In order for your students to appreciate different dialects of the English language, you must expose them to different pieces of writing early on. It is important to teach your students that they can use different tones for different genres of writing, and the different ways to interpret grammar rules within those different genres of writing. However as one writes more and more, they develop a sense of voice they are most comfortable with in their low and high stakes writing. It all goes back to what we’ve talked about for the majority of the semester about how little students are given the opportunity to critically think and creatively write at a young age. It took me until practically this school year to believe that I have developed a sense of voice in my writing that is unique to myself. Whereas I’ve done probably hundreds of writing assignments in my life.. Exposing your students to the different styles of writing and how grammar rules are still important and used throughout those different pieces of writing is crucial for them as they develop their sense of voice throughout their writing career.
I believe all of these ideas tie together with the introduction of more responding to writing in the classroom. Rather than giving reading quizzes on articles or books assigned for the class, have your students respond to what they read the night before in their writers’ notebooks—in their own voice. Encourage them to write everything that they’re thinking. If I’ve learned anything in this class it is that writing is like athletics. Practice makes perfect. The more you write the earlier you develop a sense of voice throughout your writing, giving you more time to critique that voice in the context of grammar as your writing career goes on.