The interdiscourse of essays: Listening one-to-one and telling one-to-one hundred

I can identify a range of errors in students’ writing by reading their work, but I need one-to-one discussions to learn why the writers are doing what they do. The common explanations I am given suggest patterns of “interdiscourse”, by analogy with “interlanguage”, in writing in the Humanities; and from the understandings of misunderstandings that I gain by teaching one-to-one, I can design classes that resonate with the preconceptions, doubts, and questions that students bring to their writing. This paper will share some of what I have learned from students about problems of introducing, signposting, paragraphing and referencing essays, and show how one of these insights is treated in a lecture format. I argue that one-to-one teaching is needed for its benefit to individual students; as the source of teaching materials and informed, effective advice for teaching larger numbers; and as a basis for communication, and sometimes collaboration, with lecturers in the disciplines.

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Kate Chanock
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Place of publication; Publisher: 
Melbourne: Language and Academic Skills Units of La Trobe University
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Proc. Language and Academic Skills Conference: What do we Learn from Teaching One-to-one that Informs our Work with Larger Numbers?(pp. 50-55)
Kate Chanock
Valerie Burley
Sheila Davies
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