Beauty of cross- cut­ting in teach­ing and learn­ing English

The Manica Post - - Education /entertainment - Mor­ris Mtisi

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.

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