Friday, May 21, 2004

Audience Awareness: When and How Does It Develop?

Audience Awareness: When and How Does It Develop? When do students actually think of their audience when they are writing? I would say early in life but this article has some other views.

From the site:

Many theorists contend that the purpose of writing is to communicate with an audience, which can be defined as actual readers or as the writer himself. Scholars also seem to agree on another point: "no matter who/what the audience is (from real people to fictional construct), writers adjust their discourse to their audiences. In other words, writers do things to bring their readers into their texts, to establish a community that includes themselves and their reader." (Wildeman, 1988)

A strong case can be made for teachers to use audience-oriented teaching strategies that encourage children to write for a wide range of readers. Examples of such assignments would be to have the student write letters or something that would be read by parents, friends, local community leaders, or sports heroes. Yet questions remain about how writers, especially student writers, actually learn to consider an audience of readers. These questions involve complex issues that are current topics of investigation.

YOUNG CHILDREN'S SENSE OF AUDIENCE

Can teachers expect students as young as those in elementary school to write with an audience in mind? Research suggests that a developmental trend exists in which children gradually develop a sense of audience in their writing.

Young children apparently understand that they can use writing to communicate with a reader, and they intend to write in a manner that demonstrates this understanding. Kroll (1984) found that nine-year-old children wrote letters in which clear problem statements and explicit requests for help indicated audience awareness. "Few of the letters manifested either gross egocentrism or a blatant disregard for the reader's needs." (p.425) Yet the nine year olds frequently did not provide essential information about themselves or instructions so the reader could respond to the letter.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Computer Lesson Plans for Tired Teachers

Computer Lesson Plans for Tired Teachers. Free lesson plans and lesson plan books to support you using computers in the classroom.

From the site:

When teachers run out of ideas, this is what they use!"

Now you can access over 300 lesson plans and lesson ideas for use with word processors, spreadsheets, databases, paint programs, the Internet and Microsoft software such as Word, Access.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Model Early Foreign Language Programs: Key Elements

Model Early Foreign Language Programs: Key Elements. What makes for a good elementary foreign language program? This essay has some ideas.

From the site:

Schools and school districts across the United States are establishing and expanding foreign language programs. Although most programs are found at the secondary school level, an increasing number are being established in elementary schools. A survey by the Center for Applied Linguistics indicates that 31% of U.S. elementary schools are offering foreign language instruction, up from 22% a decade ago (Rhodes & Branaman, 1999).

In the late 1990s, the U.S. Department of Education funded an effort to identify early foreign language programs that could serve as models for schools or districts interested in establishing or enhancing early-start, long-sequence foreign language programs. Seven model programs were identified through a nomination and selection process informed by the national standards for foreign language education and by research on effective language instruction for elementary and middle school students (Curtain & Pesola, 1994; National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, 1999). The programs selected met specified criteria in the areas of curriculum, outcomes, ongoing evaluation, coordination with content areas, articulation from elementary to secondary school, accessibility, student diversity, professional development opportunities, and community support. Although the seven programs represent a range of program models and instructional strategies, they had a number of critical elements in common. This digest describes these elements, which are deemed key to the long-term success of early foreign language programs.