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The Student Learning Commons blog is your online writing and learning community

Lost In Translation: Gaa jau, everyone!

Published by Hermine Chan

In these Lost in Translation posts you can expect to read about common words and phrases that result in interesting (and sometimes funny) translations when we try to explain them in English. 

Contributions to this series come from across the SLC and we also welcome submissions from the wider university community. 

Our third post features Cantonese, one of the most difficult languages to learn for non-native speakers, but it is one of the dialects that sounds the closest to ancient Chinese. 

Six word stories

Published by Julia Lane

Sharing more of the six word stories we have collected by asking members of the SLC community to reflect on their mistakes and/or what they've learned from them. Enjoy! Maybe you'll see yourself in some of these micro-stories! I know I do... :}

Essential components of argumentative writing

Published by Julia Lane

Have an argumentative or thesis-based essay coming up for one of your classes? Check out this blog post to help you develop a thorough and well-supported argument! 

Thank you to Teeba Obaid, PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education, for contributing this post to the blog!

Writing anxiety

Published by Julia Lane

Feeling anxious about writing your term papers this semester? You aren't alone! In fact, writing anxiety is experienced by writers across all genres and all stages of writing experience. This blog post explores the topic of writing anxiety and provides some practical suggestions for how to address the anxiety you may be experiencing. 

Note: this post focuses on "every day" writing anxiety and not clinical anxiety. If your anxiety is unmanageable, please get support from SFU Health and Counselling or from another health care professional. Your well-being matters! 

Reflective writing

Published by Julia Lane

This post explains the genre of reflective writing, which is often what you are expected to do if you have a (critical) journal or analytical response assignment in your class. 

This explanation of reflective writing starts from Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein's (2012) statement that such assignments "require that you demonstrate that you have thought about what it is you think" (p. 222). Graff and Birkenstein are focused on writing in the social sciences, but the idea that you have to think about what you think is broadly applicable to any reflective writing task. 

Reading Guide

Published by Julia Lane

Get your summer semester off on the right foot by learning how to read smarter, not harder (or longer)!

Graduate Writing Facilitator Jennesia Pedri has generously shared with us a Reading Guide that she created to support her own reading during her comprehensive exams for her doctoral studies in the School of Communications. As Jennesia explains, the guide aims to help you read more efficiently and effectively. It also aims to make itself obsolete: eventually you won’t need it because you’ll begin to automatically ask yourself these kinds of questions as you read.

Join the Student Learning Commons Team!

Published by Julia Lane

The Student Learning Commons is scouting out new talent for our Writing and Learning Peer and English as Additional Language Peer programs. 

Both positions will allow you to develop transferable skills in the areas of client service, interpersonal skills, giving effective feedback, and cross-cultural communication, and will give you access to a professional reference as well as a private study/social space in the library.

We hope you will join our team! Apply now through http://myinvolvement.sfu.ca

Self-explanation for studying

Published by Julia Lane

I'm sure I don't have to mention that it is exam time! In this blog post, Donya Samadi --  PhD student in Educational Psychology and former Graduate Facilitator with the SLC -- shares how the concept of self-explanation can be applied to studying. 

Self-explanation, Donya explains, may be beneficial because information previously learned is recalled and integrated with new information to generate a self-explanation. In this way, self-explanation is a connection and elaboration to prior knowledge. When engaged in self-explanations, learners can develop new meaningful associations, and further understand the content they are studying.