Pedagogies of rhetorical reading in first-year composition

Pedagogies of rhetorical reading in first-year composition
Sprouse, M.L. (2018, March). Pedagogies of rhetorical reading in first-year composition. Presented at the CCCC Annual Convention, Kansas City, MO. http://cccc.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Groups/CCCC/Convention/2018/Program/Program.pdf

We understand “the teaching of reading as a way of teaching writing” (Salvatori & Donahue). In our practices, we acknowledge this fundamental relationship between reading and writing by routinely assigning readings. But as Dan Keller has noted, we rarely give students explicit reading instruction. In our focus on writing pedagogies, we have not developed robust theories and practices to teach students reading strategies to improve their writing. This panel offers three pedagogical approaches for explicit reading instruction in first-year composition based on studies that foreground the voices and experiences of students. We explore instructional methods aligned to the diverse purposes for and ways of reading in our classrooms.

We do not teach writing by merely talking about its importance and modeling how to do it; we insist students produce writing so we can see their work and offer feedback to help them grow as writers. But our pedagogies may assume too much about the reading skills and motivations students bring to our classrooms. Although “readings” appear in our syllabi, students write responses or discussion board posts, and we lead discussions in class, the act of reading remains removed at some level from the texts under study and mostly hidden from us as instructors (Scholes). Scholars including Bunn and Carillo offer rhetorical reading frameworks that justify the place of reading rhetorically in the composition classroom, but we have not fully developed instructional strategies to support students in developing these skills. Social annotation tools which allow students to digitally annotate shared texts and makes visible students’ thinking while reading to themselves, the instructor, and to their classmates. These visible readings can then be leveraged for teaching the rhetorical reading skills that connect reading and writing in composition. Based on my pilot study of social annotation in a FYC course, I will argue social annotation is a mechanism for teaching students to probe the complexities of audience, genre, and situation in ways that transfer to their writing. Participants will leave with incorporating social annotation in their courses in ways that give equal voice to all students.