Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 08:25:29 -0500


Subject: Update on Textbooks

I met with my sophomore Intro to Ling students yesterday for our final meeting.

In an oral course evaluation exercise that I do at the end of every

course I teach, I explored their use of Akmajian et al and Language Files (LF).

(This semester was the first time I had used that combo in a long time.)

Some students preferred Akmajian, others preferred LF. The concensus, though,

was that the use of both vooks was overload. Their preference: a

single, comprehensive book. Some students reported finding Akmajian

less accessible than they would have liked -- but they retained their

preference for comprehsnsiveness anyway.

Their major complaint? That I did not talk enough about my own research

(I did not tell them that my colleagues sometimes have the same


What did they like best? Take-home tests (freed from "memorizing" without

understanding), class discussion, small group assignments (I used

those at the ebginning of the class to encourage them to know each other),

and student oral reports (on the topics of their research papers).

This was teh best section of L200 I have ever taught. I almost hated

to say goodbye at the end of the semester.

Cheers all,