2007 - 2008
Reading Apprenticeship Workshops
The "Reading Apprenticeship" staff development workshop, open to all faculty, was presented in October 2007 and in January 2008. Faculty from a variety of disciplines attended. The workshop will be presented in future semesters, as well. The description for the workshop follows: "Do you wonder: Do my students read my textbook? Do they know how to read my textbook? How can I get them to read it without taking time away from content instruction? The Reading Apprenticeship Program offers solutions! The Reading Apprenticeship program, a Basic Skills Initiative effective practice, provides reading and discipline area faculty with strategies for developing reading skills in students without taking time away from content instruction." Presenters: Emily Hurlbert, Bonnie Suderman, and Kamala Carlson.
"One Book, One Bakersfield"
Bakersfield College is a community partner in the "One Book, One Bakersfield" project, which promotes "a culture of reading and discussion in Bakersfield by bringing our diverse city together around one great book. . . . The idea behind One Book, One Bakersfield is to have all of Bakersfield - adults, new readers, students and families - reading the same book at the same time to create a city-wide read and conversation." Programs take place at various venues throughout the city, and Bakersfield College hosted a panel discussion on February 20, 2008: "Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal," open to students, faculty, staff, and community members. The panel discussion featured BC instructors Scott Wayland, English; Gay Gardella, Agriculture; Bill Barnes, Agriculture; Leah Carter, Nutrition; and local nutritionist Jodi Friedlander. Bakersfield College will continue to be a participant in this project, encouraging students and faculty to read each year's book and offering programs connected to the books.
Development of a Cross-curricular Writing Rubric
Members of the English Department are working on a department-wide rubric for English 1A, and, when completed, this can be adapted for classes in a variety of disciplines that also require research papers, as well as academic writing in general.
Dissemination of a Diagnostic Vocabulary Exam Based on the Academic Word List
The Academic Word List was developed by Averil Coxhead at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The list contains 570 word families occurring in a broad spectrum of disciplines. Just over 94% of the words in the AWL occur in twenty or more subject areas, ensuring that these words are useful for all learners. The AWL was primarily made to be used by teachers as part of a program to prepare learners or to be used by students working alone to learn the words most needed to study at institutions of higher learning. A short, multiple-choice vocabulary exam featuring words from the Academic Word List would help faculty in any discipline at the beginning of each semester gain insight into their students' reading levels. This, in turn, should encourage faculty to develop teaching approaches that encourage vocabulary development. The entire AWL will be made with the exam, and we hope that this will encourage departments to develop lists of crucial vocabulary for each discipline. The vocabulary exam (developed by Gloria Dumler) contains the following forty headwords from the Academic Word List: adjacent, analogous, analysis, assessment, clarity, coincide, comprise, consistent, criteria, denote, domestic, entity, equivalent, formula, hierarchical, hypothesis, implement, implication, implicit, implies, inevitable, infer, innovation, interaction, intrinsic, option, parallel, parameter, perceive, prior, proportion, random, resident, sector, sequence, significant, subsequent, successive, unique, variable.
2008 - 2009
Emily Hurlbert, Bonnie Suderman, and Kamala Carlson attended post-workshop Reading Apprenticeship training in February 2008. Four other professors from the Academic Development Department attended as well, as did professors from anthropology, physical science, history, and ESL. They used the training to help them develop linked courses that will be offered in the Fall 2008 semester. For instance, the students will be able to register for an anthropology course and the ACDV B50 course that is linked to it, and the students will receive help reading their textbooks and have joint assignments.
A Sampling of Proposed Workshops for 2008-2009
Reading Apprenticeship Workshops
These will continue to be offered every fall and spring, and faculty can earn flex credit by attending.
Academic Language Development
Presenter: Dr. Kate Kinsella, San Francisco State University. This is an issue that affects students at all levels of the community college, across the disciplines, especially now that we have so many Generation 1.5 students who come from homes where English is not the primary language. Dr. Kinsella will emphasize the compelling need for structured academic vocabulary development to support academic reading, writing, and speaking skills for English learners and striving readers across the secondary and community college curricula. She will critique common curricular guidelines and instructional practices that fall short of developing students' classroom communicative competence. She will demonstrate research-informed vocabulary development and assessment practices and guide participants in learning how to move from a structured academic discussion task to a teacher-mediated academic writing task. Attendees will leave with a productive instructional tool kit.
Increasing Active Learning in the Classroom and Teaching Students to Read Rhetorically
Presenter: John C. Bean, Seattle University. Professor Bean is the author of Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom and a co-author of Reading Rhetorically, a book that offers a thorough treatment of academic reading and writing in college, showing readers "how to analyze texts by recognizing rhetorical strategies and genre conventions, and how to incorporate other writers' texts into their own research-based papers." Professor Bean's workshop will show how to design tasks for increasing active thinking and learning in the classroom, including identifying different writing activities for students, suggesting effective ways to make use of small group discussions, explaining ways to increase active learning in lecture courses, and enhancing learning in essay exams. He will also offer strategies for grading writing assignments effectively and managing the paper load.
Basic Punctuation and Grammar for Non-English Faculty
Presenters: Gloria Dumler and Denise Mitchell, Bakersfield College. Faculty outside of English sometimes feel hesitant to comment on students' punctuation and grammar errors for a variety of reasons, including a suspicion that rules may have changed since they were in school, an unwillingness to add more time to their grading, and a lack of confidence in suggesting ways students can correct their mistakes. This workshop is designed to demystify the process. Increasing faculty willingness to identify and correct writing errors across the curriculum will lead to reinforcement of writing skills in a variety of classes (puncturing the myth some students have that they can quit worrying about writing once they get out of English), which will result in greater student confidence as they build their skills. Improved confidence and stronger writing skills correlate with increased information literacy.
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Last updated: December 2007