ENGL 121 D: Composition: Social Issues

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Holly Shelton

Syllabus Description:

Multi-literacies & Transforma(c)tions

~ Multilingual, Service Learning & Computer Integrated Composition ~


The course has three main organizing strands, which are woven together throughout the course.  For the first strand, you will focus on writing and literacy across modalities and communities (and your own positions within and across those communities) in order to build up your background knowledge about your own literacy practices and service learning situations.

In the second strand, you will focus on writing about, with and for your communities.  The about will be based on research and observations at your service learning site, and individual topics you might explore could be how technology, gender, or culture influences (and is influenced by) participation in literacy activities. The with and for could be some kind of newsletter, remixing or creating a home page, or something else that would be something useful for your service learning organization.  

The third strand is preparing a portfolio that demonstrates the course outcomes.  This includes revising previous compositions and composing a cover letter explaining how these projects demonstrate the course outcomes. (and your own positions within and across those communities) in order to build up your background knowledge about your own literacy practices and service learning situations.

ENGL121 is a Service Learning composition course.  This means:

1) Students make a weekly commitment to a service learning organization that is connected to the course theme.  This commitment is 3-5 hours a week and successful completion of this commitment is 10% of the course grade.

2) This service learning experience is one of the course "texts."  Because of this, there are fewer required readings assignments than other composition courses like ENGL 111 or ENGL 131.

3) The focus for writing in this course is writing about, with, and for a service learning community.  We also identify ways that these principles transfer to other writing situations at the university, personal, and professional lives of the students.

This section of ENGL121 is an MLL (or multilingual language learner) section. This means:

1)  MLL sections are based on the same outcomes, and students must fulfill the same requirements, as any other non-MLL composition course.
2)  Students in the MLL section are all multilingual.
3) The curriculum in MLL sections is global (with attention to both US and non-US resources and perspectives).
4) MLL sections pay particular attention to American academic culture and language.

It is also a Computer Integrated Course.  This means:

1) The writing for this course will go beyond traditional print mediums to include digital mediums as well.

2) The writing for this course is "multimodal."  We will not focus on only a single mode of communication (linguistic), but also pay attention to aural, spatial, visual, and gestural modes of communication during coursework as well. 

3) Computers are a resource (not a reason) for our class!  Half of our class sessions will be in a computer lab.

Catalog Description: 
Focuses on the study and practice of good writing: topics derived from a variety of personal, academic, and public subjects. Includes a service-learning component allowing students to engage with and write about social issues in applied ways.. Cannot be taken if student has already received a grade of 2.0 or higher in either ENGL 111, ENGL 121, or ENGL 131.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Other Requirements Met: 
Service Learning
Last updated: 
February 19, 2016 - 9:07am