Accomplishing sophisticated analysis of a complex text could, in fact, be the most difficult skill for a student to acquire not only while enrolled in the traditional Advanced Placement Language and Composition course, but also over the trajectory of their entire academic career; and it’s on us, their instructors, to get them there. The expectation of that achievement can be overwhelming to say the least-a daunting and intimidating task further complicated by the widening skill base of our diverse student population and the abstract language we’ve come to expect on the AP scoring guide like “sophisticated” and “effective”.
So just where do we begin and how do we reach all our students? Over the course of the next few blog posts I intend to address this issue through specific language, deliberate instruction, and a layered scaffolding of specific assignments meant to complement the needs of our students through increased complexity of text and analysis skills anchored by a similar theme. Furthermore, I will provide feedback and interventions that have proven to be the most commonly effective ways to increase student understanding that I’ve composed over thirteen years of teaching Language and Composition and seven years of being an AP reader.
By: Tyler Ham (AP English Language and Composition teacher, National Board Certified Teacher, national consultant, and exam Reader from Spokane, WA)