UCWbLing

writing. thinking. collaborating. teaching. learning. blogging…

The Only Idiom Database You’ll Ever Need September 26, 2012

After several conversation appointments where I was asked about the origin of common phrases, I had to ask: what does it mean to “scream bloody murder”? What is a “sight for sore eyes” and when did we start saying “sour grapes”? Thankfully, a quick Google search turned up the The Phrase Finder. This database is an invaluable resource for appointments and an enjoyable look at weird phrases’ origins for the interested reader. (more…)

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Raising ELL Self Esteem September 25, 2012

Conversation appointments come with a host of issues that tutors who primarily tutor might not have even considered. I can confidently say that I’ve had more conversation appointments in the past two weeks than I’ve had over the course of the last year put together, and there was plenty that I hadn’t thought of. What to talk about, how to explain grammatical issues, etiquette, and tone are all essential when talking to a conversation partner, but one thing I never thought about before now was the role of confidence and self esteem. (more…)

 

CMWR Launches Winter Quarter Book Club February 17, 2012

Students from all over the world are on the edge of their seats reading…The Hunger Games!

On Friday, January 20, the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research started the 352-page, New York Times bestselling novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins with our fantastic group of international, English Language Learning (ELL) students. (more…)

 

Tips For a Successful ELL Tutorial January 31, 2012

I’ve never had a conversation partner appointment, but I’d like to think that I’d know what to do with one.  The UCWbL abounds with strategies for a successful conversation partner appointment, and everyone has ideas of what to say, how to say it, and what to encourage.  We hear about it in WRD class, orientation settings, tip-sheets, and from other tutors.  What these tips didn’t prepare me for was a somewhat difficult (and confusing) writing tutorial with an English language learner – and for a paper outside my discipline, no less.  What do you do when communication breaks down in a face-to-face setting with an ELL student, though?  Your focus is different here – their writing, not their speaking – and yet the tutorial’s dependent on clear and informative conversation.  With that in mind, perhaps there is overlap between the conversation partner appointment and the ELL student face-to-face tutorial, and perhaps strategies designed for the former can be applied to the latter. (more…)