In the composition classroom, the adult student and learner often presents a variety of writing skills and needs as well as reading comprehension abilities, issues and points of view. As a woman of Portuguese decent, I bring a deeply personal understanding to the diversity conversation in the higher education classroom. I know first hand what it is like to not have an ethnic identity box to check on any form. And I have been the silent unsure woman sitting in the back of the classroom. Throughout my college educational path of both full and part time enrollment, reading and writing slowly evolved from a challenging almost painful activity to become the foundation of my intellectual life and career. It was through my coursework and reading that I developed the critical thinking skills and the analytical tools to understand the art and the craft of writing. Understanding the incredible power and beauty of words to motivate, entertain, inform and enlighten forever changed my life.
In my teaching career of ESL courses, literature and all levels of college composition the incorporation of a Reading Log notebook in the design format continues to be a positive empowering activity for the individual student as well as ongoing engaging follow-up discussion for the class. A Reading Log specifically designed connecting to the course book, supplemental handouts and lectures allows each student to address text and writing related questions as well as identify personal connections to the topic. In their own words and terms, individual students often develop a strong personal writing and reading awareness, a variety of topic connections, elemental or increased critical thinking skills and kernels of ideas for further development.
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