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Language Awareness to Improve Teaching and Learning Paper

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ACADEMIA Letters Language awareness to improve teaching, learning, and assessment matters Donna Bain Butler In today’s age of internationalization—with its teaching, learning, and assessment of cultural and linguistic diversity—U.S. education is graduating “good” or “fair” (Purcell et al., para. 1, 2013), if not semi-literate and functionally illiterate student writers. Today’s university students are expected to fulfill curriculum requirements without developing proficiency in writing (Carnegie Mellon University, 2021), a set of competencies for higher order thinking and communication known outside Academia as a professional skill. The purpose of my Academia Letter is to make a difference by increasing expectations for student writer competence across disciplines. Professors, employers, and parents all complain about students’ competence in writing, but university leaders continue to focus on research grants, ignoring learner-centered research and writing pedagogy: that is, ignoring the student writer and what the research tells us about how students learn socio-culturally and cognitively. Students beyond freshman year may get little consistent, constructive feedback to improve their writing; the expectation for proficiency may be so low that Education programs may re-cycle pre-service teachers back into the public education system without control of basic sentence structures. First-class research universities may even encourage graduate student writers to ...
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