At the Point of Need by Marie Nelson. Teaching Basic and ESL Writers
At the Point of Need

At the Point of Need

Teaching Basic and ESL Writers

By Marie Nelson
Foreword by Nancy Martin

    . . . makes a compelling argument against deficit models of instruction and assessment while at the same time presenting evidence for the effectiveness of a model of teaching whose point of departure is students' perceived needs.

    —College Composition and Communication

At the Point of Need is a richly detailed account of the experiences of teachers, tutors, and students over a five-year period in a university writing center, whose main mission was to enable basic and ESL writers to handle college writing demands. By and large, it's a success story, with implications and applications far beyond...

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Full Description

    . . . makes a compelling argument against deficit models of instruction and assessment while at the same time presenting evidence for the effectiveness of a model of teaching whose point of departure is students' perceived needs.

    —College Composition and Communication

At the Point of Need is a richly detailed account of the experiences of teachers, tutors, and students over a five-year period in a university writing center, whose main mission was to enable basic and ESL writers to handle college writing demands. By and large, it's a success story, with implications and applications far beyond the purview of that particular writing center.

Essentially, it wasn't broad knowledge of teaching or writing that these teachers and basic writers needed. What they needed was permission and encouragement to evaluate their own work; a way to evaluate it for themselves while including feedback from others; peers to help them brainstorm things to try when they got stuck; support for trying the unconventional; and freedom from constant impersonal assessment.