We are very excited to recognize the wonderful contributions and accomplishments of the ELDC’s Student Leaders! Our Silver and Gold Level Facilitators are trained on peer-facilitation techniques so that they can initiate group conversations among participants in our Communication Café workshops. Over the course of the year, our Peer-Partners have brought to attention the significance of having strong Academic English skills through various creative tools.
By: Jingshu Yao
My friends are always surprised by the fact that I love black coffee, but few people know how it happens. When I first enter the English speaking environment, ordering food was a challenge for me. Looking at the menu, I cannot even pronounce the names of the items correctly. In addition, there are always noisy backgrounds, with anxious people in the long line behind me, and sometimes the cashiers can have accents as well. Therefore, when I was asked how I would like my coffee, I dare not to waste time and embarrass myself by giving out an answer. So I said, “Nothing.” And that is how I get black coffee every time. Now, I feel less frightened while saying “caramel” or “half french vanilla” in front of the counter, but I somehow got used to the taste of black coffee and decide to go on with it. Even though I am now settled in peace with my coffee choice, I would like to share this anecdote because this is what happens to many ESL students in an English speaking country.
The same fear exists in different settings, mine occurred within the pleasant smell of Tims, others’ might feel fear in the enormous lecture hall, or that a professor cannot pronounce your actual name. Whatever your fear is, to find the motivation to combat the fear is imperative for developing your language skills. For me, reading is a great enjoyment. Since I am able to read in English, I started to realize translation is often insufficient for writing works, especially for literature and poems. With the motivation of reading the masters’ piece in its original expression, I found expending my vocabulary an urgent task. I am now on the mission to hunt for new words and making them a part of my treasure trove of reading. Improving your language skills is an arduous task, often filled with embarrassment along the way. The best thing to back you up is the motivation, and the reason for which you decide to receive higher education in English.
Attention UTSC: Student leaders wanted!
Applications for the Peer-Partner Program are now open!! We are accepting volunteers for the Fall 2019 – Winter 2020 school year.
What is the Peer-Partner Program?
It is a CCR-credited student leadership program in which students actively help to support and promote Academic English and language development at UTSC. Peer-Partner can choose multiple roles and responsibilities depending on their interests, goals, and skills.
This is an amazing opportunity to develop your leadership skills and give back to the UTSC community!
Applications are due by April 5th 2019!
Correction: The position starts Sept 3, 2019 and ends April 30, 2020
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Globalization and global warming were the topics of focus at the first peer-led discussion seminar held by the ELDC Peer-Partners. Students gathered to engage in rich conversation regarding the topic of global warming, with a focus on technological advancements and globalization as possible contributing factors.
Technology has been an evident instrument in connecting people around the world and expanding means of communication in a way that was not imaginable a few decades ago. The positive aspects of technology and globalization are quite clear, however in the discussion session, a new perspective was explored. Students utilized strong active listening skills and contributed their ideas using excellent public speaking techniques to engage in the conversation. In addition, students were able to go beyond the scope of the discussion and put their critical thinking skills to use in connecting the vast range of topics discussed in the session to propose possible ways to reduce global warming on a local and global scale.
Overall, I found this to be an incredibly enriching experience. The Peer-Partners created a safe and welcoming environment for all students, allowing for a positive learning experience and I look forward to more of these incredible discussion seminars in the future.
Written By: Yashvi Verma
These wonderful students are now equipped with the training and knowledge needed to facilitate our English language workshops. During this year’s grad ceremony, the silver level graduates presented Communication Cafe: Introduction to Networking, as part of their capstone. They designed a fun, new, team-building activity to help students learn some key terms and skills needed to successfully network and prep for interviews.
Here are some highlights from the 2018 FTC graduation!