Junk jargon that makes essentials exotic

English educators use highfalutin terms to describe routine activities. The terms may impress journal readers, but they scare off students.

In large part, your success in teaching writing depends on making students see writing as part of ordinary, everyday life.  So use simple, common, everyday terms to describe activities in the writing process:

  • Use terms like draw a picture (or chart, graph or diagram) instead of graphic organizer.
  • Use plan instead of outline.
  • Use doodle instead of mind map.

If ELA jargon isn’t necessary—it rarely is necessary—junk it.


[An earlier version of this post appeared in the June 2008 issue of Writing Points ©2008 Linda G. Aragoni.]

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