Expansion on our Free Writing for Final Project

We are in the home stretch ladies and gentlemen. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. The finish line is so close, but still so far.

These last three weeks of the semester are going to tough. Mainly, working together as a group to come up with an amazing topic for our final project.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of group projects, especially a group of 18. I’m a perfectionist and have O.C.D. and I like things done a particular way. However, I have to get over that and work on that because there will be times when people won’t agree or have different ideas and we need to come together as colleagues to make this the best final project Dr. Zamora has ever seen.

I had a list of ideas that we could do as a class, but two really stuck out to me the most. Also, I feel that we could make these ideas fun and get really creative with them as well. My first idea was the GIANT red pen. With this idea, we would create an enormous red pen. This pen would be put on display in the English department where students can come up and write on a sticky note something negative they remember a teacher/professor wrote on one or more of their papers. When they post that negative note, we will give them a positive feedback written on a card as an apologize or “redo” for that negative comment they received. This idea refers back to when we talked about comments, feedback and evaluating students in the beginning of the semester.

My second idea was having an open mic night where students can express their voice by reading a blurb of something they have created, working on or maybe just a favorite piece of theirs written by someone else. Also, if the student would like to get any feedback they are more than welcome too by the audience.

My personal goals for this project is to have a better understanding of the material that we all read throughout the semester and utilize that knowledge in our own personal writing and future career choices. I also wish to become a better version of myself as a writer and push the boundaries a little more than I have been over the years.

My Thoughts and Hopeful Outcomes for the Final Project.

When the idea of a group project was presented to us I was excited but also nervous. I looked around at my fellow cohorts (love that word) all 17 of us and wondered how are we going to pull this off? But then my anxiety quickly eased when I realized that throughout this semester I’ve grown to respect and care about each and every one of my classmates, some who I know consider my friends. WE ARE ON THIS JOURNEY TOGETHER! That’s been my mantra from the very start! I also tweeted this out several times to help uplift my fellow classmates when I knew they were worried or overwhelmed with our graduate school workload. THE ENGLISH GRAD SCHOOL STRUGGLE IS REAL! Being that most of us are first time graduate students, trudging through our very first semester we all feel some uneasiness and self doubt. I know this idea of a group project is daunting to most of us only because with such a large group it may be difficult to find time to work together and come to a collective agreement on a specific topic/idea for the project. But again I realized that in these last 3 months, in our intimate boardroom like classroom (nothing like Trump’s The Apprentice show boardroom of doom) sitting kind of squished together, shoulder to shoulder, we have all formed a strong bond. Throughout our presentations we all had the opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level and see all of our fears and struggles on full display. Public speaking no matter how seasoned you may think you are, makes you vulnerable and fragile. But what was so amazing was how we all banded together to help ease each others fears! We used positive affirmations, kind words, kind tweets and myself, Meagan, and Medea played some fun karaoke go to songs for Dana before her presentation. Britney Spears (my fav), Missy Elliot (you can never go wrong). We all jammed out and danced in our seats! It was super fun and we all melted into loud giggles as if we were little school girls again. Dana later thanked us girls for creating that fun and supportive atmosphere for her and told us it helped to ease her anxiety. Mission accomplished that’s what we are here for! To encourage, uplift and work TOGETHER!! That’s why I know this group project wont be easy but I BELIEVE IN my classmates and I know from their awesome presentations and our deep class discussions what their capable of!! This makes me EXCITED, not anxious for our next journey together in this group project endeavor!! WE GOT THIS GUYS!! Xo

As for my own personal outcomes for this project I would say I want to get to know each of my classmates on a deeper level through this intense process. I want to see what makes them tick and what kind of creativity they can bring to the table. We all are so unique and special, and all of us come in with specific talents and strengths to share. As for myself I would love to hear all our VOICES including my own through this process and see how it has changed and evolved since day 1. Did my writing voice change? Did my inner voice change? Will I change as a writer? These are thoughts I ponder now that we are about to begin this group project. I also think about how all of will change as people once this experience is over. I believe it’s a transforming experience when you work hard towards a common goal, and then see it come to fruition! It has to impact and change us all on some level. I believe in us as individuals and as a team, so there is no doubt in my mind whatever we brainstorm and ultimately decide on will be glorious! I believe in positive affirmations and I always try to put out the energy that I want to receive back from the world! So all my vibes will continue to be positive and hopeful ones going forward until we complete our mission!!

Some of the project ideas that struck a chord with me the very first time we got to collaborate on the spread sheet was: The Red Pen (of doom) idea. I loved this idea because it was directly linked to Emily and my presentation on Bean and Elbow’s Feedback In Writing. I enjoyed presenting my article and I gained so much new insights from John Bean especially his idea of being positive and “coaching” students through the process of learning and writing. I also know how amazingly talented and artistic Patricia is so I had no doubts that she could possibly help us create an actual RED PEN of doom!! Another idea I thought was fantastic was Karel’s idea of doing a play. Since there are so many of us in class, this idea was cool because he was thinking of a creative way to include ALL of us. Karel had some great picks! My personal favorite is A Streetcar Named Desire! The Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh production is and will always be my all time favorite classic movie (not just because I have a huge crush on Brando, its just fantastic). Also if you don’t already know Tennessee Williams is a god, like duh! Plus I can totally see Kevin or Dylan playing out the iconic Brando scene at the foot of the stairs screaming out and proclaiming his twisted love for: STELLA!! How cool would that be!?! I’m just not sure how each of us may feel about acting, since public speaking is nerve wracking enough?! But I have faith that we can come together and encourage one another through the process. Another idea I really liked was the stand up comedy idea! I think laughter is the best medicine and I already know a lot of us are really funny and have a good sense of humor. I mean I can’t even look at Medea half the time in class because she always has me crying in literal tears!! But the one I gravitated towards the most is the Podcast idea. I know these podcasts are all the rage nowadays. It seems like everyone has a damn podcast! I know we have some tech savvy people amongst our talented crew so I strongly believe we could pull it off! Now as far as what the topic of conversation may be about, I thought possibly we will all have a chance to dig deeper into the articles we presented on and talk about each one on a deeper level. So this way all of us can collaborate, talk and discuss our feelings and thoughts on all the articles we presented. So far this is all I have come up with. I know its just the beginning stages so I’m still free writing and brainstorming away! I’m so excited to read each of your blog posts and see what you all think and what awesome ideas you all have to share!! No matter what I have faith in my classmates and in myself and in Dr. Zamora who has been absolutely amazing in every possible way throughout our journey in this class! The sky’s the limit guys!! WE GOT THIS!! Now I leave you with some INSPIRATION and FUN!! My go to karaoke song: ANYTHING by Britney Spears but for this post TOXIC!! ENJOY!! Xo

ENG 5020 Blog #10 Tutoring ESL Students: Issues and Options Muriel Harris and Tony Silva

ENG 5020

Blog #10

Tutoring ESL Students:  Issues and Options

Muriel Harris and Tony Silva

Reaction Paper

Fatima Muhammad

November 18, 2019

            When tutoring an ESL it is imperative that the communication between the ESL student and the tutor is clear.  Both parties must agree on a mutual time and place and the length of time that the tutoring sessions will last.  The sessions must be one-to-one to be more effective.  The expectations of both must be understood, what the tutor expects from the ESL student and what the ESL student expects from the tutor.  As the tutoring sessions begin, the student may become anxious to have their grammar errors corrected.  As well, the tutor may be anxious to begin correcting the written work.  However, both must be patience during the process.  Before they begin to make grammar correction, there are other strategies should be developed and established.

            An initial strategy for tutoring is to encourage the student by prioritizing the errors. Muriel Harris and Tony Silva state, “When tutors ask how to prioritize among errors, they should be encouraged to begin looking for what has been done well in the paper, acknowledge that, and go from there.” (Pg. 526)  As well, there should not be a division between the ESL students and the other students in the class. If a student is singled out it may cause that student to become embarrassed which can lead to behavioral issues. The tutor must always make the ESL student feel like he/she is a part of the mainstream. This may increase the student’s self-esteem ensure high productivity from the student.

            Also, tutors must boost the students’ self-esteem by reassuring them that errors are a part of the learning process and that everyone makes errors at one time or another.  Tutors can use research as another strategy.  A tutor that is knowledgeable about their student’s background can be helpful to the students.  This is especially important because each student, is an individual with their own background.  The tutor may grade an assignment based on the errors that the student made.  The tutor may think that the student is performing on a low academic level.  Instead, the student’s performance is low due to a lack of command of the English language.  I work with high school ESL students.  Sometimes struggle with written assignments. However, when we discuss the assignment, I see that the student is capable of verbally expressing their thoughts.    

            As well, another strategy in tutoring an adult ESL student is to divide the writing process into chunks, “(1) work more on planning, – to generates ideas, text structure, and language so as to make the actual writing more manageable; (2) to have their ESL students write in stages, (3) to separate their treatment of revising (rhetorical) and editing (linguistic.)  This strategy will teach the student to simply slow down the writing process so that the quality of their writing will improve.  These strategies will the writing process a learning experience and not just an exercise of correcting errors.