Monday, August 24, 2015

Writing Opportunities for Adult Learners

Here are three opportunities for Adult Learners to see their writing published:

1.  CATESOL Adult Learner Essay Contest.  Topic:  Tech in my old country and new country.  Due date:  September 4, 2015.   Get all the details here.

2.  Change Agent call for Adult Learner writing on the topic of race.  Due date:  November 6, 2015.  Get all the details here.

3.  Easy English Times has ongoing opportunities for the publication of Adult Learner writing.  Contact the Editor at easyenglish at   if you have a project or topic idea for student writing which you think might be good for their publication.  You can see samples of student writing in their Student Writing of the Month section and their Bonus Student Writing section

Here is a piece by San Mateo Adult School Student Jie Zhang about how to learn English.

Easy English Times Bonus Writing 2015

Our readers write from San Mateo, Calif.

(Editor's note: This story came from ESL teacher Cynthia Eagleton, San Mateo Adult School. It has been edited for length.)

Advice for ESL students

by Jie Zhang

How to learn English

First things first; you need an English teacher. Some people would say "I can learn English by watching a TV series and movies", or say "I can learn English from daily work". Yes, that is true. But I still need a teacher who can provide me with professional advice on English learning. Adult schools and community colleges offer ESL courses. The learning schedule is flexible. The tuition is affordable. You can learn at your own pace. The only thing you need is to keep on going.

Second, if you meet some difficulty, do not immediately seek help from your friends and family. Every difficulty is a great chance to learn. If other people do it for you, you will lose the chance.

Third, if your English teacher gives you some learning advice, give it a try and tell your teacher how you feel. Your feedback is important to your teacher and yourself. If it doesn't work for you, that is OK. You can discuss it with your teacher to find a more comfortable way.

I have some personal experiences to share. One idea is this. When I started to learn English, I would record my voice, replay it and compare it with the standard one. At first, I was ashamed to hear my voice. It sounded weird. But soon, I found my voice didn't sound so bad. Now I am sure that my voice sounds good when I speak English.

Another is my secret method, which comes from an article about how foreign language university students practice their listening in English. Every week, I have my new learning video. I usually watch it twice without the subtitles. Then I pick a 10 minutes segment, listen to one sentence, pause the video, write down the sentence, then play next sentence. When I finish them all, I turn on the subtitles and circle the mistakes in my writing. It is an exhausting job. But it not only benefits your listening but also grammar, spelling and even your pronunciation.

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