Saturday, 11 December 2010

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

Overworked teacher, overworked student?
Chinese Proverb

Frank Chalk has some interesting things to say about teaching. I love the pseudonym, by the way.

This is what I should like you to take into consideration: Students of English as a second languae (ESL) often come to the classroom with little or no experience in writing in any language and with inaccurate assumptions about writing. Rather than correct these assumptions, teachers often seem to unwittingly reinforce them, actually inducing errors into their students' work. Teacher-induced errors occur when teachers mislead students by overemphasizing some aspect of the writing process or when students oversimplify and apply a principle or strategy too broadly. Two related pieces of advice commonly given to students are to use a variety of sentence structures and to avoid an unpleasant repetition of a word or phrase. Students often misunderstand these to mean: don't use the same structure twice, and don't repeat a word or phrase. In response to these recommendations, students force errors into their writing, complicating it unnecessarily, making it awkward, and losing coherence. Students should first be encouraged to write coherent and error-free prose that reads smoothly, uses economical language, does not require the reader to backtrack, and allows the reader to accurately guess what the writer is saying. When taught this way, students will naturally vary their sentences and not be preoccupied unnecessarily. Kent Richmond

In short, please do not abuse the use of inversion when writing; and I apologise for any ineffective teaching on my part.


9 comments:

gracia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gracia said...

The use of inversion when writing we only have to use it, when it is really necessary.We can´t abuse it.

Marta F. said...

Reading this article, I've had a strange feeling, because I think in my current writing I don't usually use "the inversion", so I've began thinking if this is a problem too (as abuse of it, is).
So, Nina, I have a doubt: the use of "inversion" is another step to improve our English skills, and we should include it in our writings?
It that's true, I have to begin using inversion, and then, have care about not to abuse of it.

Marta F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marta F. said...

After reading my post, I've found out one mistake (surely there are more...).
In the last paragraph, instead of "it that's true", I should wrote: "if that's true"

nina said...

You make a very interesting and valid point, Marta. Like most things in life, it's a question of balance. And don't worry about making mistakes - here it is all about what you say and not how you say it!

anazambranolociga said...

I find "inversion" very helpful because I will understand better some reading in the future.

nina said...

Good for you, Ana. See you in a few hours!

Esther said...

Again I feel as if you were shooting on my frown. I´ll try to apply it to my self as soon as I can. At least, hope not to fall in it in tomorrow´s exam. See you tomorrow!!