Writing Center & English 800 Center at College of San Mateo - Instructions for Students: ESL 400
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November 12 - January 21
Fall 2014 Final Exams
December 13-19
Fall 2014 official grades
available on WebSMART

Wednesday, December 31
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Writing Center & English 800 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 SARS 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 ESL 400 instructor will decide how you should fulfill this requirement and will give you a pink reporting form that tells you what activities you should complete during the semester. For example, your instructor may ask you to sign up for one-on-one conferences so that you can get help with your essays.

How do I get started?

If your instructor has asked that you do activities in the Writing Center, bring the pink reporting form that your instructor has filled out for you, and you will be given an orientation and can watch a podcast about the center.

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 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.

What should I do if my instructor does not give me a pink reporting form?

Ask your classroom instructor to give you a pink reporting form, so you can use the resources in the Writing Center.

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?

  • your pink reporting form
  • 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.