Getting serious about genre pedagogy: designing and teaching genre-based units of work

Here is a wonderful example of the genre-based teaching-learning cycle in action in an English year 10 (10th grade) history classroom. I’m particularly impressed by the way the teacher/blogger, Lee, has integrated “the language of schooling” (in Mary Schleppegrell’s phrase) with the content of his course and the writing demands of the final exam (which has more writing on it than most American equivalents).

What's language doing here?

It’s been a while, almost 7 months in fact, since my last blog here. My initial enthusiastic rush of blogging frenzy back in March, written in 4 or 5 days at the end of the spring term just before I disappeared to China for two weeks’ holiday, petered out upon my return to school for the summer term when internal changes reduced our leadership team to only 3 people and I suddenly found myself doing at least 2 people’s jobs.

So I thought now was the perfect time to resume regular blogging: my wife is 38 weeks pregnant with our second child and I’m responsible for the imminent opening of our School Direct training programme to applicants for September 2014. I’ve got loads of time on my hands, so why not?

I’ve decided to resume penning my thoughts to any who will listen because I believe what I have to…

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It must be nearly Father’s Day….

… because the blog post I wrote three years ago is once more showing up in Google searches! Just to add: no, there’s still no definitive answer, but then again, I’m a descriptivist not a prescriptivist, so I’m more interested in knowing what language users actually write* rather than what they should write. That said, according to one comment on the blog a few months ago, “The New Oxford Style Manual says that it is Father’s Day (capital letter, apostrophe before the s).” So there you have it.

One assumption I have been making, though, is that everyone has one father — but with the rapid expansion of marriage equality laws in the States in the last year, we might want to make a logical exception for children with two dads. Fathers’ Day would make perfect sense in that context, I suppose.

* It strikes me that this is one of very few linguistic distinctions, along with capitalization, that is not possible in speech. Unless, of course, you are the incomparable Victor Borge.

Happy Father’s Day for Sunday, dear readers.