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Final Reflection

My FIQWS Language and Literacy Experience

As we come to the end of Phase 4, we’ve reached the time to reflect on the past couple of months and all of the work we’ve done. As we moved through each phase, we’ve accomplished many of the course learning objectives we were introduced to in the beginning of the semester. Not only has my writing improved through all of the drafting and revisions we’ve done, but my knowledge about language and literacy has also greatly broadened because of all of the course texts we’ve read as well as the individual research we’ve done. This FIQWS class has presented itself to be very connected with issues that people deal with outside of this classroom and it really put into perspective what it means to be a bilingual speaker as well as a minority in this country.

Throughout the course of Phase 1, we started completing rhetorical situation worksheets which essentially is first annotating a text and filling out a text to show our understanding or even to further develop our ideas about the authors perspective. Essentially then “recognized and practiced key rhetorical terms and strategies when engaged in situations” when we broke down texts and we answered questions on the rhetorical worksheets such as…

The answer given is my own interpretation of the question as to why Amy Tan would write “Mother Tongue” and what the purpose of writing this personal essay was. We also look for the purpose and then back it up with evidence directly from the text to show our understanding of the question.

As we read Amy Tan’s “MotherTongue” to Walt Wolfram’s “Challenging Language Prejudices in Education” we “explored and analyzed in their own and other’s writing a variety of genres and rhetorical situations.” When answering the questions in the rhetorical situation worksheets we were asked what type of genre we thought the pieces of work were. As a class we also had discussions as to how we figured out what genre the work was. Throughout the various types of works we read throughout the semester, you can tell how diverse each piece was an all of them gave us different insights to the whole language and literacy aspect of the class.

Through each phase we further “developed strategies for reading, drafting, revising and editing.” Annotating has always helped me when reading a text because it shows me where I pointed out an important detail in a passage or maybe even a note to myself of how I felt in that moment when reading it. For example, when I was reading the text “English Belongs to Everybody” by Robert MacNeil, just by reading my annotations I can remember what most of the text was about instead of reading it fully again. Before we submit a fully done essay or paper, we drafted our papers as well as peer-edited them at least twice. Drafting papers helps you recognize things that you didn’t notice you wrote in your essay before, and peer editing gives you an insight on what a reader might think about your piece, and if something is unclear they would point that out to you. I found this extremely helpful for my Phase 2 essay when we were asked to answer questions on the Peer Review Worksheet for the Research Exploratory Essay. I feel as though we were able to “develop and engage in the collaborative and socials aspects of writing processes” through this feedback. We were asked to peer edit each other’s papers and find things in it such as the stance the student had taken in their essay, the evidence included, how we summarized and paraphrased and so on. I previously had been having trouble figuring out whether my thesis made sense in the first page to the rest of my essay and it’s not easy figuring that out on your own when you’re revising your own paper so when I got my feedback from my peer I really found it helpful because it told me that I needed to fix something with my essay. When I finally revised my essay again, I felt much better about what I was writing because I knew that it made sense and it wasn’t going to be confusing to read when another person read it. When the professors gives us feedback on our essay to revise it, it’s helpful because it gives us a chance to not only fix our mistakes but also to get a better grade than we originally could’ve gotten if they were to just let us turn it in without giving us any feedback beforehand. It not only helps you develop your ideas into something you haven’t thought of before, but it strengthens the argument you’re trying to make. Fixing small details that are pointed out just makes the essay flow better and be crisper. At the end of the day, these revisions are to help you make your essay better and the criticism that is given can help you write future essays better and with less mistakes than the previous one.

*Annotations for “English Belongs To Everybody” by Robert McNeil
*Peer-review worksheet

            Phase 2 consisted more of the Research Exploratory Essay in which we were asked to do outside research and find at least two scholarly sources such as a peer reviewed source which we were able to use our own college’s database to find articles as such. We were able to “locate research sources (including academic journal articles, magazines and newspaper articles) in the library’s databases or archives and on the internet and evaluate them for credibility, accuracy, and bias.” In order to check for the author’s credentials we had to do a bit of research about their background and things such as where they studied. As stated, we had to choose at least one peer reviewed article which is an article that has been looked over by professionals who are in that same field and approve of the paper. This makes the text more reliable in terms of the information that we are reading and presents us with facts instead of opinions from sources which are unreliable. In this essay we also “practiced systematic application of citation conventions.” The writing in light blue in the picture is part of a revision I have to make to the actual citations of my Research Exploratory Essay because it’s not written correctly, but this had to be done
for each piece of work that we used another person’s work in such as our Phase 3 essay as well.

Phase 3 included our Critical Analysis Essay in which most of the essay and we had to “recognize the role of language attitudes and standards in empowering, oppressing, and hierarchizing languages and their users.” In my essay I used “English with an Accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States,” by Rosina Lippi- Green in which she discusses how everyone has an accent regardless of whether you hear it or not. I say in my thesis that the language attitude expressed by the person in the example I gave is that they believe that everyone from a particular country or cultural group have the same accent. We’ve also seen people be oppressed from a language with June Jordan’s article “Nobody Mean More to Me Than You.” She empowers her students to use their Black English because nobody has the authority to take that away from them. We shouldn’t hold one language in higher regard just because it’s the “most acceptable”, but we should take into consideration all the different languages that are around us and embrace it. Finally, we “used print and digital technologies to address a range of audiences,” when we were able to include a visual in our essay to help the audience understand our stance better as well as contribute to the main idea of the essay.

Each phase had its own method of achieving the course learning objectives because we focused on different things each time. Overall, I personally believe that I have successfully met and achieved each of the course learning objectives this semester due to all of the work that was done, and all the thought put into each peer review, the one on one with the professors, and each draft that we revised. All of these things played a major role in the course and also for future courses because it helped us learn different strategies that we might need in the future. Even though along the way we may have forgotten that we had course learning outcomes that the class had set up for us, surely enough we were accomplishing each and every one of them at its own time whether we were aware of it or not.