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One of the challenges for gateway content course learners that is only being sparsely addressed is writing to learn and communicate about the content of gateway content courses. As we hear on this listserv, neither developmental nor many non developmental learners taking gateway content courses are able to write to read critically critically, thinking logically, respond to texts.

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I am exploring possibilities for a one-level-up ENC 91 where learners testing into ENC 91 are placed in ENG 101 with intermediate writing skill support and co-requisite reading skill support in which the skills support conceptual understanding and transfer learning of gateway course content.

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The ENG 101 writing skills would focus on writing to communicate around conceptual understanding of the content of gateway content courses. The intermediate co-requisite writing skills would focus on writing to learn and writing to communicate. The intermediate reading skills would focus on reading to learn.

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The literature: “Let’s use the words of Bass and Eynon to reinforce this thought. “What are the “intermediate processes,” the steps in the learning process that are often invisible but critical to development. All too often in education, we are focused only on final products: the final exam, the grade, the perfect research paper, mastery of a subject. But how do we get students from here to there? What are the intermediate stages that help students develop the skills and habits of master learners in our disciplines? What kinds of scaffolding enable students to move forward, step by step? How do we, as educators, recognize and support the slow process of progressively deepening students’ abilities to think like historians and scholars?” (Randy Bass and Bret Eynon (2009), Capturing the Visible Evidence of Invisible Learning.)

! Reading to learn mental processes (intermediate processes):

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First, the learner needs to be holding the new information in mind, stepping back mentally, and reflecting.

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Second, within the process of reflecting, the learner needs to ensure that they are applying mental processes (later) that result in

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Understanding facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework

Organizing knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application

Developing a deep foundation of factual knowledge

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What I don’t know: Does the following description of ENG 101 allow for using a focus on gateway content course writing? ENG 101 COURSE DESCRIPTION: A course in writing emphasizing argument. Instruction and practice in reading critically, thinking logically, responding to texts, developing research skills, writing substantial essays through systematic revision, addressing specific audiences, expressing ideas in standard and correct English. Includes grammar and mechanics review.

Co requisite text pdf  

Co-requisite reading / gateway content course instruction.