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Navigating English Language Arts in the 21st Century

We had a great time at the conference. The new Saturday institutes were a great success!

For those who were there, we hope you enjoyed your sessions. It was wonderful to meet old and new friends and, together, to explore the ideas and discuss the challenges facing English Language Arts in the 21st Century.

For our members who were unable to make it, perhaps you’ll find a moment to chat to a colleague and continue the conversation. We hope to see you next year (It’s a big one!).

Have you received your new copy of English Practice?

English Practice vol 50 issue 2 hit the stands (your desks) mid-October! If your membership is still current you should have received your copy. There are many interesting articles in this new issue: share the joy of an elementary book exchange, peruse some useful student writing rubrics, and come along as we ‘step into technology.’

Always stay up to date! If you were unable to join us at the conference on October 24th, and your annual membership runs out in the fall, please renew your membership through the BCTF.

Editorial: Teaching Language Arts is Border Crossing

Leyton Schnellert

Leyton Schnellert is Co-Editor of Update and and a part-time Faculty Associate, Field Programs, Faculty of Education, SFU. leyton_schnellert@sfu.ca

Teaching is political and personal; individual and relational; responsive and bureaucratic. Perhaps we, as English Language Arts Teachers, are better prepared to live and understand these dichotomies than other teaching disciplines, for we specialize in multiple interpretations, suss out unreliable narratives, and use context to guide our meaning making (versus an arbitrary set of rules). True, our field was once bound by “correct answers” and “standard interpretations” (and, to be honest, reducing a student’s writing to a mark out of “4” still smacks of a certain essentialism); however we have moved beyond that era (often called formalism and New Criticism for those of you keeping track).
(more…)

Writing Palettes: An Exercise in Writing, Seeing, and Breaking Writer’s Block

Harold Rhenisch

Harold, lives in 150 Mile House, BC. He won the Confederation Poetry Prize, 1991, and the Arc Poem of the Year Award and the Critic’s Desk Award for best long poetry review, 2003. He has been a five-time runner-up in the CBC/Tilden/ Saturday Night Literary Contest and won the BC & Yukon Community Newspapers Association Award for Best Arts and Culture Writing, 1996. (more…)

Tell us what you are teaching

What are you teaching?

Remember the BCTELA Novel Title Collection Project? When we shared the titles of the texts we were teaching and expanded our sense of what we might teach? Well, it has been reborn… as a wiki!

Come check it out. It’s new, which means everyone’s help is valuable as we work to add and share the texts and ideas that we teach: http://bctela.pbworks.com/

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