Writing Center at College of San Mateo - Instructions for Students: ESL 400
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Writing Center
Instructions for Students: ESL 400

What is the ESL 400 To Be Arranged (TBA) requirement?

The TBA is a requirement for successful completion of your ESL 400 course. It provides the opportunity to enrich your learning beyond the classroom, through a number of activities and materials that your teacher chooses for you. It is essential to come into the Writing Center at least once early in the semester.

How will my classroom instructor know how much time that I have spent on my TBA requirement?
Whenever you come into the Writing Center, you will be checking in and out on our Accudemia attendance program, which is on the computer at the front desk.

How do I know what to do for the TBA?

Based on your writing skills and the goals for the course, your classroom instructor will decide how you should fulfill this requirement. ‪During the semester, your classroom instructor will use the Online Reporting Form to specify what you should do in the Writing Center for TBA credit.  For example, your instructor may ask you to sign up for one-on-one conferences so that you can get help with your essays.  When you have conferences with instructors in the Center or complete any tutorials on specific writing skills, Center instructors record that information on your Online Reporting Form. Throughout the term, you and your classroom instructor have online access to your Reporting Form 24/7 to see what activities you have completed and what comments the Center instructors have made about your progress.

How do I get started?

If your instructor has asked that you do activities in the Writing Center, your instructor will fill out an Online Reporting Form. This reporting form is an online Google document, and you will learn more about how to access it at the mandatory orientation that you will attend with your class early in the semester.

How can I use the center?

  • With an appointment, English and ESL instructors can help you with homework and essays as well as editing and proofreading strategies.
  • Two-hour ESL Grammar and Editing Workshops can help with your editing and proofreading skills.
  • Tutorials or ESL modules on specific writing skills are available both in hard copies in the center and on the web for work at home.
You can use the computers in the Quiet Room to research, write, and print your essays, with English and ESL instructors available to answer quick questions when you get stuck. In the Quiet Room, you can also access the online library tutorials on research and documentation.

Can I get help with my writing in the Writing Center even if my instructor has not assigned conferences?

You can always sign up for an appointment with a Writing Center instructor to get help with an essay, either for your ESL 400 class or another course you are taking. You can also choose to do tutorials or ESL modules to improve your English skills.

What should I bring to my essay conference?
  • the essay that you want to work on
  • your essay assignment sheet
What can I expect from a conference with a Writing Center instructor?

Your instructor will spend about twenty minutes discussing your essay, homework or tutorial with you. Come prepared with questions or specific areas that you need help with. The instructor's goal is to help you to become an independent editor of your own writing.

How will the TBA affect my grade for the course?

Ask your classroom instructor. Your instructor will determine how the TBA affects your course grade.