The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Writing center to start group for people learning English

Writing+center+to+start+group+for+people+learning+English

By Remy McCool/south news editor

Crystal Chinea/The Collegian  South students receive information from various colleges including Northwood University during the South Campus College Transfer Fair Jan. 29.
Crystal Chinea/The Collegian South students receive information from various colleges including Northwood University during the South Campus College Transfer Fair Jan. 29.

South Campus’ writing center will host the International Conversation Group 1-2 p.m. every Tuesday in the center (SCLC 0106).

The group’s main objective is to assist students learning English and to give them an opportunity to put what they are learning into practice.

“The idea is to supplement classroom instruction,” said instructional associate Gabrielle Raymond.

The program is not new to South Campus, however. Because of low enrollment in ESL, the program was canceled. ESL enrollment has since risen, and the program returned.

Eleanor Brockman, instructor/counselor, said the writing center has been accommodating to their credit and noncredit students.

“The writing center has been very welcoming, flexible and innovative with regard to our ESL students,” she said. “They do not discriminate between credit or noncredit and recognize that many noncredit ESL students will become credit students.”

It was Raymond’s idea to include both noncredit ESL students and credit students.

“One of the things that will happen sometimes in the classroom is that they need further emphasis on the stuff they are doing in speaking and listening in classes,” she said. “So we try to do it in a less formal kind of way where they talk to each other and they talk to us.”

Meeting outside of the classroom in smaller groups allows students to receive more direct one-on-one attention. The informal setting also creates a much less intimidating environment where students can practice listening and speaking skills by participating in various activities.

“We try to make the students feel just a little more at ease,” said instructional associate Angela Mack.

The group discusses culture, movies, food, music and more. Raymond also encourages students who speak English as their first language to attend.

“Ideally, we want ESL students but also native speakers of English to come and just talk. Oftentimes, students will be told to talk to as many native speakers as possible, but then they may not know any,” she said.

Many ESL students only know those students whom they are in ESL classes with. The group connects those students to students outside of those classes to hone their English-speaking skills.

“ESL students in particular need practice with English conversation because most of them return to jobs or homes where they are surrounded by their native language, and language, like dance, is learned through practice, not theory alone,” Brockman said.

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