While new problems of diction or syntax emerged as this student struggled with the complexity of his ideas, most of the errors of the early papers (sentence boundaries, tense) disappeared without direct remediation under the deluge of reading and writing.6 And by rechecking the features I had identified in the beginning I was able to keep my own focus on his real progress, and not despair, as I had in the past, at each new syntactic knot or experimental bit of undigested academese.7 I could allow him to work from his own language while learning that of the university, and what I had found harder, to see the language in the middle, the interlanguage, as evidence of the kind of learning that it in fact represented.


WORKS CITED

Bartholomae David. "The Study of Error". CCC 31 ( 1980): 253-69.

-----. "Teaching Basic Writing: An Alternative to Basic Skills". Journal of Basic Writing 2. 2 ( 1979): 85-109.

Berthoff Ann E. The Making of Meaning. Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook, 1981.

Bizzell Patricia. "College Composition: Initiation into the Academic Discourse Community". Curriculum Inquiry 12 ( 1982): 191-207.

Corder S. Pit. Error Analysis and Interlanguage. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1981.

Freire Paulo. Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Seabury, 1973.

Hartwell Patrick. "Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar". College English 47 ( 1985): 105-27.

Knoblauch C. H., and Lil Brannon. "Writing as Learning Through the Curriculum". College English 45 ( 1983): 465-74.

Krashen Stephen. Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon, 1981.

Labov William. The Study of Non-Standard English. Urbana: NCTE, 1968.

Lauer Janice, Gene Montague, Andrea Lunsford, and Janet Emig. Four Worlds of Writing. 2nd ed. New York: Harper, 1985.

Richards Jack C., ed. Error Analysis: Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition. London: Longman, 1974.

Rose Mike. "Remedial Writing Courses: A Critique and a Proposal". College English 45 ( 1983): 109-28.

____________________
6
Krashen discusses the importance of such intake, which he defines as input that is understood and that is "a little beyond" the learner's present level of competence, 102 ff.
7
I have refined the features of this analysis to reflect the work underlying a paper which links these characteristics of linguistic development to those of intellectual development. S. Groden, E. Kutz, V. Zamel, ms. in preparation.

-49-

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