English 431: Theory & Practice in Tutoring Composition
Spring 2017
MW 2:00-2:50 (ARTS 106) & Fridays online 

Instructor: Dr. Kim Jaxon
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 3:00-4:00pm; Tuesdays 11:00am-1:00pm (ARTS 262)
Email for sharing Google Docs: 
Follow on Twitter:

 Course Description & Objectives

English 431 offers training and experience in the tutoring of students in composition. Paid positions in the English 30 Writing Workshop Program require successful completion of this course. 431 provides an introduction to theories and practices of writing instruction and is a recommended prerequisite for English 634: Teaching Academic Writing, the graduate course for teachers of English 130: Academic Writing.

English 431 includes a weekly seminar in which we attempt to understand what it means to teach and support the teaching of writing, including multimodal texts. While the course is closely connected to our first year writing program, particularly English 130 and English 30, we will think about our work with these spaces as cases that help us explore concepts in teaching and learning related to writing instruction.

One unit of this four-unit course is a practicum, which requires you to intern in a jumbo section workshop, English 30, or the ESL Resource Center.  This practicum experience provides a rich resource for us to explore how to mentor student writing.

English 431 provides professional experience in writing instruction.  For some students, this may be the first course you have taken that assumes professional behavior on your part.  As a mentor to freshmen and other undergraduates in the University, you now have a teaching and mentoring role at Chico State.  Please take your responsibilities to the seminar and to your workshop sessions seriously.  For each class, keep up with the work, including readings, field notes, and participation in the practicum.  You will be very behind if you miss more than one class session of English 431 and I expect dire emergencies for you to miss your internship.

 Required Texts

  • All readings are available as links or pdf in the course calendar. You’ll need the reading in class in some form (like on a tablet, laptop, or hard copy).

Required Accounts

I use many digital platforms and tools in my teaching. And since you will be working with students who are in English 130 courses that also use a variety of digital technologies (and many of you are future teachers), it seems appropriate that you try out these tools and spaces. Don’t worry if digital is not usually your thing. This should be a low stakes environment to try things out. I’ll help. You’ll be fine.

We’ll be using the following digital resources is this class:

Our Course Website:
Join our site so we can share resources and ideas.

Twitter: I hope you will create an account. Many of us in the English 130 and 30 Program are on Twitter together. We use it to share current research and links; it is truly one of the ways I stay current in my field. This class should be a place to try it out to see if you like using it within a community of peers. Once you create an account with the link above, start following drjaxon by going to: You will also follow each other once you create accounts. Twitter is a way for us to create community inside and outside of class. There are a ton of resources and professionals on twitter to follow.

Google Docs: You will upload, revise, and give feedback in Google Docs. You can access Google Docs from your Wildcat mail log in screen.

Great insights and advice for collaborating with GoogleDocs from Hybrid Pedagogy:

Organization of the Course

 Our weekly seminar sessions are structured by three interconnected threads:

  • Weekly consultations/presentations focused on structures, activities, and participation modes in your internships. We will debrief, pose problems of practice, and problem solve as we think about your work with students and student writing.
  • Readings that facilitate our understanding of these structures, activities, and participation modes.
  • Student driven work focused on the issues related to teaching and learning, particularly in connection to working with students and writing.

Our purpose is to use the seminar and internships to think about larger concepts in teaching and learning as it relates to writing.


  • Weekly Blogs                                       30%
    • Blog partner response
  • Pilot Self Study                                    10%
  • What I Know So Far…paper              20%
  • Keyword Entry                                    20%
  • Multimodal Project & Reflection     20%

(90-100% A, 80-89% B, 70-70% C, etc)