I was very surprised to read about the separation between the research on L2 reading and writing. I understand how the separation could occur based on the four reasons from issues of the past (making reading something more than a prompt for writing, uncertainty of the roles the two played in the other’s classroom, “reading classes” being associated with remedial/developmental, and the difference in exit assessments for reading and writing); however, I think that with the change that is occurring in the discipline shows that there is a clear coalition between reading and writing that is showing more evidence of the support each subject offers the other. This connection emphasizes “the ability to integrate or internationalize new information in writing that undergrids the notions both of knowledge-transforming and of critical literacy and may in fact be what we actually mean when we speak of comprehension of a text” (96). One of the things that I found in Leki that I see in my classroom is the emphasis of not telling the students what the main idea of the readings are or saying that they did not understand the text correctly. Each student needs to have the chance to explain what they got from the text and what current knowledge they have influenced their conclusion about the reading: “readers read for different purposes and that those purposes affect what is attended to and with what intensity” (97).
Reading the cognitive strategies for reading has left me in sort of a panic. A few weeks ago, on of my students told me that a 17 page reading that I assigned between Tuesday and Thursday took her almost 3 hours to read! I was astonished and asked my other students how long it took them! The average was from 2 to 3 hours. I did not understand why. I guess it comes from my own experience with reading and ability to skim text and make connections between the “chunks” of information instead of reading word for word. I’ve learned how to do the readings efficiently. They did not have these skills, and I don’t think I have given them the tools they need to reach this level, and we are more than half way done with the semester! I am definitely scared that I didn’t find a balance that has helped my students learn the ins and outs of college level reading and writing.
Haas and Flower is not a reading that assigned for my students, but now I am thinking it would have been a great resource for reading strategies. This article supports Leki’s discussion on the variety of responses that will come from students about the readings. These outcomes are based on their own experience with reading, their personal reading strategies, and their personal background and knowledge. This is the second time reading this article, and I can see its value more now that I have been in the classroom for a few months. The section over “What is ‘Good Reading’?” would have been a great introduction to what students are missing in the college classroom during their transition from high school. The “so what” discussion is what I have been terming it in class. The idea of doing more than summarizing and repeating the information. The difference between Janet and Roger in Penrose and Geislers’ article “Reading and Writing without Authority.” The information-transfer model vs. the constructivist model. Seeing the difference of the readers on the same text in this section of Haas and Flower would have given students the insight that they aren’t wrong with their interpretations of the text, and it would give them some confidence in their thought process during and after reading. “Teaching students to read rhetorically is genuinely difficult. It is difficult in the way that teaching students to write rhetorically is difficult” (136). This statement made me feel a little better about the fact that I am feeling like a failure at this point in the semester. It is difficult to express these ideas, and it is difficult to understand these ideas. So of course there are going to be more issues when the teacher is a first time teacher, etc. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see the outcomes. I know I have taught my students somethings, but I am not sure I have taught the EVERYTHING I was suppose to. l