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Final Reflection

During my time in an Advanced Second Language Literacy course, I found three main

topics and the activities that went with them that really resonated with me as a teacher. The first

was when we were asked to critique a context where L2 writing classes are taught and the

resources that are provided for those students. Perhaps what I appreciated most about this topic

and activity is it made me really think about the recommendations made by the CCCC (2014),

something that I had not had the opportunity to read from before, and how, even programs with

the best intentions, can fall short of their goals in one place or another. Two of the

recommendations that stood out to me were that class sizes should be small and that teachers

should continue to engage in workshops and professional training to continue to develop their

skills and knowledge in the field. The activity and readings from this module made me realize

that I also need to be aware of the different programs being offered and their purpose to ensure

that we are both a good fit for each other.

The second topic and activity that stood out to me was focused on syllabus design and

critiquing a syllabus. I had only briefly talked about syllabi in other courses and this was the first

time that I really was able to explore different syllabi for different classes and critically reflect on

their effectiveness. In addition, I had never been aware that, “one would be hard pressed to

identify foundational concepts that have aspired to provide a single, guiding basis on which to

organize writing curricula comprehensively…” (Leki et al, 2008, as cited in Ferris and

Hedgcock, 2014a, p. 147). Considering how important academic writing is for students, I had

thought that by now there would something a bit more concrete, but to learn that it is more based

on the requirements of the institution, the goals of the students, and your own beliefs, was
shocking, but in some ways, encouraging to know that I can have a bit more room to create a

syllabus that will best serve my students.

The third and final topic and activity that resonated with me was actually a combination

of 2 seperate sets of activities and readings. These activities and readings had us reflect on

feedback and error correction techniques that we could use in the classroom as well as which

ones have been shown to be more effective. There are two quotes that I feel really encompass my

feelings about these topics. The first is from Ferris & Hedgcock’s (2014c) suggestion that “the

teacher should be selective in providing written feedback” and that the feedback should include

both praise and encouragement (p. 242). The second is from Ferris & Hedgcock’s (2014b)

observation that experts tend to agree that we should correct or point out the the errors that are

“global,” “serious,“ “frequent,” and could be “stigmatizing” for the student (p. 286). The

activities surrounding the topic of error correction really helped me think about and develop my

beliefs about how to approach error correction. In addition, there are suggestions I know I can

take with me when I am in the classroom such as the chart used in activity B to mark grammar

errors.

Overall, the readings and activities really helped me consider the many moving parts and

things to consider when preparing to design and teach a writing class.


References

Conference on College Composition and Communication. (2014). ​Statement on

second language writing and writers​. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/

cccc/resources/positions/secondlangwriting

Ferris, D., & Hedgcock, J. (2014a). Course Design and Instructional Planning for the L2 Writing

Course. ​Teaching L2 composition: Purpose, process, and practice​ (3rd ed.). New York:

Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Ferris, R., D. & Hedgcock, S., J. (2014b). Improving Accuracy in Student Writing. ​Teaching

ESL composition: Purpose, process, and practice​ (3​rd​ ed, pp. 289-308). Routledge.

Ferris, R., D. & Hedgcock, S., J. (2014c). Response to Student Writing. ​Teaching ESL

composition: Purpose, process, and practice​ (3​rd​ ed, pp.196-236). Routledge.

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