Illinois Association of Teachers of English
Close to Home: Creating Authentic Contexts for Reading and Writing
October 21-22, 2016
Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
|As teachers of 21st century students who are more aware of contemporary issues than ever, thanks to the technological environment which commands their attention, we often find ourselves struggling to engage them in traditional learning.
We are fortunate, however, that access to broader opportunities for learning via these various technologies also provides us with greater opportunities for exposing our students to relevant, authentic situations. Our students can be motivated to weigh in on current, real-life issues occurring right in their own backyards because they have real-time access to a variety of articles, opinion pieces, reports, photos, and other texts – and they can instantly publish their writing via blogs, social media, and other electronic outlets.
Traditional literacy that has been limited to classical texts and specific genres is now merging with exploration of broader forms of text and research, including data culled from primary research in observation of the world directly surrounding us. Getting our students involved in issues they perceive as significant and directly relevant to their own lives will motivate and engage them in ways traditional literature frequently cannot.
We define and redefine what it means to teach and learn in the English classroom on a daily basis. This year’s conference asks you to consider ways that you engage students in authentic reading and writing situations in your own classroom. Submit a proposal to share your innovations and experiences with us.