Beauty of cross- cutting in teaching and learning English
MY UNDERSTANDING of cross- cutting within a learning area is the practical and effective realisation of the relevance of one aspect of learning to another.
Comprehension is relevant to reading with understanding as it is to composition and a plethora of language items and structures like tenses, regular and irregular verbs, use of descriptive detail, imagery etc and use of direct speech in story- telling.
You cannot separate English Literature form English Language because the two sharpen each other the way iron sharpens iron. That is the truth of the matter.
The old approach treated comprehension passages as an end in themselves. They were followed by questions to answer– end of story. Not today. The passages teach style in writing, teach denotative and connotative words and expressions; teach descriptive detail by example; illustrate sense of humour in writing, euphemism, sarcasm and a host of other language skills.
A COMPOSITION topic is a form of comprehension in its own right, is it not? Topic analysis which is the first stage of brainstorming is a typical comprehension exercise.
Do you understand for example that a story about A WEDDING is not the same with A WEDDING PARTY OR A WEDDING CEREMONY? These are three completely different topics demanding different content in crafting the story.
Cross- cutting in the teaching of English Language has significantly narrowed the line we used to draw between Language and Literature. And this is a best- practice, please note.
Teachers who used to think they were competent in one and not the other; or thought they could love one and hate another must think again.
Schools that speak of offering Language and not Literature must now check what they mean, because that is fast losing sense. The language of Literature is becoming a strong feature of the cross- cutting method of teaching and learning.
Exactly the best practice in teaching and learning of English this teacher has been preaching from the valley and wilderness of Education without anybody listening for years. Now it has become real. Thanks to the new curriculum. I did not coin the word cross- cutting but what is different? Nothing! Except the authority of course! All nonsense becomes sense if the right- size mouth begins to speak. And here we are.
Cross- cutting is fun. It is fashionable. It is an aspect of best practice. Enjoy.