The Writing SUCCESS Program and How It Prepares Your Future

Crazy to imagine that two years ago, my former boss Dennis Santiago, office manager and internship director, was trying to convince me to apply to WSP. I felt very doubtful because I really did not know much about academic writing. I was a creative writer but even then I had a hard time claiming that title. Fortunately I received the job and joined the team … Continue reading The Writing SUCCESS Program and How It Prepares Your Future

Cultural Understanding and Language

Cultural norms are important to look at or considering when working with ELL students. It is a great way to understand a person’s language development and their understanding. I of course grew up in a Spanish speaking household. I only spoke English when I went to school or when having to interact with others aside of my family. I often times thought I was the … Continue reading Cultural Understanding and Language

ICE Raids

The political climate in the United States has been a bit strange and hostile. Since Trump has taken over as president, his xenophobic speeches and promises have slowly become a reality (or are in the process of becoming a reality). His plight against the undocumented community, specifically Latino undocumented immigrants has risen since his inauguration. It is easy to look at your local news or … Continue reading ICE Raids

International Reads: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing was one of the most fascinating books I have read. Exceptionally sad but beautifully detailed, I was immediately hooked. The story follows two sisters that will never meet and do not know of each other’s’ existence in 18th century Ghana. We see their family tree unravel as one sister becomes the mistress of a British man and the second sister is sold off into … Continue reading International Reads: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Long Term English Language Learners

Long term English Language Learners are students that are often times in grades 6-12. These are students that have attended U.S. schools for seven years or more.These are students that often times do not get the necessary resources or attention needed to improve their English in comparison to students that are in elementary school. These students may also have a grasp of English orally and … Continue reading Long Term English Language Learners

Grammar: Contractions

Contractions could be complicated for students to understand, especially when they sound the same. A contraction is when you make two words shorter by placing an apostrophe between them. Contractions seem to be a popular grammar mistakes that people like to refer or talk about on social media. People often write posts about knowing the difference between “their, they’re, and there.” It’s understandable why people … Continue reading Grammar: Contractions

Grammar: Verb Tenses

Verbs can be simple to understand sometimes. Verbs are action words. What complicates the understanding of verbs are the tenses. Understanding when to use which tense and in which situations is what makes it complex. Down below are some general rules that can be helpful in understanding the tenses and when to use them. Simple Present (Basic Form or S- form): Shows general facts, constant … Continue reading Grammar: Verb Tenses

International Reads: The Thing Around Your Neck

I tend to gravitate to stories about immigration or stories about people in different countries outside of the United States. After reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah (which I absolutely loved), I needed to pick up another of her books. I found The Thing Around Your Neck at a local library. A collection of short stories that ties characters to Nigeria and the U.S. The first … Continue reading International Reads: The Thing Around Your Neck

Identifying with ESL or ELL: Knowing the Difference

Telling the difference between ESL and ELL could be difficult for some people. ESL was most commonly used in the past (especially when I was growing up), and ELL has become the term to use in recent times. ESL is the acronym for English as a Second Language. This was what I commonly knew as I was placed in ESL classes during my first three … Continue reading Identifying with ESL or ELL: Knowing the Difference

Error Free: The Mechanics of Grammar Workshop

The Writing Success Program will be hosting their first ESL/ELL workshop this Thursday (March 16) from 6-8 pm in collaboration with Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars. We will be addressing issues of grammar that many ESL/ELL students struggle with such as verb tenses (one of the many things we’ll cover). We want to ensure that students feel confident in understanding grammar and being … Continue reading Error Free: The Mechanics of Grammar Workshop

Books on Immigrant Experiences

Drown by Junot Diaz Junot Diaz’s debut short story collection follows snippets of the main character, Yunior. Set in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, these stories show the coming of age of a young Dominican immigrant. Snippets of his family life that have formed who he becomes, shows the complexities of being human. After reading Drown, make sure to follow up with The Brief … Continue reading Books on Immigrant Experiences

U.S. Classroom Culture

U.S. classroom culture could be difficult to get used to. There may be some differences between the classroom settings and expectations compared to many other countries. One of the common expectations is student participation. Being able to discuss and critically think with other students and the professor is essential. The dynamic in where the teacher teaches the student and the students just listens has expanded. … Continue reading U.S. Classroom Culture

Adjusting to English, Oakland, and America

English could be a quite complicated language. As an English language learner myself, I don’t remember much of my experience learning the language as I was fortunate enough to have started my education at a very young age. Learning at a younger age gave me the ability to adjust and adapt at a rapid pace as studies often show that the younger you are when … Continue reading Adjusting to English, Oakland, and America