We are a nonprofit organization whose aim is the improvement of the teaching and learning of English and language arts in the state of Arkansas. ACTELA provides a variety of services to meet the diverse needs of its members. These services include working with the Arkansas Curriculum Conference, offering conference mini-grants, recognizing outstanding language arts teachers throughout the state, and producing the yearly Arkansas Anthology.

Our inquiry question:

How can ACTELA board members interact and collaborate through the year to enhance our continuity, our service, and our leadership in the state and at regional levels?


Out-of-school setting
English Language Arts
College/University Faculty
Arkansas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts
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Developing Reading Skills

I often hear experienced readers talk about "the voice in my head" that they hear as they read. I even occasionally talk about the "stage in my mind" when my students and I read drama. I get the impression that my students are puzzled by these ideas and may not have a clearly audible voice that helps them hear Ruskin's challenges in "of King's Treasuries" or a stage where they envision the antics of Dorine, the saucy French maid in Moliere's Tartuffe

There must be ways we can help readers develop this inner voice--give it vocal lesson so it projects more clearly--so students can hear it better and become more proficient readers.

But how?




Developing Skills

Encourage the students to look at the book as if it was a movie, and ask them to cast the roles. Maybe by providing an actual identity to a character they can find a voice for it as well. With some practice they can develop their own internal narrator. 


Develop the inquiry further

Hello "I Read Ruskin"! I think this is an inquiry of great value to English educators...I think you will find there's some literature written on this, so it would be cool if you compiled a literature review and then maybe visited some teacher classrooms who specifically help students develop those pictures in their heads.....This would make such an important article for educators to read!

You might try key terms like "visual imagery" and comprehension through visualization..... 



I recently read a book by Peter Mendelsund called What We See When We Read. Do you know it? I hoped it would speak directly to this issue, but it was more philosophical than strategic. It made some comments that I found strikingly relevant, but not as many as I'd hoped it would. By the way, my ERZ director paid for the book. She is very supportive of this field of inquiry.

I'll work on the literature review idea. That sounds like something useful for the new journal.


I don't mean to be simplistic, but when I was teaching middle school, I used an "artful artist" role sheet in my literature circles so I could see for myself what my students "saw" in their heads. I was amazed at the illustrations created (detailed, beautiful work) and also alarmed by some work (barely stick figures). It gave me a place to begin and I knew which students needed more help with visualization. So, pull out the colored pencils and have your college students do some visualization. I think you'll be surprised.



I agree, Jeff. I find that many of my preservice teachers never experiences this comprehension technique. Now, we also have those great digital media tools like creating infographics or Wordles or comic strips to have other options for visualizing....


Voices in my head

I too talk with my students about the voices in my head, the pictures or movies in my mind as I read a text  I think this has a lot to do with the student interest level in the text and the language and style of the text. I have even gone as far as hearing the student's voice when I read his or her writings. I think when this happens it is true student engagement and critical thinking of the text. How do I get the students to hear the voices? Encourage high interest texts that are rich in language. One of my recent favorites is Life of Pi. 


Meeting with ADE

Hi All,

So we have an exciting meeting planned with ADE tomorrow....I can't wait to share the highlights of ACTELA's ACC sessions and to share about the ACTELA service events throughout the year that support Arkansas teachers and students.


Most exciting, is the NCTE's new Literacy Learning Exchange where teacher teams can collaborate on locally-relevant teaching inquiries in order to build rigor and enact positive classroom change.

See you all at:

Arch Ford Education Building, Four Capitol Mall, behind the State Capitol.  Enter through the main door and ask for room 301B or 302B.

At 1:30! Thanks, Dixie