Summer LEAP Courses

Summer LEAP consists primarily of two university courses: English 108, a five-credit intensive preparatory and immersion course on college-level writing, reading and research, and General Studies 105, a one-credit course designed to increase the academic proficiencies, study skills, and understanding of campus culture of new freshmen entering the university.

2012 Meeting Times & Locations

ENGL 108 Section B1 – Jamie Oldham & Kirin Watcher-Grene
Mon-Thur 9:30 AM-12:00 PM & Fridays on Foot 9:00 AM-3:00 PM
MGH 254

ENGL 108 Section B2 – Melanie Hernandez & Ned Schaumberg
Mon-Thur 9:30 AM-12:00 PM & Fridays on Foot 9:00 AM-3:00 PM
MGH 287

GEN ST 105 A
Mon-Thur 1:30-3:00 PM
CSH Rose Auditorium

ENGL 108: Writing (and Reading and Thinking) Ready

Welcome to ENGL 108 for Summer LEAP! In this course, you will learn to become critically conscious of your specific relationship to and encounters with writing and reading — you will be metacognitive about your own academic strengths and difficulties. In other words, through thinking about and reflecting on the writing, reading, and analytical skills you bring to this class, you will learn to assess who you are as a writer, and you will develop your skills to engage with and to perform more effectively in the many courses that will require writing at the University.

This course is divided into four major sequences. The first of the four sequences focuses on the concept of literacy and the nature of learning. You will explore these subjects critically and theoretically by reading essays and narratives about the process of learning to read and write. You will also write your own literacy narrative in which you reflect on your own experiences with reading and writing. Furthermore, we will push the definition of literacy beyond just a knowledge of letters to include multiple literacies and multiple ways of knowing and showing.

The second and third sequences examine the challenges and strategies of active learning and academic inquiry. We will explore the concept of difficulty in reading and learning, conventions of ‘academic discourse’, reasons why students resist facing challenges, and ways for working through difficult learning tasks. At the same time, we will further develop writing habits, reading lenses, and learning practices, including close reading and responding to difficult texts, analyzing texts, working in peer groups, conducting research, and using campus resources.

Finally, the fourth sequence asks you to look back at the quarter and reconsider your literacy narrative in terms of the ways your writing, reading, and learning have changed. You will be asked to put together a portfolio of all of your work and to submit a culminating prospective essay in which you will track your progress as a writer, reader, and scholar. The prospective essay will serve both as a cover letter to your portfolio and as a survey of how you now view yourself as a writer, the challenges you will face in future classes, how you expect to meet these challenges, and how you will further develop your new set of skills, strategies, and theories.

ENGL 108 promises a fast-paced, compressed quarter of writing, reading, discussion, research, asking questions, critical thinking, analysis, fun, revision. We will engage texts small and large, everyday and theoretical. To this end, on Fridays, we will head out into the city, into the “field” to do some exploration, observation, and interaction. The “Fridays on Foot” are designed to first, encourage you to become more aware of the campus, the city, and the communities at large, and second, to think about the connections between what we do in class to what you do out of class, between learning and lived experience. By the end of the quarter, the hope of this course is that you realize that learning and knowledge and experience are more than just rubrics, rote, numbers, syllabuses, tests, grades, and graduation requirements — that learning and knowledge are fundamentally interconnected, intertextual, personal, political, cultural, and mutually enhancing.

For a detailed description of the class take a look at the ENGL 108 Course Policies and Syllabus.

ENGL 108 Learning Goals

1. This course wants you to leave this class more confident of yourselves as writers and more comfortable about the writing skills you will bring to future college writing assignments. To this end you will:

  • Write frequently in different contexts and for different audiences and purposes.
  • Learn through practice why college-level writing is most successful when it follows a process of inquiry, drafting, and revision.
  • Learn strategies for active reading of college-level material, and come to understand how strong writing skills often depend upon strong active-reading skills.

2. This course wants you to leave this class having learned about and experienced specific campus and classroom-based writing resources. To this end you will:

  • Learn to make active and effective use of campus writing centers and tutors.
  • Become familiar with general writing resources like dictionaries and handbooks, both on-line and hard copy.
  • Become familiar with library-based research resources, both physical and electronic.
  • Explore how general campus student resources can support you as a learner.

3. This course wants you to leave this class having been introduced both to a series of key learning issues and to how understanding such issues can make them not just better and more successful writers, but better and more successful students as well. To this end you will:

  • Become familiar with such writing-connected learning issues as ‘resistance’, ‘difficulty’, ‘authenticity’, and ‘transfer’.
  • Learn to recognize the writing strengths you bring to college level work, and learn how to use them effectively.
  • Become better aware of your writing difficulties and learn how to manage them.
  • Explore how your varied life skills and experiences have prepared you for effective reading and writing at the university.

4. This course wants you to leave this class having learned strategies for writing well by becoming effective members of a university-level learning community. To this end you will:

  • Develop strategies for peer collaboration, review, and response.
  • Engage in classroom discussions in a spirit of inquiry, respect, and openness.
  • Learn to make use of instructor office hours and student-teacher conferences.
  • Learn how to practice better self-advocacy.

GEN ST 105: Introduction to Liberal Studies

General Studies 105 is an introduction to university culture and is linked to ENGL 108. The skills we will focus on are necessary for academic success, including note-taking, writing, active learning, and time management. It will allow you to build your study and academic skills through modeling, practice and feedback as well creating and working in learning communities. The goal of the class can be summed up with a quote from the Stephen King reading — it is to help you “construct your own toolbox and then build up enough muscle so you can carry it with you.”

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