Beyond the Red Pen: Writing for Authentic Audiences
"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
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