Doubtful About Text Book

Like all of us, I look for items in these readings that I can use in my classroom. As teachers, we are all constantly looking for new ways to present material. I started the segment on metaphor thinking I was going to come away with something usable (think Blau), but I didn’t find much. For me, immediate applicability is what makes a reading standout. I found only one writing exercise that might be useful – modifying metaphors on pages 73 and 74 could be used as a starting point for class discussion.

“Text Book” would be inaccessible to my students. Part of the reason for this is the level of the writing – this appears to be aimed at an upper level undergraduate audience. Since my classes consist mainly of first and second year non-academic ESL students, “Text Book” would be much-too-much of a challenge. I would need lots of supplementary material for them to truly “get” many of these concepts the way the authors’ laid them out.

A couple of the segments were truly tedious – I’m thinking of excerpt of Sontag’s “AIDS and Its Metaphors” and Martin’s “The Egg and the Sperm”. I found them interesting, but both were too long and really, too tangential to the point the authors were trying to make (I felt like I was in an undergraduate bio class). There must have been another reading that would suffice. The segment on sports as a metaphor might be more workable.

I also agree with blogger esadler – the format, mashing examples together with no commentary or transition of any kind, makes the book an exasperating read. It would be a chore to “chunk” the book into doses small enough to make it teachable at the level I teach at.

Fresh perspective – on the other hand, their all too brief segment on advertising would be a great way to discuss the power of “literature” in our everyday lives. The text book I currently use has a great segment on advertising as an effective medium, but I like the author’s explanation and the way they broke down the visual and textual components of their examples.

“Text Book” has a place on my shelf as a reference, not as a book I can go to when I’m seeking new teaching materials for a class.