E-Portfolio. Language Fluency Improvement Methods Free Sample

The child under this report is a grade D pupil named John* with profound difficulty in fluency in reading. Having been in this school for the last two terms of study, I realized John had general difficulty in fluency with particular reference to Meaning, Structure, and Visual information of words. Under close review, I did observe that John had also problems with word omission, word insertion, and word substitution.

Reading Behavior

John’s accurate word reading behavior was below average. In the running record symbols and marking conventions, John had profound difficulty in reading some words in the record sheet. According to reading a-z.com (2009) “Be sure to pay attention to the reader’s behavior as he or she read and ask relevant questions such as: is the child using meaning (M), structural (S), and visual (V) cues to read words and gather meaning”

The average accurate word reading was 37%. Substitution word behavior in the case in which word is not self-corrected was well done. This information gathered was used to determine the levels of word reading accuracy, percentage of error, and rates that apply to self-correction. The reading behavior on error rate in John’s case was reached by dividing the total number of words John was able to read by the total number of errors incurred in reading these words.

  • Total words/total errors
  • In johns running record, TW/E = 140/7 = 20
  • The calculation for the rate of accuracy was arrived at by calculating the (TW-E)/TW× 100
  • (120-7)/140× 100

Statistics on word omissions and word insertions were used to tabulate the rates of John’s error in these reading behaviors. Repetition of one word and repetition of a phrase had zero error. This was commendable in the fact that John was able to read the words without the problem of repetitions. The statistics on interventions and the inability to try reading the words again was zero in that John, being a jovial boy was able to try reading the words by himself.

Qualitative analysis is the best method to be put under the application in this area and was thus affectively used during the running record. It involves deeply observing, recording, and analyzing how the child makes extensive uses of Structures (S), Visual (V), and Meaning (M) in aiding the reading to John. Qualitative analysis also involves giving enough due attention to areas of phrasing the words, sound intonation, and the problems of fluency. The recorded statistics on the response to prompts given to the child were used qualitatively to determine the overall reading error. This method of analysis gives the true picture of a child’s reading development.

This experience offered to provide them a good indicator of John’s rate of reading development and give vital statistics that can be applied to improve the reading behavior of children with a similar problem. The most interesting part in the development of this report was the period under which the child was put to read under the camera. The level of determination put forward by John when reading by himself was more fascinating in that John was able to read the words more than once without supervision.


Reading A-Z.COM (2009). Fluency teaching tips. Web.

History Of Newark, A City In New Jersey

The City of Newark. Geographical Location

The City of Newark was founded in 1666 by the Connecticut puritans who came from the New Haven colony, the City experienced rapid growth in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. Toward the end of the 20th century, the City experienced tremendous decline and racial tension especially the riots that took place in 1967. From the 1990s to the present the City has experienced a great rejuvenation (Turner & Koles, 1997). Newark in New Jersey is among the biggest cities in New Jersey, it is ranked to be the 65th largest town in the whole of America and is considered to be the home of many giant corporations like Prudential financial. On 1st January 1905, it had taken over Vail burg borough which had been independent. At present the Newark City has got following Wards; The North Ward, The East Ward, The South Ward, and The West Ward (Edge, 2007).

Geographically, Newark City sits on an area of approximately 24.14 square miles making it the second-smallest city in terms of area in the list of the 100 most popular cities in America. Newark is located 400 44’ 14” north and 740 10’ 55” south with an average altitude of 17meters. Newark City contains a sloping large basin which is slanting towards the Passaic river with some few valleys formed as a result of its meandering rivers with much of its part is covered with water marshes making it hard to expand the City. Newark is considered the gateway of New Jersey City in terms of economic Activities (Turner & Koles, 1997).

Newark’s closeness to the Atlantic Ocean makes the City experience warmer winters compared to other cities which fall in the same latitude. As per the Koppen climate classification, Newark City’s climate is the humid subtropical one. Newark enjoys all four seasons; summer, winter, spring, and autumn. It snows during winter but the snow does not remain on the surface for long periods due to temperatures averaging at 3-6 during this period. Newark experiences mild springs which occur from March to early June. March receives the lowest temperatures of 4c during this spring period and they keep increasing to 21c in June. Summers are characterized by high levels of humidity and temperatures ranging from 27-34 during the day. July and August are considered to have a high level of humidity and hottest temperatures reaching 38c. During autumn the City the temperature reduces again to an average of 15c. Newark receives 75mm to 110mm of rain per month which is sufficient for agriculture (Turner & Koles, 1997).

The Newark economic Activities during the colonial period were based majorly on agriculture; they grew cash crops like cotton, tobacco, rice, and wheat among others because Newark had flat marshy land and sufficient rainfall accompanied by rich soils. Newark has a growing season that is longer than in other cities which lie in the same latitude (Immerso, 1999). Due to the short period of snow and the warm climate, they were able to grow a lot of varieties of vegetables, fruits, grains like a con, and reared livestock. They were able to manufacture things using bare hands or simple machines. There existed master craftsmen who were skilled to manufacture things like guns and wagons and had an obligation to teach the young generation or apprentices how to read, write and do mathematics. This they did according to the demands of the colonial society which dictated that traditions and customs should be passed down to the younger generations to ensure continuity of the expertise (Mumford, 2007).

History of the City

The Newark town is considered the gateway of New Jersey since the colonial period. They practiced trade by exporting mainly farm produces and other natural resources to Europe while they imported manufactured goods from the latter. Taxation was closely related to war, when the town was at war, the tax increased to meet the war expenditures. The greater the war the greater amount of tax levied especially during the war between the Indian natives and the French which occurred between 1754 and 1763 Newark citizens were taxed heavily which led to American Revolution. Excises and other indirect taxes were levied to meet the civil administration expenditures, especially during the peaceful moments. People of Newark were directly taxed on their income and property during the war periods. During peaceful days Newark people were able to drive tax rates to a very small level by the issuance of paper money to people. The government provided the mortgage to people and collected interests from the loans which turned out to be the main resource of colonial revenue. The colonial system also issued bills that were supported by the oath of future taxation. During the colonial period, Newark was a big town famously known for its quality beer, tanned leather (Turner & Koles, 1997).

The towns consisted of small streets which were starting at the harbor and ended in the villages. A year after there was the decree issued to all landowners to elect a solid fence within twelve months or get reliable or the penalty after the purchase of lands by the settlers, the original Indian street was left in place although they were widened a bit. Towards the end of the seventeen century, they built a new street which is the present Brad Street to intersect other roads and to improve the stability and the flexibility of the town. Basically what the settlers did is that they gave the muscle the skeletal architecture of Newark town. In 1809, three commissioners were appointed to take care of the streets by executing laws relate to the streets. Newark was a collection of crowded small houses and elevated structures that were encircled by pastures, grassing lands, and planting fields with were either surrounded by thick forests or wetlands

The development of Newark town was not as a model City but as City whose design was based on the common knowledge that the planters had acquired in New England. Within the period between 1620 and 1845, the people of New England town wanted to establish a new town in terms of architecture. Planned and built roads, bridges, public ways, stokes, and livestock pounds which resulted in the development of seven streets with the width of approximately 730 feet each. The structure of the town as a result of the older organization which was deeply rooted in his culture and agriculture. Rather, the new ark‘s architecture could be summed as a four-cornered town which consisted of one brad street and triangular commons whose purpose was to serve as parks(Immerso, 1999).

Originally, Newark was a small town with structures cluttered together. It was the cradle land for the Lenape Indians. With the advent of the white settlers in 1666, the population started to increase drastically as there were good farming methods that increased food production. At first, all the people never owned land. It was free to all making the Indians be in the same social class. The advent of the settlers started buying lands and owning properties which resulted in social classes of the rich and the poor. The population of the City had tripled to 48000 people by 1853 (Turner & Koles, 1997).

On 31st October 1666, Newark became a Township based on the Newark Tract; it was rather awarded a Royal charter on the 27th date of April 1713(Mumford, 2007). Rather, on 21st February 1798, it was included in a list of New Jersey’s 104 towns by the New Jersey Legislature Act. Some parts of the town were separated to start new towns. This led to the formation of towns like Springfield Township, Orange Township, Caldwell Township, Bloomfield Township, and Clinton Township. It became a City on 11th April 1836 based on the referendum that was passed on 18th March 1836(Immerso, 1999).

The native Indians always attributed everything to their deity. The leadership was under the kingdom style and was headed by King Charles II who controlled the greater region of New Jersey including Newark town. In 1664, New Jersey was under the control of James the duke who was the brother of Charles II. He gave the duke the power to create Governments and create laws. This led to the creation of municipalities by the legislation. In 1702 there was the change of governance from the legislative grant to royal charter following the joining of the west and east New Jersey top form the New Jersey. The powers to corporate municipalities were later given to the legislature following the American Revolution which resulted in the passing of the Township form of municipal Governance. Under this Township form, all-male whites who were above 21 years old were supposed to vote annually to elect a presiding officer, town clerks, tax collectors, surveyors, among others (Lassiter, 2007)…

Basically, the chief economic activity was agriculture, they planted maize, pumpkins, and tobacco, and also they reared turkeys. They were also hunters. They didn’t own the lands as they felt that the lands and the natural resources belonged to the gods. The advent of Europeans started the plantation of apples.

The period between 1865 and 1900 was called the gilded age was the era after the civil war. It led to an explosion in inventions including the invention of phonographs, the typewriter among others also a lot of discoveries were witnessed including the discovery of coal, sand, and Gravel, Gypsum, clay, and oil regions. Many saw it as the second industrial revolution. There was a tremendous increase in railways and other transport infrastructure leading to easy transportation of goods and people. This is a time that the horse-drawn carriages were being replaced by cars (Joseph, 2010). Newark got much of its finances from taxing the agricultural sector which was booming by now due to the modernization of farming methods. They also financed themselves from the sale of manufactured goods and oil, personal income was also taxed by the Government with 3-5% rates it was later abolished by the Government till 1872. all this time the Government relied on import and export duties and excise taxes. This duty to levy taxes was given to the internal revenue service (IRS) (Mumford, 2007).

Newark introduced local Government in 1954 which was formerly the Faulkner Act plan C. This local Government consisted of a mayor and other nine members who were elected during an election for a term of four years. The local government was responsible for putting into place laws and statutes which were to govern the people of the City (Lassiter, 2007).

The design and architecture of Newark City still took on the shape of the ancient streets that were constructed by the Indians. The only difference was to broaden the streets and make them modern. Since this era occurred during the industrial explosion, the City was designed to incorporate modern infrastructure in terms of roads and railways. There was the construction of megastructures changed the appearance of Newark completely (Joseph, 2010).

Modernized farming methods due to the industrial revolution and other discoveries improved the living standards of the people, the City of Newark experienced an explosion in population especially those coming in to work for the industries that had been established. This created many social classes between the wealthy, the middle-class people, the poor, and the slaves and peasants (Lassiter, 2007).

Edward Steve Rankin became the man in charge of the City Engineering corps whose duty was to work on the sewerage system since the sewer was pumped into the rivers causing a lot of diseases.

Years after 1866, Newark experienced a great increase in population and industrial development pulling the interests of many Politicians into the interests of a large economy. The Government introduced easy laws and reduced taxes in 1870 which saw a rise of dummy offices in the City. This led to the introduction of an Act to abolish corruption in the City (Porambo, 2007).

In 1899, the Township Act was amended to give clear meaning to the constitution for the Township form. Although it was amended it did not change the basic structure of the Township form and still much of the powers were vested in the Township committee although it allowed the members of the committee were allowed to divide among themselves some executive powers with each member serving as a department head. However, the committee was to take those duties or responsibilities which were not given to the mayor either by the legislature and Township Act (Lassiter, 2007).

The 1878 Borough Act sought to break the New Jersey cities into boroughs. A mayor had no vote unless to break ties. The majors had extra-judicial powers even resolving criminal cases. The mayor was elected annually while the council had a three-year term. Newark City was a popular democratic region until 1896 when it continuously voted for the republicans in the national elections. The state of New Jersey rewrote its constitution in 1947 after the Second World War (Joseph, 2010). It recognized the human rights movements, made the court processes to be easier and available, human rights movements were acknowledged. This era occurred when America was gaining from the Second World War. Its economy grew drastically since the second world war due to over-dependence of oil by the industrial sector and domestic use pushing inflation rates high by the early 1970s resulting in the country plunging into depression and tough economic times for a long time(Mumford, 2007). Reagan who was the president during this time introduced economic policies that were fiscally expansive which saw cutting of federal income tax, his Government had introduced tighter interests on loans and controlled money supply (Lassiter, 2007)

The Newark City experienced greater rural-urban movement since by now many industries were operating from the City. There were social classes that were based on the economic levels: the lower and higher social-economic levels. The City depended on imports and other excise duties that were levied to finance its self. Also, there was taxation on personal income (Edge, 2007). The north Ward contains many forests and is home to many Latinos. Central Ward contains many poor classes of people majority being Africans. And it’s home to many historical sites. The west is also heavily populated by blacks, the southern Ward comprises low-income weequahic district which is a home of many crimes and poverty (Porambo, 2007).

The East Ward is home to a commercial district with the greatest population of Portuguese. There was a significant change in urban development and growth although much was affected by the tough economic times (Joseph, 2010). Currently, the City is divided into five political Wards. The airport, industrial areas, and sea lands are all located in east and southern Wards while the north, central and western Wards are for residential reasons. The central is mostly for the poor people it has distinct boundaries which seem unbroken for a long time with other Wards (Mumford, 2007). Newark is more of a democratic region since in 2008; Mr. Barrack Obama who was a Democrat candidate for the national election received 91% votes. It is a member of the tenth congregational district and a member of the thirteenth district. It is also a member of the twenty-seventh, twenty-eight, and twenty-ninth legislative districts. Still, they are using the local Government system of administration.it includes the following members: the representatives of the five Wards, two members elected at large, the council president, and his vice president (Porambo, 2007).

Reference List

Edge, W. (2007). The Newark Tradition | Politicker NJ, 2010. Web.

Immerso, M. (1999).

Newark’s Little Italy. New York, NY: Rutgers University Press.

Joseph, A. (2010). Newark, New Jersey: The Golden Age. New York, NY: Heritage Books.

Lassiter, M, D. (2007).The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South. New York, NY: Princeton University Press.

Mumford, K. (2007). Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Porambo, R. (2007). No Cause for Indictment: An Autopsy of Newark. New York, NY: Melville Publications.

Turner, J. & Koles, R. T. (1997). Newark (NJ). New York, NY: Arcadia Publishing.

Writing About The Past

When it comes to discussing the representations of the past in the works of literature, many critics assume that how authors go about retelling their memories simply reflects the creative subtleties of their psyche. And, it goes without saying, of course, that addressing the subject matter from this perspective would deny credibility to the suggestions that the essence of literary representations of the past, on the part of affiliated authors, is being largely predetermined by particulars of these authors’ ethnocultural constitution. Nevertheless, the analysis of how ethnically and culturally diverse authors describe their memories of the past and how they perceive the meaning of their memories leaves very little doubt as to the fact that that the discussion of this particular topic can never cease being contextual of whom these authors are, in racially-biological and existentially-perceptional senses of this word. In our paper, we will aim to substantiate the validity of this thesis even further by outlining similarities and differences between reflections upon the past, contained in the works of Marcel Proust, Birago Diop, and Leslie Silko.

Given the fact that Marcel Proust is being commonly referred to as one of the most sophisticated French authors, it comes as no surprise that how he theorized the concept of the past in his novels appears particularly analytical. According to Proust, it is quite inappropriate to refer to the memories of the past as such that can only be subjectivized in one’s mind – these memories live the life of their own while being enclosed within physical emanations of what the author refers to as ‘universal matter’. When an individual comes in close contact with a physical object that contains ‘memory’, he or she gets to immediately experience the full spectrum of sensations, out of which ‘memory’ consists. There is a famous scene in Swann’s Way, where Proust tells the story of how some elusive but ever-present memory of a distant past had stricken him after he took a sip of tea: “No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate, a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, but individual, detached, with no suggestion of its origin” (Proust, 1913, p. 41). After having indulged in some philosophizing as to what had caused him to get in close and personal touch with forgotten memories from the past, the author concluded that it was named the sip of tea, which had instantly instilled him with the awareness of these memories. According to Proust, this can have only one possible explanation – memories are not simply mental constructs, the existence of which is impossible outside of the physical medium that carries them (brain), but rather as idealistically existing ‘things in themselves that constantly linger around, while waiting for the chance to come into one’s mind: “After the people are dead… the smell and taste of things (memories) remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment” (p. 43). Thus, Proust makes a clear distinction between memories, as ideal substances, and people, as physical beings. What it means is that Proust assesses the subject matter from a metaphysical rather than from a sensory perspective, which provides us with insight into the fact that the author’s view on the concepts of memory and past reflected highly urbanistic workings of his mentality. The author never ceased thinking about himself as existential sovereign, which is why he thought of memories as such that had very little to do with his innermost essence, as an individual – according to Proust, memories of the distant past can provide a concerned individual with emotional comfort, but under no circumstances can they define his or her identity. While being endowed with a euro-centric outlook on surrounding reality, Proust was well aware of the fact that it is namely the extent of one’s intellectual powers, which reflects his or her actual worth, and not such individual’s ability to affiliate itself with nature. In its turn, this provides us with insight into the main characteristic of Proust’s perception of the past – the author never thought that one’s past defines his or her future. Instead, he thought of memories as serving primarily the purpose of intellectual enlightenment.

When we analyze the motives of the past, contained in the works of Birago Diop, it will become clear that, unlike Proust, the author perceives the past as an overwhelming totality that predetermines the existential mode of concerned individuals. The validity of this statement becomes especially apparent, when Diop reflects upon the past as something integrally interwoven with the notion of death and with the notion of tribal solidarity, as seen in his poem Souffles:

“Those who are dead have never really gone away

They are at the Woman’s breast

They are in the Child’s weeping

And in the firebrand bursting into life

The Dead are not under the Ground” (Diop, 1966, p. 64).

According to Diop, the past is not simply an abstract concept, which derives out of people’s linear perception of time, but rather parallel time-continuum, which exists alongside with present and future, and which affects tribally minded people rather directly. As it was rightly noted in Sana Camara’s article Birago Diop’s poetic contribution to the ideology of Negritude: “He (Birago) defines life as a perpetual movement of recomposition, with the soul’s revitalization taking effect through cosmic elements. In postulating the permanence of organic matter, Birago Diop seeks in particular to establish a link of interdependence between past and future…” (Camara, 2002, p. 101). In other words, unlike what was the case with Proust, Diop assesses the past through the lenses of nature’s impersonification – that is, he does not think of the concept of past terminologically but rather spiritually, which in its turn reveals essentially primitive workings of author’s psyche. As it is the case with most people in Third World, they are being rarely capable of addressing life’s challenges by the mean of actively opposing the emanations of surrounding reality – instead, they tackle these challenges by striving to appease nature. And, the best way to do it, is adopting an essentially animistic stance in life, when the role of one’s individuality in shaping objective reality is being intentionally downplayed. In its turn, this explains why in his poetic and literary works Biop promoted an utterly pantheist outlook on how the past relates to the present and future – the author’s existential inexpressiveness prevented him from being able to draw a methodological line between these two concepts.

In Bishop’s eyes, there can be no clearly defined difference between the present and the past – after all, there is not much difference between how the author’s ancestors lived in the past and how his contemporaries live in the present. This is exactly why in his works, Bishop glorifies the concept of tradition as such that, while deriving out of past, provides guiding light to African natives in the present. The fact that such his outlook on the subject matter is being conceptually fallacious, had never even occurred to the author. Unfortunately, the same can be said about contemporary admirers of Bishop’s literary legacy, who are being incapable of understanding the simple fact that the notions of ‘closeness to nature and ‘tradition’ are being synonymous with the notion of intellectual backwardness.

Given the fact that Leslie Silko had made a point in trying to actively undermine the validity of euro-centric notions, it would only be natural to expect her literary representations of the past/memory to be metaphysically related to that of Biop. The reading of her novel Ceremony alone substantiates the validity of such our suggestion, because just as it is being the case with Biop, in her novel Silko refers to the main character’s (Tayo) memory as being endowed with clearly defined collectivist subtleties. In her article Violence, trauma, and cultural memory in Leslie Silko’s Ceremony, Alexandra Ganser was able to define the main motif of this Silko’s novel with perfect exactness: “The collective trauma also translates from generation to generation and often remains unspoken and tabooed for a long time” (Ganser, 2004, p. 147). In other words, if a particular Native individual had suffered from the injustice of being provided with the fruits of civilization in the past, his or her descendants have a legitimate reason to keep complaining about it on a full-time basis, even today. According to Silko, practicing ‘spirituality’ by indulging in never-ending tribal warfare, in time free from looking for eatable bugs and plants, is being so much better as compared to living a civilized life of comfort and intellectual advancement in a city, built by ‘blue-eyed devils’.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that there is a certain rationale behind these kinds of suggestions, on Silko’s part. And, for us to define the essence of this rationale, we would have to refer to the earlier point we have made about Biop’s representations of the past. Just as it is being the case with Bishop, in Ceremony Silko never ceased projecting the past upon the present, to expose present as ‘utterly wicked’ – a usual agenda of people not overly burdened with intelligence, who nevertheless believe that they have been given a mission of restoring society’s ‘moral integrity’, such as Christian and Islamic fundamentalists, Marxists and nowadays – the enforces of multiculturalism. In its turn, this explains why the memories of the past, on Tayo’s part, are being depicted by Silko as utterly incompatible with the realities of modern living: “Their (White people’s) medicine drained memory out of his (Tayo’s) thin arms and replaced it with a twilight cloud behind his eyes” (Silko, 1977, p. 15). Therefore, to be able to get in touch with their cultural roots and to take the repossession of their past, natives must never cease demanding from the government to be given brand-new SUVs and to be provided with an exemption from paying taxes.

The conclusions of this paper can be formulated as follows:

  1. The main difference between Proust’s representations of the past, on one hand, and between Bishop and Silko’s representations of the past, on another, is the fact that; whereas, Proust refers to the past as an ideal substance, a ‘thing in itself, a subject of noble melancholy, Biop and Silko refer to the past as essentially a moral paradigm, which should play an active role in shaping contemporaries’ behavior.
  2. The main similarity between Proust’s view of the past and that of Biop and Silko, is the fact all three authors tend to project their past experiences upon the present, and not the vice versa, which in its turn, reveals them being a somewhat infantile individual.
  3. The particulars of how all three authors assess past are being reflective of specifics of their ethnocultural affiliation, which in its turn reflects the varying extent of their ability to effectively address the challenges of a present.

Works Cited

  1. Diop, B. (1966). Tales of Amadou Koumba. Translated by Blair, D. London: Oxford University Press.
  2. Ganser, A. (2004). Violence, trauma, and cultural memory in Leslie Silko’s Ceremony. Revista Atenea 24(1), 145-62.
  3. Proust, M. 1913 [2008]. Swann’s way. Translated by Moncrieff, S. New York: Forgotten Books.
  4. Silko, L. 1977 [1986]. Ceremony. New York: Penguin

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