Fun, rigorous, online literary analysis/writing class offered by teacher with 20 years experience
I believe English Language Arts – reading, writing and public speaking – are essential for understanding ourselves, our fellow human beings, and for thinking and communicating effectively. Thought and language are inextricable; practice in either strengthens both! I also believe students learn best from a teacher who is empathetic, knowledgeable, funny, respectful and demanding.
In our small class (no more than 10 students) we delve deeply into everything we read, discussing literary elements such as characters, setting and conflict; and techniques such as foreshadowing, symbolism, irony, imagery, allusion and authorial intrusion. We also discuss how we feel about the characters and issues the authors raise. Finally, of course, we look for central ideas in our reading, and I show the students how to find them.
Once we have thought and talked about our readings enough that the students have something to say, I ask them to write it. We start with paragraphs and move on to expository, argument, analytical and comparison esssays. I always give students a choice of topics so that they can write about something they understand and care about. We discuss what we are looking for in the writing: accuracy, structure, persuasivenss, vivid detail, concision, and correct grammar and spelling. I give examples, clear expectations, and as much help as necessary. Then we critique each other's writing and make revisions to our own. Because the class is small, I have time to give the students detailed feedback to aid their progress. And all of this happens in a warm, encouraging and lighthearted atmosphere. I have over twenty years' experience teaching, so I am confident of my knowledge and delighted to listen and learn from students.
Class currently meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 Eastern time (1:30-2:30 Pacific). Homework is assigned between classes. I welcome students throughout the year and help them catch up with the rest of the class. The fee is $20 per hour-long class per student, billed monthly. Students who come via this website are entitled to one free class.