These short writing sessions reflect assumptions underlying the current and innovative approaches to teaching and writing with holistic natural approaches. The most relevant assumptions are that writing should be taught for meaning rather than form, that writing should be taught as part of whole language, writing should be part of content area acquisition, and that writing should be practiced as a self-generated and self-actualizing activity. A few of the most commonly utilized holistic natural approaches include routine activities for writing purpose, the Language Experience Approach, storybooks or student written summaries as a source for intensive writing activities, journal writing, and creative writing.
The following strategies and activities assume that the students have already experienced a cognitive presentation of background information on the bilingual education movement and that they have had adequate oral instruction on this material. One main resource for this presentation is
The Bilingual Education Act: 1988 Legislation
, written and compiled by Enrique M. Cubillos. This treatise contains a full text of the Bilingual Education Act of 1988 and it describes in detail the length of student participation in a program, the new provisions for funding, service activities and other changes. The 1988 Bilingual Education Act, which is part of P.L. 100-297 (The Hawkins/Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments), is good reading and orientation for Hispanic students since this legislation reauthorizes bilingual education through September 30, 1993. The teacher should review this treatise with the students.
The target group for these activities could be Hispanic middle school students or other high school students. After the teacher has prepared the classroom with a bilingual education ambiance (writes key terms of the 1988 Act on large bright pieces of paper and hangs them on the walls, writes the names of famous bilingual persons such as the judges or other role models that have made the background presentations, puts soft Hispanic music on for a mellow background . . .), verbal summaries are elicited from the students. The teacher should also give a short summary of what was discussed and presented in the previous classroom sessions.