CHALLENGER international
CHALLENGER international

Reviews of the Journal


Volume 25, Issue 1 (December 2015)

Volume 26, Issue 1 (January 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 2 (February 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 3 (March 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 4 (April 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 5 (May 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 6 (June 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 7 (July 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 8 (August 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 9 (September 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 10 (October 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 11 (November 2016)

Volume 26, Issue 12 (December 2016)

Volume 27, Issue 1 (January 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 2 (February 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 3 (March 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 4 (April 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 4.1 (April 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 5 (May 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 6 (June 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 7 (July 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 8 (August 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 9 (September 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 10 (October 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 11 (November 2017)

Volume 27, Issue 12 (December 2017)

Volume 28, Issue 1 (January 2018)

Getting English Class Started


First Edition: Academic Exchange Extra (Greeley, CO [University of Northern Colorado]), 2010, Final Issue.

Second Edition: LukivPress (Quesnel, BC), 2014.

Revised Edition: LukivPress (Sardis, BC), 2015.

An excerpt

In my school, McNaughton Education Centre (Quesnel, BC), I teach English, English Literature, Communications, and Creative Writing to secondary alternate high school students, many of whom abhor reading and writing. Often I have asked students, “Do you mean you have never read a book? Not ever?”

A typical response: “I’ve never read a book. I hate reading.”

My starting off class with their reading Dickens’ David Copperfield won’t work. I don’t think their reading Joyce’s Finnegans Wake will work either. That said (I feel a little laugh coming on), I remind myself of a song that my daughters sang in kindergarten: It begins with “inch by inch, row by row, I’m gonna make this garden grow.”

One summer (1988), as my wife and I and our three girls (aged 5, 8, and 11; we have four daughters now, all adults, I think) headed south to Disneyland, in our deluxe Hyundai Pony, those girls, bouncing their legs, sang that song from the back seat, adding delightful harmonics to the underpowered drone of the 1600cc Mitsubishi motor.

In a literary sense, each class, I apply the words of their catchy song by giving each student a haiku or senryu printed on a little, non-intimidating sheet of paper. I ask students to write any comment on the back of the sheet: “Any memory, any image, anything your imagination conjures up, anything, any criticism, any comment about what you like about the poem—anything. No comment can be wrong.”...