On the train this morning I was reading Grammar Dictation and thinking about a paper I’m trying to finish on a variation of dictogloss that my students and I have put together this semester. The train was packed as usual and I was finding it hard to concentrate so I opened up twitter. That’s when I learned that Ruth Wajnryb had passed away. For the past month I have spent almost every day thinking about dictogloss. And in researching dictogloss, I stumbled upon Ruth’s blog “Words Woman.” Just the other night I was drinking with my wife and discussing just what does make an apology and apology and enjoying some of Ruth’s examples of not so successful examples. And now…and now Ruth is suddenly no longer here. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Ruth. But she has influenced my ideas about language teaching. She has helped me become a better teacher and has touched my students through her influence.
This afternoon, I finished up the first draft of my paper. Usually, when I finish up a paper, I feel relief. This time, it was pure gratitude.
There are some teachers who I count on to help show me how to take the next step in my journey to become the teacher I hope to be. Ruth Wajnryb was one of those lights. Thank you Ruth for reminding me that theory is about students. For the way you held and turned the gem of language to reveal new facets. You will be missed. RIP.