English Language & Composition for Experienced Instructors

Course Description: 

This course will serve as a guide through the AP English Language and Composition course and its subsequent exam. We will use the latest Course Description (Fall 2014) as our primary document to explore a wide range of skills and strategies necessary for a successful course and for success on the exam in May. We will review and study resources and best practices that participants can directly apply to develop their own courses based on their own student needs and skill sets. We will address a variety of approaches to the course and exam and we will emphasize and illustrate how to maintain a rigorous curriculum.
Topics and activities:
 Participant/instruction introductions and statements of needs: What are three things you need/expect from this week?
 Introduction to rhetoric (course description): What is rhetorical reading and writing? How does it apply throughout the course and on the exam?
 Analyzing and writing argument: What is evidence and where does it come from?
 Rhetorical analysis and creativity: Using the big picture to guide writing.
 The synthesis question: An exercise in reading.
 The multiple choice section: How to use a variety of texts to encourage reading and analysis, and how to think about questions stems as teaching tools.
 Selecting appropriate texts and the fiction/nonfiction conundrum.
 The essay assignment: How much is too much?
 Assessment and feedback that helps students improve their reading and writing.
Note: We will do our best to address all participants’ needs and questions and will encourage discussion of best practices within the scope of our work.

Course Schedule: 

Day 1
• Consultant introduction and review of Access and Equity statement
• Participant introductions and “Three Things” – depending on size of group, participants will share in small groups: name, teaching situation, “One Thing” (an item not on the agenda for the week that the individual would like to discuss). Small groups will then share to the entire group.
• Introduction to CED and assessment – similarities and differences
• Intro to rhetorical reading and writing – how to plan lessons in order to effectively introduce rhetoric and critical reading
• “Best Practices” discussion – this will be encouraged throughout the course

Day 2
• Questions/comments regarding previous day’s content
• Rhetorical Reading – model close reading of rhetorical analysis passage, synthesis source documents, and argument prompt (small-group discussion and large group share)
• Encouraging sound reading practices for all students (best practices)
• Everything is Really an Argument – writing sound arguments (Classical, Toulmin, Rogerian); entering a conversation and sustaining argument; “appropriate evidence” and its effective use (best practices)
• Multiple choice and reading – strategies to find “testing” moments in different texts participants will use in their own classes (best practices)
• Scoring and the Reading – analysis of scoring rubrics and scoring directions; mock reading and debriefing (participants select question); analysis of student samples and scores

Day 3
• Questions/comments regarding previous day’s content
• Continue and complete mock reading and debriefing – we will discuss best practices for each type of FRQ and how other writing genres can improve student performance on test specific items
• Writing boot camp and peer review and revision – best practices and samples of how to utilize both to improve student reading and writing
• Begin unit on needs assessment, syllabus writing, and use of technology (AP Classroom)

Day 4
• Questions/comments regarding previous day’s content
• Continue needs assessment, syllabus writing, and use of tech
• We will finish the session with a review of “Three Things” (this list will hopefully be covered by this point)
• Because “best practices” will include a variety of things, it may move things back in the schedule. We will try to include textbook debriefs, computer lab session, etc.

Questions?

Phone: 253-535-8790
Fax: 253-535-7184
Email: profdev@plu.edu.

Instructor Biography: 

Very briefly…I am from Brownsville, a small border city in deep South Texas. After high school (Class of 1986), joined Navy and saw the world from inside a submarine. Didn’t see Iraq. Received medal for fighting against it (go figure). Left Navy, 1991. Attended the University of Texas-Brownsville. Bachelor’s in English, Texas Teaching Certificate. Now, the important stuff.

I started teaching in August 1996 and I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’ve taught AP English Language, African American Studies, Latin American Studies, Debate and Independent Studies (Senior Thesis) at the School for the Talented and Gifted since August 2000. I also serve on several committees and as the coach/sponsor/adviser for a variety of organizations on campus—
the necessary benefit of a small faculty.

I have been an AP English Language and Composition reader since 2003, a Table Leader since 2007, a Question Leader from 2015-2018. I served on the Development Committee from 2011- 2015, a member of the AP English Lang. & Comp. Instructional Design Team, and I’ve been an AP consultant since 2015. I am a member of NCTE, ATPE (Association of Texas Professional
Educators), and the Teachers Academy Advisory Board at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. I have attended the Aspen Ideas Festival as a Bezos Educator Scholar in 2007 and the Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar in 2005. I have presented at APAC in 2012 and the NCTE Conference in 2013 and 2014.

My already-sainted wife and I accomplish this while raising three kids (TWO teens and an 9-year-old). Our youngest has Down Syndrome, which has given us a unique perspective on parenting and on education.

picture of Alfonso Correa