how we learn English

Subject: how we learn English
From: Margie Monforton <MONFORTO -at- EMUVAX -dot- EMICH -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 15:04:41 -0500

I agree with Kat, who said that there is much
less stress in writing if you feel like you
understand the system. I was taught to spell
using repetetive listing, and I learned English
using diagramming and other "rote" learning
techniques. Now I'm teaching English to college
Freshman, and I'm trying to reconcile the IDEA of
grammar (and the idea of style) with the group-style
teaching method that I feel is more effective.

When my students entered this class, (this is my
first semester) they HATED writing and most of them
couldn't write a full page without a severe run-on and
several fragments in it. Now, after covering both
content and style issues in small and large group
sessions, most of them are expressing their thoughts
more clearly (and more "correctly"). Many of them
also like to write now, too. I think part of the reason
they like it better is because they're beginning to
understand WHY certain things work better than others.

My 2 cents... Margie

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