Beyond the Red Pen: Writing for Authentic Audiences

By:
Ms Maryam Moayeri
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"Writing that is not read is like the tree that falls in the forest with no one to hear it; one wonders whether it creates any sound at all." (Stanford) Writing needs a purpose — a purpose other than to jump through a hoop to attain a given grade. Writing needs an audience — an audience of more than just one. Writing needs critics — critics with more powerful tools than red pens. Students should be provided with the opportunity to publish and present their words. I suggest that setting real life writing goals would activate classrooms and enhance student motivation and effort. Over the past three years, I have implemented the above philosophy in my classroom. Over 200 of my students have been recognized for their project work. They have won trips around the world, cash awards, and technological prizes. They have found purpose in their schoolwork, motivation to pursue academic goals, and pride in their talents. My paper will focus on five aspects: 1. The theory and research in this field; 2. The philosophy behind the theory; 3. The implementation of this strategy; 4. Narratives of student participation; 5. The implementation of this strategy in classrooms across the Humanities field.


Keywords: Publication, Writing, Audience
Stream: Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Beyond the Red Pen


Ms Maryam Moayeri

Secondary School Teacher and Graduate Student, Grade 8-12 English, Social Studies, and French teacher Graduate student at the University of British Columbia, West Vancouver Secondary School
Canada

Maryam Moayeri graduated with an English degree from McGill University and received her teaching diploma from Simon Fraser University. Presently, she is completing a Master of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia. For the past eight years, she has taught English, Social Studies, and French to students in grades eight to twelve in the Richmond and West Vancouver School Districts. Her professional achievements include publishing an educational resource and assisting her students in winning hundreds of writing contests. In August of 2004, The Canadian International Development Agency awarded her a trip to Africa because of the developmental work she does with youth. In November 2004, her grade 12 English class was featured in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper for their publication achievements. Moayeri has been invited to present at several Professional Development conferences in Vancouver including the provincial wide English teachers' conference. She was also a volunteer at the Provoking Curriculum Academic Conference held at the University of British Columbia last year and will be attending again this year as a presenter.

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