2014 Newsletter!

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“Before taking this class, I always considered writing in English as one of the most annoying things. Whenever I needed to finish a writing assignment, my inner feelings of weakness and helplessness came up incessantly….The Writing 120 class was just like a quick acting drug that relieved my stress of writing effectively.”

This is how Chen Yutong describes her experience in Writing 120: College Writing for Multilingual Students. She goes on to say, “In my DSP essay I made roughly 8-10 grammar errors per 200 words…in my third assignment in Writing 120, there were about 2-3 grammar mistakes per 200 words.” And she concludes, “I have built my confidence in English academic writing, which will help me a lot for my future upper level writing.” Responses like these are common among international/multilingual students enrolled in Writing 120.

In the pages that follow you can hear more from Chen and Xiaohe as well as many other students. You might, for instance, read about Xiaoman Gan’s experience in Chat Cafe, a Sweetland initiative to help international/multilingual students develop confidence in their conversational English. Xiaoman expresses the feelings of a number of her peers when she says, “Fast speed and strong accent sometimes make the content of conversation a mystery for me,” and students like these find it helpful to meet each week with a few peers and an experienced upperclass student to talk about many aspects of their lives at the University.

You might want to read about why Allison Raeck, Jake Lourim and Brendan Montgomery decided to apply to Sweetland’s Minor in Writing. Although each of them had different reasons for joining this community of writers, all of them agree that the Minor in Writing enables them to achieve their goals. As Neeyati Shah says about the eportfolio, required of all Minors, “I’ve written the person I am today into existence.”

Or you might want to learn more about the experiences of seven Sweetland Peer Writing Consultants who recently attended the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing in Orlando.

It’s about the students. Sweetland supports student writers from the first semester to the end of the dissertation, and as I look ahead to a sabbatical during Winter Semester 2015, I know I’ll miss seeing students. I’m confident, though, that David Gold, who will serve as Interim Director in my absence, will take good care of them.