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

Improving your thesis statement

Published by Hermine Chan

It’s that time of the semester when essays are assigned! They say the most important sentence in your essay is your thesis statement. But how do you write a good thesis statement?  

Grammar Camp: Ending a sentence in a preposition

Published by Hermine Chan

Ending a sentence in a preposition is something up with which I will not put! Let’s talk about that infamous Latin grammar rule and scenarios where you won’t be able to not end a sentence in a preposition (yikes, a double-negative too)!  

In the time of Zoom: internationally-based students  

Published by Hermine Chan

The pandemic has changed the way we live and learn, and some internationally-based students are feeling more pressure than ever as they deal with time zone differences and expectations.  Some of our EAL peers share their experience working with, or themselves being, internationally based students. 

Grammar Camp: Common expression errors Part 2: Pronoun perplexities

Published by Julia Lane

Way back in February, I posted a "Part 1" of this mini grammar camp series on "common expression errors." You were promised a Part 2 focused on Pronouns (and a Part 3 focused on apostrophes!)... 

Well, a lot has happened since February and it kept not seeming like the right time to bring the blog focus back to grammar. 

To be honest, it still doesn't feel like the right time to do that. But, the part of me that loves rules and structure is feeling all kinds of out of whack recently. Posting this blog entry helps to soothe that part of me in two ways: 

1. It corrects a lingering issue (i.e., that of a Part 1 with no Part 2 or 3) 

2. It puts my focus on the comforts of the system and structure of grammar. 

Of course, grammar rules (like other rules) are made to be broken, and so those comforts can only extend so far. 

But, I do hope that this momentary diversion into the world of grammar can provide some interest and/or clarity and/or curiosity and/or comfort for you too. Part 3 on apostrophes is also coming... 

Be safe. Be well. Use grammar. 

 

Become part of the SLC team (virtual interviews available!)

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 as part of posting #5254. The posting will be available until April 20, 2020.

Speaking between two cultures: An interview

Published by Julia Lane

The SLC Conversation Partners Program pairs EAL students with volunteer peers. Conversation partners then meet on a weekly basis throughout the semester.

In this blog post, SLC Peer Bessie W. interviews two of her conversation partners to hear their unique perspectives on the program and their experiences at SFU. 

Reflecting on English as Additional Language Peer Educator Training

Published by Julia Lane

Guest blogger and English as Additional Language Peer Educator, Ashley K. writes this week about her experiences with EAL Peer training. In particular, she reflects on a lecture presented by Dr. Ena Lee, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education. Dr. Lee's talk focused on the "commonsense discourses" of English language learning, and how these "commonsense" ideas are often actually wrong. 

Ashley connects this talk with her experiences doing a "Pluriligual Identity" exercise and reflecting on her own connections with language learning, identity, and culture. 

 

"Sorry, but I’m not (really) sorry”: The Canadian circus of apology

Published by Julia Lane

In this submission to the SLC Multilingual Story Hub, Myrthe de Haas explores critical incidents that resulted in increased understanding of both Canada and Myrthe's own Dutch culture. 

Mythe is an exchange student from the Netherlands and participated in Dr. Timothy Mossman's non-credit course Academic Grammar and Writing for Multilingual Learners during the Fall 2018 semester. 

 

 

 

 

The SLC Writing Contest: Students' Perspectives

Published by Julia Lane

If you aren't sure why you would submit to the SLC Undergraduate Writing Contest, you may find it interesting to read these reflections from two of last year's Honourable Mentions: Kate E., a former SLC Learning and Writing Peer Educator, and Mariam A., a current SLC Learning and Writing Peer and former SLC EAL Peer Educator.