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And my favorite essay traced the student’s ability to apply make-up, giving us a completely new lens through which to understand literacy – which was ultimately the goal of this assignment.So, here are some of my main takeaways from teaching the literacy narrative for the first time: As we move on to more formal assignments, I look forward to seeing what other ideas and skills my students bring with them from the literacy narrative and in what interesting ways their new sense of their literacy acquisition informs their academic work.
The specific guidelines were as follows: Once I had explained the assignment, it was time to start writing!
In class, I asked the students to write about a skill they had developed and the person who had helped (or not) in the process.
As for myself, I am already thinking of new strategies I can incorporate the next time I teach this assignment.
NOTE: I used the assignment below for my Fall 2010 sections of WRTG 3020.
In this context, we talked about “exigency” – the purpose or main idea that the student is trying to convey – and audience expectations. While some students struggled to find a central moment around which to develop their narratives, resulting in fairly generic essays that would need further revision, many showed a good understanding of literacy and sponsorship, and were able to create nuanced interpretations of these concepts.
Personal Narrative Assignment
A significant number of non-native speakers wrote about their efforts to learn English, often demonstrating frustration with the insufficient resources available to them in public education.
In class, the students discussed the article in small groups following a series of guiding questions I had prepared beforehand.
This helped focus the general class discussion afterward, as most of the groups had been able to put together their own interpretation of Brandt’s argument.
And while I am constantly updating my syllabus to reflect recent events and debates, students’ varying skill levels and my own pedagogical growth, one assignment I’ve been reluctant to give up is the personal narrative.
I often have students narrate a conflict they have experienced in the past and consider the ways it has influenced or shaped their identities. First, the personal narrative provides a creative start to the semester: it’s an informal assignment that doesn’t usually require the conceptual heavy lifting of literary analysis, for instance, because it focuses almost entirely on the student’s own experiences.