[Milton-L] text questions

gilliaca at jmu.edu gilliaca at jmu.edu
Wed Feb 6 10:51:17 EST 2008


.Of course one must consider context.  .

I am teaching the early British survey right now, and have come back from a very frustrtaing meeting with the class. We are reading SGGKgt, in the modern version in the Norton Antholog. I asked as usual for questions about the assignment for the day - which had been Part 2. Silence. A couple of questions about words in part one [haubreckm helm] and then one about Part 2: "thrice." 

NOw I suspect some of the silence comes from not having read anything - this class has maybe one major - the rest fulfilling general studies requirement.  So I quizzed them on Bk 2 - things like name one real life geographic feature in the part about G's travels - name a couple of the perils he faces on the journey - what does he pray for just before he sees the castle.  From the lack of hearing pens scrathcing away, I fear I will fond lots of nothing.

I collected the quizzes, went over the answers and then said, I'll not assume you haven't bothered to read the assignment [feeling my nose growing] so I assume you don't think I mean it when I ask for questions at the beginning of class - I do. I asked how they coud deal with unknown words as they read. 1. keep reading and maybe it will show up again and you can figureit out. 2. I read with a dictionary open on my computer.

Anyhow - I find in non-majors and increasingly in majors really poor vocabularies and an inability to sound out a new word.  No wonder that many don't read for pleasure - how can they enjoy what they can't u8nderstand?

C
Cynthia A. Gilliatt
English Department, JMU
JMU Safe Zones participant
"You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people you hate." Fr. John Weston


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