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Equipping Students to Join the Literary Conversation: Learning Literary Language in Workshops

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: An often overlooked and undervalued component of disciplinary studies is the way learning and growth are informed by how fluently students understand the discipline’s language. It is difficult, and often impossible, for someone to engage in conversations if she or he cannot speak the language. It is thus difficult to feel a sense of belonging to a community if one cannot join its conversations. This scholarly work analyzes a term I call literary language, which is a literary term-based language informed by literary and rhetorical strategies. Students learn when they are active participants in their learning process. They cannot fully engage in this learning if they do not know the discourse’s language. For students to become better compositional and creative writers, they need opportunities to learn literary language and participate in larger craft-specific discussions. Spaces that invite students—in their various learning stages—to read like writers, think like writers, and write like writers help them learn, retain, and apply literary language in its intended context. The research included in this pedagogical study tests and analyzes face-to-face, online, and hybrid workshop learning models, which rely on learner-centered strategies that help students accurately and easily understand and use literary language. This fluency allows them to fully immerse themselves in their academic communities where they can begin to take pride in learning its cultural values and language so they can blend into this new world like they always belonged.

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