Workshop 1: Responding as Readers
In this workshop, you will meet the readers in this workshop
series including Dr. Langer through their varied
literary backgrounds. Dr. Langer also introduces the major concepts
of her work in understanding the processes through which effective
readers interact with literary texts.
Workshop 2: Envisioning
Dr. Langer presents a clear explanation of the four vantage
points that effective readers take as they work to build their
own envisionments and the research process through which she
identified them. She explains how each stance being outside
and stepping into an envisionment, being in and moving through
an envisionment, stepping out and rethinking what one knows,
and stepping out and objectifying the experience contributes
to a constantly-evolving understanding of the text that is the
hallmark of a successful reading experience. The community of
readers demonstrates these stances as they discuss Gary Sotos
Workshop 3: Stepping In
In this workshop program, you will join readers who are outside
of the text and stepping into it. While looking at James Dickeys
The Lifeguard and Frank OConnors First
Confession, the group talks about the impressions, intuitions,
and hunches that help them gather information as they first
start to read. They also talk through sticking points when the
information they encounter in the text breaks apart their envisionments,
and demonstrate how they work to rebuild them, sometimes with
the help of other readers.
Along the way, Dr. Langers comments explain how readers
work as they step into a text. She also suggests ways in which
teachers can apply what they see to their work in the classroom.
Workshop 4: Moving Through
When readers are in and moving through a text, they interact
very closely with the text, actually living within the world
of its words. During this workshop, you will watch as readers
weave a rich envisionment within the text, calling on all they
have known or experienced before. The group works with two texts,
Cathy Song's poem Lost Sister and Stephen Dixons
short story All Gone, building on their initial
impressions to examine motives, feelings, causes, interrelationships,
and interactions as they create a more complete envisionment
of these texts.
Dr. Langers comments during this workshop point to the
diverse paths readers follow when they stand in this relationship
to a text, and explain why their actions are an important part
of the effective reader's arsenal.
Workshop 5: Rethinking
The community of readers demonstrate another important vantage
point in which competent readers adopt: that of stepping outside
the text and using what they find there to rethink their lives.
You will observe them as they discuss Shakespeare's Hamlet,
looking at the various parts of the text that talk about familial
relationships, and learn about the places in their lives where
these themes resonate and the ways it has made them rethink
what they have known, said, or did.
Dr. Langer stresses that, while not all texts speak explicitly
to readers in this way, seeking to find the places where their
life intersects with the lessons of literature is important
for all readers.
Workshop 6: Objectifying
This workshop showcases the reader as critic, as the community
of readers steps out of the text to reflect on what it all means,
how it works, and why. Here, you will become part of the discussions
that evolve as the readers look at Alice Walkers Revolutionary
Petunias and Langston Hughes Theme for English
B. The readers examine the authors craft, the structure
of the text and its various literary elements, and choice of
language in order to evaluate both works as pieces of literature.
They also objectify and analyze their personal journeys through
Dr. Langers comments throughout the piece remind readers
of the importance of personal evaluation of the text. She also
encourages teachers of readers by pointing out how the techniques
readers used here can be explored in their classrooms.
Workshop 7: The Stances in Action
In order to show how readers move into and out of each of the
stances as they build their envisionments, this workshop focuses
on two extended discussions among the groups of readers. Individually
and collectively, they enter and become immersed in their reading,
step back and reflect on its lessons, and look at the piece
as literary critics would. The texts the readers talk about
include four poems that explore the Icarus myth (To a
Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph, Anne Sexton; Icarus,
Stephen Spender, Icarus, Edward Field, and Landscape
with the Fall of Icarus, William Carlos Williams), as
well as Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street.
This workshop session can serve as your virtual workbook, helping
you hone your understandings of the stances and how they contribute
to rich and vital envisionments.
Workshop 8: Returning to the
In the concluding workshop session, you will observe the readers
in this community talk about the ways in which Dr. Langers
work and their own expertise as readers can truly
affect the language arts classroom. In addition to sharing in
their stories of successes, you will also eavesdrop on classrooms
throughout the country to see how teachers are encouraging their
students to become rich envisionment builders.