Diversity in Writing Class: Dr. Burnside’s series of speech at EF-USSH-HCM

For the first time in the history of human, the world comes apart in various ways that even the greatest visionary can hardly predict.

Conformity subsides, Diversity emerges and is instantly embraced as a new and all humane concept in the latest educational philosophy. But introducing this sensational idea into classroom is another story and the story gets even harder when the task is to bring diversity to teaching writing. This impressionistic challenge was boldly mentioned earlier today in Dr. Elkie Burnside’s, Findlay University, series of speeches at USSH-HCM. The topic of her May 5th presentation was Multimodal Composing: The Advantages of Employing Multiple Literacies. According to Dr. Burnside, writing should not be traditionally conceived as a task of alphabetical writing but as a means of expressing and sharing messages. Depending on each type of message, writing could be tailored, changed and even transformed so as to best convey the message to the wide audience. She suggested using pictures, videos, social network and literally any means the students think best realize their goal. In her words, “who would like to write a 10-page essay more than doing a video just to arrive at the same destination?” Her presentation is packed with examples taken from real products of her students. As instructional and informative as it is, Burnside’s presentation this morning inspired new ideas into the teaching handbook of to-be teachers. Many were encouraged after her presentation to bravely incorporate new approaches to teaching writing, stepping out of the classics and into a land of new fun and possibilities. Her lecture finished at 10:30 which was followed by a brief photo shooting.

Dr. Burnside will remain in Ho Chi Minh City until May 15th for various activities before flying to Ha Noi and then Cambodia. She will have two other presentations at USSH and two in Ha Noi. She has been the Assistant Professor of English at the University of Findlay since 2013.

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