“Maybe she didn’t even realize it,” I tell myself, “maybe she was so concerned about what she was saying that she didn’t stop to consider how she was saying it in this draft.” As she previously discussed in class, Shanee will apply to a Master’s program eighteen months from now. Is she ready? Can I help her? May I help her?
I think about Kachru and Pennycook and discussions of World Englishes. I think about language use and social contexts and I think that maybe for Shanee, this is her best effort. Again, the elephant jumps off my shoulder…but only for a moment. Then I revert back to “No! This is just not acceptable. There’s a difference between excusing one’s style as a linguistic variety and simply being lazy.”
I have to ask myself what I should be attending to as the instructor. Is it the message and higher order concerns, is it grammar and expression or is it both? Shanee is a sophomore college writer in a college research writing/pre-graduate course. And going back to my earlier “should”, I continue, “Where the heck do all my ideas about writing come from, anyhow?”
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