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

Lost in Translation: Kerekere in English

Published by Julia Lane

The In Common Blog team is excited to launch this "Lost in Translation" series. In these 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. 

The idea for this series comes from Daniel C. suggestion to include more multilingual content on the blog. 

Our first post comes from English as Additional Language Peer Educator and frequent blog contributor, Ashley K., and highlights an Indigenous language spoken by her family, iTaukei. 

Happy birthday to our blog!

Published by Julia Lane

We first posted to this blog two years ago on July 17th (you can read that post here). 

To celebrate our blog birthday, we did a short interview with the Graduate Writing Facilitator who first suggested the idea, Daniel C. Daniel is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education. Read on to learn more about him! 

Challenge yourself with your academic writing: A Writing and Learning Peer's perspective

Published by Julia Lane

"Writing papers is either the bane of an undergraduate student’s existence or, for the few like me, it’s an experience that can be learned from. But I didn’t always think like this..."

 

Writing and Learning Peer Harvin B. shares his thoughts about how students can rise to the challenge of their term papers. 

This article was originally published in The Peak (SFU's student newspaper) and is re-published here with gratitude. 

 

The SLC Multilingual Students’ Story Hub: A place to share your stories

Published by Julia Lane

By Dr. Timothy Mossman, SLC EAL Services Coordinator 

In this post, Dr. Timothy Mossman introduces and invites submissions to the new Multilingual Students' Story Hub. The Story Hub is a forum for multilingual students to share their stories about events or critical incidents that occurred while learning or using English. 

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. 

The common comma: Part 2

image of a comma
Published by Julia Lane

Welcome back to the wonderful world of commas!

SLC Writing Coordinator Amanda Goldrick-Jones, PhD, helps us understand the "unwanted comma," or when NOT to use commas in our writing. 

Missed Part 1? Check it out here