Thursday, March 29, 2007

It is Ong!

I'm so gonna Ong it up for my English 618 (Linguistic and Rhetorical Approaches to Writing) paper. He is way venerable and awesome. Rhetoric, orality vs. literacy, grammar, fightin' with words -- to the death! Also he's a Jesuit. Sweet. I'm gonna write on links between orality and literacy and how we can teach writing with 'em!

Ong links @ delicious
The Walter J. Ong Collection

Walter Jackson Ong, S.J. (1912-2003) was a professor of English at Saint Louis University for over thirty years. Over the course of his career, Ong wrote a number of groundbreaking studies in the fields of orality and literacy studies. Some of these works include Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, The Presence of the Word, and Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I'm not sure if this thing - HYPERresearch - is necessary for me at this stage of the game, but it's free and I've been playing around with it.


Transcription takes forever.


Two emergent themes:
1. Choosing to represent certain aspects of culture because they are "easy" to write about, even if the writer doesn't really care that much about them. This is maybe is related to: a) crunch time - the Ss don't have much time to develop their essays, b) the teacher says to only write 2 or 3 paragraphs, so that's all they do.
2. Unconcern with cultural topics for class - Ss don't seem to care what they write about, as long as they are getting practice in English writing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

TESOL etc.

Back from 5 days of TESOL insanity. I had a fantastic time. Among other speakers (a lot), I saw Bonny Norton, Patricia Duff, Diane Larsen-Freeman, Jun Liu, Doug Brown, Dwight Atkinson, and Ryuko Kubota. These are people I've read, so that's cool.

Too many highlights to list, really, but I'm dying to do some kind of information download. Lowlights were Canagarajah canceling (I missed him at CELT) and being tired all the time because I had to get up early every day.

Really great panel caled "Is Culture Really Dead in TESOL?" on the last day. Loved it.

The next 2 weeks need to be insane writing weeks. Like, more utterly insane than any amount of writing I've done before. The next two weeks will make or break this damn project.

PS: really amazing corpus-related website I learned about at the conference:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"Progress" = Lit review draft #1 turned in

My computer clock reads 11:59, which means I've just met my self-imposed deadline for turning in a draft of my literature review (I gave myself an extension on the original self-imposed deadline of last Thursday). I'm aware that there may be some omissions (glaring or not) , but I'm fairly happy with the ways things are laid out (except that the second half may be a bit haphazard in its arrangement).

Regarding data collection, what I've done:

- Obtained (and read, many times) at least two writing samples from each of my four subjects
- Interviewed each student twice, for an average of about one and a half hours of tape per student (haven't transcribed yet)
- Interviewed the teacher twice
- Obtained a copy of the textbook from which the teacher drew the assignment(s) I've chosen to focus on
- Thought about what I should focus on in my analysis of the data
- Given the students a survey about their educational background and opinion on course content (gotten two of four back)


Calculated that starting tomorrow I'll have approx. 42 hours this month to work on ye olde thesis. I'm hoping to write somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 pages in that time.


I haven't even transcribed the freakin' interviews...Lord knows that takes time.
Not to mention I've got a 20-pager on Aesthetics, a 12 to 20-pager on Rhetoric, and a 20-ish-pager on intertextual analysis of student writing due in early May. MOST WRITING EVER!