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In Decoding ESL, Amy Tucker extends current research and theory on contrastive rhetoric to study ESL students tackling the art and skill of writing and reading literature. For her, contrastive rhetoric is not a matter of comparing usage in the native language for explanations of mistakes in English. Contrastive rhetoric must include information about the two cultures, about expectations and other sociocultural variables that influence and affect communication.
Each chapter investigates successive stages in the attainment of college skills in a second language, from the absorption of grammar structures and expository patterns to encounters with American literature. Along the way, the book considers the overriding concerns of current composition practice and theory: issues of learner motivation, syllabus design, collaborative classroom techniques, revision strategies, reading/writing connections, and communicative contexts of discourse.
Tucker pursues a neglected area of study, arguing clearly and strongly that ESL students should develop their own responses to what they read. Her students engage in a range of communicative tasks, including interviews, class discussions, journal writing, and essay and revision assignments. Her discussions of the students' work prove how careful analysis of language can help you understand not just that one student, but many. Sample syllabi show how you can do the same.
Cross-Cultural Literacy: What Do Readers Need to Know?
On First Reading 2 . Rereading Chapter 1
In the Composition Classroom
How to Do Things with Function Words: A Russian Student's Acquisition of English Articles
A Greek Writer's Idiolect: What Is Not an ESL Error?
"What Changed Me": Mimi Soo and the Question of Motivation
Some "Japanese" and "American" Rhetorical Preferences
In Which the Emphasis of Chapter 6 Is Shifted: Some "American" and "Japanese" Rhetorical Preferences
In the Literature Classroom
Breaking Literary Codes, or Reading Students' Notebooks
Notes for an American Studies Course