Why yes, I do speak a language.

To start off one of my writing courses this semester, I had my students read an article called, “Getting it ‘write’: Essay styles vary by country, creating difficulties for international students.” It explains some of the ways that writing philosophies differ in various cultures, and how awareness of this fact helps students understand their task a little bit better as they try to adapt to an American education.

We’re all in the same boat.

Many of my students have had higher education experience in their native countries and thought they knew how to write. Then they arrived here and found themselves placed in a developmental writing course. Many of them believe it’s solely due to their grammar or vocabulary but don’t realize that there are other factors involved. Having them start the semester with this article gives them a chance not only to adjust their expectations, but also to make them feel better about why they need remedial work. Continue reading

Where do I even start?

As I slog through the mire of finals week, with seemingly endless papers to read and grade, I thought of how nice it would be to have some companionship in my misery. Zelda and Mrs. Parker were occupied with other things, so I thought I’d give you all the opportunity to share some of my pain. Aren’t I thoughtful? Continue reading