Timothy R. Conrad, Weber State University: tconrad@weber.edu; http://timothyconradcv.wikispaces.com

Wikispaces Online Practice and Display Portfolios
Integrating the Written Discourse of Face-to-Face & Digital Communication
Saturday, March 29, 2014; TESOL 2014 Portland, "Electronic Village"





2) Rhetorical Grammar
The concept of "rhetorical grammar" (Kolln & Gray 2012) brings together insights from the fields of linguistics and stylistics to guide students as they develop and edit the language and style of their papers based on topic, purpose, and audience. I have found it is important to promote discussion and workshopping of papers by weaving together communication commonly used in both face-to-face and online interaction.

3) Face-to Face Interaction
Here are some good sources for face-to-face interaction: Classroom Discourse: The Language of Teaching and Learning, 2nd Edition (Courtney B. Cazden); Conversation Strategies: Pair and Group Activities for Developing Communicative Competence (David & Peggy Kehe); Narrative Discourse Analysis: Managing Cultural Differences in Classrooms (Rex & Juzwik); Corpus-Based Approaches to English Language Teaching (Carmen, et al.); Integrating Form-Focused Instruction in Communicative Context (Sandra S. Fotos).

4) Online Tools
See the model online portfolio created by a student above. An excellent online resource for interactive K-12 or higher education instruction is wikispaces.com. In addition, the international TESOL organization, www.tesol.org, has two interest sections devoted to online instruction: Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Video & Digital Media. I have been experimenting with ways to involve writers' own favorite digital devices, apps, and online tools, rather than requiring them to use my own. Also university online platforms vary greatly (Canvas, Blackboard, Vida, Catalyst, Google Docs, Wikispaces, etc.). Students appreciate an approach not tied to one particular digital device or online platform.

5) The CCCC

See the sidebar page, CCCC, for the recent Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers by the Conference on College Composition and Communication about intercultural approaches through which international and American students can share their own backgrounds and communication skills to enhance composition courses at the college level.

6) A Three-Strand Composition Approach:
In my composition approach I use three interwoven strands: 1- Academic Discourse: common types of university papers (reviews, essays, personal profiles, etc.) taught using classroom-discourse based activities; 2- Toolkit: a “toolkit/language” section through which students will have background supportive practice of the first strand (group roles, communication/learning strategies, language problems faced by ESL writers, etc.); and 3- Digital Resources: wikispaces and other resources for language learning using digital-device/online tools.

connections.jpegTHE THREE STRANDS:

1) Academic Discourse: this is my central strand and teaches important academic papers and other writing through interactive activities: Collaborative Story Reconstruction, Getting to Know Me, My Take on the Subject, Remember One Thing, Paper Swap, Editorial Board, Panel of Experts, Act Out Your Part, Circle Within a Circle, Tweeting Proverbs, and That’s My Final Answer. I often choose a topical theme as I teach a form of discourse. For example, the theme for my focus on REVIEWS is “Life-Challenging Experiences” (see this sidebar page for an interactive activity I’ve used with this type of position paper using both summary and personal responses). Here are other academic forms of discourse I cover:

Personal Profiles
Prefaces & Abstracts
Notes & Journals
Creative Nonfiction
Narration & Description
Cross-curricular Reports
Argumentative Writing
Writing a Review (Life-Challenging Experiences)
Online Portfolios

2) Toolkit: This and the third strand are interwoven with the first:

Classroom Discourse
Intercultural Communication
Group Roles
Communication Strategies
Learning Strategies
Trouble Sources: Topic-Reference & Linguistic Interference
Summarizing & Paraphrasing
Commenting Strategies: agreement, disagreement, raising additional issues
Controlling Verb Tense
Modals: hedging, imagining, personal feelings
Metaphorical language: description, analogies, scenarios
Handling grammatical word classes: articles, prepositions, and pronouns
Editing & Revising

*See the sidebar page called ACTFL Scale for a tool writers can use to evaluate their personal level of writing ability

3) Digital Resources

Digital tricks & apps
Online language translation and paraphrasing tools
Audio & video apps
You Tube for language and research
“Notes” on digital devices
Wikis & websites for students
Social networking & writing
Writing through posting, messaging, emailing, and texting
Ebooks and online reading/writing resources
Online portfolios, presentation tools, blogs