I was reading ‘Examiners’ Reports’ and listening to National Public Radio today. NPR regularly presents authors and creative writing events for listeners; ‘Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter’ [opens new window/tab] was one of their features. It reminded me how much fun it is to engage with language. ‘Crooked Letter’ is one way clever teachers inspire little children in the southern United States to engage with language. It struck a chord with me because at this point in my studies I feel like one of those little children. I realized how cleverly the ‘Examiners’ Report’ is structured and what helpful direction they give to my research, essays and study plans.
My study plan during the past three years has helped me to achieve several important goals. One important goal is to read widely and with purpose; another is to engage with language and writing. This is a truly marvelous experience. I feel wide-eyed with wonder just like those little children learning with ‘crooked letter, crooked letter’ games. Like them I have some command of language but now must learn its subtleties. Like them I am learning to express myself through the puzzle of language; in my case at the poles of academic and creative language.
I am learning the discipline of academic and creative language just like a child learns the rules of language and expression with ‘crooked letter’; they shout ‘crooked letter’ or ‘hump back letter’ and twist their little bodies to make the letter of the alphabet. Right now I am working on my research paper and essay writing plans for this term. Reading creative literature and writing academically is a really interesting experience; it is even more interesting while studying as an International student. I enjoy working out solutions to study challenges; working this way helps me to appreciate how much our faculty must value and enjoy literature. Their ‘Examiners’ Reports’ are remarkable documents to read and apply to my study plan.
The ‘Examiners’ Reports’ are eagerly anticipated by students; most read the comments regarding their past exam essays. There is an even more helpful use for them. The Examiners write comments on exam questions for every unit; they state what good responses to specific questions should include and how each question should be approached. I like to pick specific questions from the unit I am currently studying then practice planning essays based on the ‘Examiners’ Report’ comments. This is my ‘crooked letter’ game; the ‘Examiners’ Reports’ very patiently teach me the discipline to write good academic essays commenting on the creative literature I read so eagerly.
Reading eagerly and writing with the correct focus highlights an earlier blog idea; closing the gap between capability and performance. I use the examiners’ comments and train myself to work within the discipline of academic writing instead of writing in familiar ways that are easier and more comfortable. I realize academic and creative language work together all our learning lives; from my ‘Crooked Letter’ days through to the rare air of Goldsmith’s College and the International Programme.