Writing as an English Learner1)      Your friend is saying that she is going to drop her Multicultural Composition II class because it is too hard, very confusing and her English is not too...

Writing as an English Learner

1)      Your friend is saying that she is going to drop her Multicultural Composition II class because it is too hard, very confusing and her English is not too good. She feels like she is not ready for the class. She has written her first paper and only earned a D- grade on it. She turned it in late, so she cannot revise it. She has four more papers to write but is feeling discouraged.  What should she do and why?

 

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rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

While dropping the class would certainly be an option, the student should definitely seek the teacher's advice before making such a decision. He or she should also look into the many services offered on college and high school campuses for ESL students. There are always options, and assignments can be redone if teachers can be made to understand the realities that students face.

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

How good of a friend are you? Can you offer to help her with editing her papers if she decides to continue the class? NOTE - this means you would provide constructive analysis and explanations for what might be revised and why, not that you would be writing or rewriting the papers for her. You would be acting as a tutor, helping her to learn more, one-on-one, about how writing the English language can be approached.

The remedial writing lab or tutoring sessions mentioned above are great ideas - this would be a substitute or addition if she is reluctant to reach out to others for the help she apparently needs. Definitely, the best first step would be for her to have a long talk with her instructor.

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I am going to take a much more analytical approach to this question than the previous two posters.  I agree with most of what they are saying, but I would say let her drop the class.  If she already has a D- she is going to have a very uphill battle to get her grade where she would like it to be, and she is obviously struggling.  Perhaps dropping the class, while getting a tutor to better prepare for it next time is a good call.  I certainly don't encourage quitting, but maybe she does need some time to better prepare herself for the class.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The first thing your friend should do is talk to the instructor and see what kind of assistance is available.  Most schools will have tutoring available or writing centers.  Also, explaining the situation to the instructor will help.  She might see if she can arrange to turn papers in early to get help.  This will leave plenty of time for correcting mistakes later.  Your friend might also want to consider taking a remedial writing course first, possibly in a summer session, in order to improve her writing and English skills before taking the harder courses.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

She should talk to her teacher about it first.  She should get the teacher's opinion as to whether she is ready for the class or not.  She should also find out what her options are for dropping the class and how dropping it would affect her.  This is because A) she may not be evaluating her abilities objectively and B) she has to understand how dropping would affect her.

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