Language and Diction in Secondary Social Studies

As educators, everything we say and write will be under intense scrutiny by our students. Not only is it important to be factually and grammatically correct so students continue to see you as a respectful and smart person, but it is also important to be factually accurate to promote these attributes in your students. The reading that covers language demands is very helpful with lesson planning and more importantly the diction that goes along with content and standards. The most important to historical thinking would be the discourse category, especially about “How members of the discipline talk, write, and participate in knowledge construction, using the structures of written and oral language”(edTPA 2). This is important to historical thinking skills like comparing and contrasting sources, interpreting bias, and understanding historical themes. These skills are necessary to how secondary education works, where students must learn how to critically analyze history for themselves. 

The next reading details the challenges of giving student feedback on graded work, which is something I have experienced first hand. Oftentimes when teachers provide feedback on assignments and the students “look at returned work just long enough to find out their grades, and then shove the papers into their bags to be forgotten forever”(Goobler 1). I experienced this in my latest field experience. One of my tasks was to sweep the classroom, and everyday I did this I found discarded graded work littering the floor. Most of this is due to the fact that many assignments end after they are turned in. One way to eliminate this problem is to have assignments that work off of each other. So for example, if I assigned a reading reflection each week, the feedback from each specific reading could be helpful for the next reading. 

These readings provide strategies to boost one’s teaching effectiveness. The reading on diction and syntax provides help with formulating vocabulary and content words, as well as assignments and questions that are necessary for student learning. I also learned more about giving student feedback, which I was unaware of. The debate over student feedback is based on the fact that most students do not look at student feedback. I will try to combat this by providing more feedback on how to improve future assignments and less so the assignment they just completed.