Letter to the ESL department
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2012 22:05
The English as a Second Language Department has helped many foreigners progress in their English learning and succeed in their educational goals, including me.
Three years ago, when I first enrolled at LBCC, I was placed in ESL 56, which intimidated me. I had thought my writing skills excelled beyond the paragraph-level, in which students only write one paragraph per assignment, but Maureen Mason proved me wrong. Her class provided me with a firm writing base and the elements to construct cohesive paragraphs. Also, she usually opened discussions about real-life topics so we could be aware of our surroundings and learn to voice our thoughts.
Moving on to ESL 33, Christiane Woerner brought my writing skills to one of the most advanced levels of ESL, essay writing. Taking her class, I challenged myself to support my arguments with solid evidence in various essay styles and to form stronger paragraph structures. Without the foundation I acquired from professors Mason and Woerner, I would have not placed second in the women’s history essay contest for ESL students in Spring 2010.
Before taking the assessment test to accelerate to English 1, I continued with ESL 34. Dennis Miller’s well-prepared slide shows allowed us to easily follow his lectures. I learned to support my evidence with reliable sources during research for an oral presentation about the differences and similarities between the post-war developments of Japan and Vietnam in terms of economic, educational and social aspects.
The topic I chose was challenging but I finished it due to professor Miller’s constant help. He sat with me and guided me on obtaining information from various sources. He also synchronized the information so I could construct an outline and a well-written research paper.
With the firm foundation accumulated from the ESL classes, I conquered English 1, the worst nightmare of most non-native English speakers. My professor, Patty Berg, commented that I was more knowledgeable than most domestic students about English grammar. Also, while other students struggled with their research papers, I encountered zero obstacles finding and citing sources along with presenting informative and unbeatable arguments.
Entering the women’s history essay contest for the second time in Spring 2011 on a whim and winning second place in the non-ESL category convinced the copy editor of the Viking newspaper to recruit me. I have learned to write concise and informative articles covering diverse topics around campus. At the end of the semester, I won a scholarship from the journalism program. I proved my various writing ability, which is a key factor that will drastically assist me in my career path in the long run.
Next Fall, I am transferring to Cal State Long Beach to major in business management and I’m seeking to minor in journalism. Without the supportive ESL professors, I would not have achieved many of the accomplishments in my English writing.