The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148530   Message #3449772
Posted By: JohnInKansas
09-Dec-12 - 11:38 AM
Thread Name: BS: New curricula in US schools?
Subject: RE: BS: New curricula in US schools?
Virgina Tam -

The point that you seem to be missing is that there's nothing in the new curriculum that would ever require you to use a technical reference in a typical Advanced English Class. The tech manual cited - insulation standards - merely tells teachers presenting a class on building construction which reference on insulation is recommended when they teach that part of how to put a building together. Teachers of advanced English seldom teach nailing, wrenching, riviting, or welding, but other teachers who do teach those subjects also need guidance.

Conversely, there is nothing preventing you from using a technical document from the approved list if you included segment on writing technical English if there was a reason for including that particular skill in your English class (although that particular need would be rare?). Assuming that you weren't a skilled nail bender, it would be helpful to know what tech books would be most similar to what students, who at the same time or later might be in a trade-oriented course of study, would be likely to see again.

For some students, a course on "International English"1 would be more useful than "Advanced English" but I've never seen it taught in a public school and it would be of value only to a very select few students.

1 International English, in this context, is a specific vocabulary of a few hundred words, used (if one follows the regulations) in maintenance and operating manuals for (mostly military?) equipment that might be deployed among non-English speaking (and/or ESL) workers. It's very difficult to teach native English speakers to write it correctly but reasonably simple to teach almost anyone, in any language, to read it "adequately," or for someone to translate it to a local language. (Recollection is that there are/were separate specifications for a 200 word and for an 800 word vocabulary, although the "word sets" may vary from time to time.)