Thursday, June 15, 2006

Summer is over in the Philippines. The new academic year has already started for most of the schools here. This new semester I am teaching one EN12 (Communication in English II) class for sophomores. I will be teaching the research paper and the reflection paper. I am also teaching two Lit13 classes (Introduction to Fiction) for freshmen. We will be discussing short stories and novels. For the language center of the university I am teaching the communication skills of listening and speaking to the intermediate level EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students. This is for the Intensive English Language Program. As an MA student, I am taking a Contemporary British Literature class (in another university). =) The first novel we will discuss is Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. =)

So I need your help again. Heehee. =D What novels can I assign my freshmen Lit13 students to "introduce" the novel to them? =)

I'm kinda excited about the semester. What can I say? I'm a nerd and pretty damn proud of it. Haha. =D


Tarie said...

The suggestions I got so far: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Possession by A.S. Byatt, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, and Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder.

What are other books I could possibly assign for college freshmen?

bb said...

Good luck on your teaching! I admire your energy and enthusiasm to learn. Is that going to be your second Masters Degree?

I suggest Hard Times by Charles Dickens and The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Those are the only classic english books i remebered reading during h.s.

Jillian said...

Surely something by Jane Austen??

By the way, I finally did receive the email you sent me several weeks ago. That particular email address was down for a while and I wasn't receiving anything from it.

Thanks again for your kind comments!

I am getting ready to start my 9th-grader (homeschooled) and am very stressed about formulating his English/Lit course. Ack! This is my STRENGTH and my passion, and of course I'm stressing about it the most because it's so important to me.

Any suggestions?? :)

Tarie said...

For BB:

Hahaha! It will be my first master's degree! =D And yes, I'm always really thirsty and hungry for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. I've always been that bookworm with the really thick glasses. Haha! =P

If you read those books in high school, won't they be too easy for my college students???

For Jillian:

I completely understand how you feel! My English classes are so important to me so I am always stressing and worrying about what to teach, especially for my literature classes. It's hard choosing what short stories and novels to assign.

About your 9th grader, what kind of books have you already assigned her (for her middle school reading, for example)? I know that most high school students take up "the classics" in high school. =)

I wish I could discuss Austen with my students, but I might alienate my male students. LOL! =D

Jillian said...

You know, my son has already decided that he does NOT want to read Pride and Prejudice -- I see what you mean!!! LOL

(Jane Austen is my favorite author, though.)

I have not really "assigned" much reading because I've wanted to foster a love of reading by allowing him to discover what he enjoys. He is not an avid reader!! But he enjoys mysteries and non-fiction the best.

He has read The Hobbit, Lion/Witch/Wardrobe, Indian in the Cupboard, the Harry Potter the top of my head. He is much happier reading his Bass Master magazine, though!

He has been exposed to Dickens via my reading A Christmas Carol to him several years ago. He gets really hung up on the language of 19th century novels. I assigned him Uncle Tom's Cabin while we were studying American History, and he never got past page 80 or so. I decided not to push it.

I'd like to "assign" A Tale of Two Cities and perhaps Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. As for Shakespeare, I'd rather start him out by having him SEE a production, which is when it really comes to life (that's what happened to me in high school -- I HATED reading Julius Caesar, but when our class went to see productions of The Taming of the Shrew and Two Gentlemen of Verona, I fell in LOVE!!).

I am also seriously stressing about making sure he gets all the basics of expository writing. My strengths are fiction and humor, but the kid is going to have to churn out a decent term paper by the time he's 15. I just don't want to miss any basics here!

Can you recommend any materials for teaching the various writing styles?

Grammar is a strength for me and I'm planning on teaching him to diagram sentences this year. It seems to be a lost art, yet I find it an invaluable tool in really understanding sentence structure.

And I'm so glad you enjoyed the contest! Technically, I didn't reach my "50 comments" goal, but everyone did such a great job that I'm planning on choosing a winner, anyway.

Tarie said...

Hi Jillian! You know what, after reading your last two posts I went out and bought a big bar of dark chocolate. =9 Hahaha. =D

Does your son like fantasy and science fiction? I know that most boys like fantasy and science fiction so I would suggest that for your son. Has he read the Artemis Fowl series? I know they are for younger readers but I loved the books myself. While reading them I was thinking about how boys would probably like them because they are like action movies in print form (but still smart stuff). I would suggest the Lord of the Rings but he might not like the writing style of Tolkien for those novels. How about science fiction short stories from Isaac Asimov or other short stories? Or maybe you can focus on non-fiction works with him for now. =)

Sounds to me like for now you need to stick to giving your son 20th-21st century works. =) And it also sounds like he would prefer um, more "masculine" literary works/male authors. =D So I think that letting him read Hemingway is a good idea. It would also be good to let him read more mysteries (Sherlock Holmes perhaps?) and young adult novels written by male writers or with a young male target audience. I'm sorry I can't think of any specific titles right now. =( =( =( I hope I'm still helping in some way!

I also can't think of any specific titles of textbooks for his composition skills. He should definitely know the elements of an essay and the basics of research paper writing. For research paper writing, the MLA Handbook for high school and college students is the best. =) I think you can actually use some college textbooks for your 9th grader! =) I use college textbooks with my EFL students because they are adult students but their skills in English are middle school or high school level (sometimes even elementary school level). College textbooks, from some of the major publishers (like Harcourt&Brace and McGraw Hill?) and some universities have great college freshmen English textbooks. I think they are great because they tackle the different rhetorical modes of writing: narration, description, exposition, argumentation/persuasion, etc. And they usually do it in simple, straightforward language and give really helpful tips/pointers for student writers. =)