Dear Mike


Thefollowing essay will describe my progress in learning throughout thesemester from my own perspective as an international student. I havedetailed in brief some of the key aspects that I have learned in thesemester. I write the paper directed to my parents and friends backat home to explain to them the progress that I have made so far in myeducation. The paper serves to update them on my educationalprogress.

Indoing so, I have highlighted my proficiency in using connectors suchas therefore and moreover to connect ideas, sentence and evenparagraphs. In the same way, I have also excelled in usingvocabularies both simple and complex such as beacon-fire. All theseaspects have been demonstrated in my various essays written in prose.I have also managed to create remixes in other essays to combinevarious perspectives in my writing. I have thus managed to create aunique identity in my writing which clearly is my literary identity.

Theessay sticks to conventional writing approaches and used the standardintroduction, body and conclusion format. Each idea in the body ofthe essay carries a unique idea to enable the audience to followclearly.


TheImportance of WRA Course for International Students

Educationis a life long journey. Not only is a long journey but it has thepotential to take one person to literally all places on earth whetherin search of education or through work where one applies his oreducation in a certain profession. In my case I have had theopportunity to move from my home country and leave my friends andfamily and move here to the US in search of education. Does this meanthat this means that I would not have learned in my home country? No,I would but the education here is different and specific to what Ineed. There are different motivations to moving abroad for studiesand the choice of country differs. US, UK and Australia are among thefavorite study destination for Chinese students (Inforgraphic 1). Theopportunity to come here and proceed with my studies offers me anopportunity to learn about a new country, a new education system, anew culture, meet new friends and interact with a larger populationof international students to give a global perspective of life. Inthis process, I have encountered both opportunities and challengesthat I believe mold me into a better person professionally andpersonally. One of the most serious challenges that I have faced hasbeen learning English and being grammatically fluent. Nonetheless Ihave made progress. I therefore explain in brief that I am betterwriter this semester than I was at the beginning courtesy of theRevising Literacies.

Learningin a globalized context can be demanding to foreign students if theydo not engage with other students. They have a lot to learn fromthese other students besides what they can learn from class. However,foreign students engaging with other students in campus often timesfail even to realize any cultural differences that may arise betweenthem. This is because ethnicity, race, culture or social differencesare easily over-shadowed by the friendly association between thestudents that is marinated as a matter of protocol. Hence learning ina globalized scenario often times is important if there is a warmassociation and engagement between the parties involved that goesbeyond the school environment.

Forinstance, it is very hard for a foreign student to learn slanglanguage by association with native students in class. There is needto expand this association beyond class and the campus to ensure thatthey get to learn in social environments. In fact, Vygotsky’ssocial learning theory indicates that learning and transfer ofknowledge such as language skills best take place in socialenvironments. Bartons (2006) also notes that “people’s literaciesare situated in broader social relations. This makes it necessary todescribe the social setting of literacy events, including the ways inwhich social institutions support particular literacies.” Takingcue from this, I have used this course as a launching pad where I canpractice and get to employ and test what I have learned againstothers in social contexts. In this paper, I explain how these changesin my knowledge have molded me into a better person hopefullyprofessionally and personally.

Sodo I think I am more increased my literacy over the semester?Definitely yes! When I started the semester there were areas in myliteracy that needed improvement. I feel that I have accomplishedsome of this in part and I still plan to improve on that further.Looking back at one of the essays that I have completed titled “Theconnection between Chinese tea and Chinese culture”, I can see someliteral changes which I am happy to report. One area is my use ofvocabulary in my writing. I note that I have advanced from usingsimple English words to more complex ones and use them well incontext. In the essay I employed vocabularies such as anxiety,delicious, fickleness and flippancy. I have been looking forward tomove beyond the simple ESL- level English to a native speaker in myEnglish writing.

Stillon my English, I have mastered the use of connectors. Connectors arean important element in the English writing discourse. Gee (2011)identifies a discourse as an identity kit that has costumes andinstructions. I believe that one of the costumes of this literacydiscourse is ability to use the language appropriately includingconnectors. Connectors when used in any literary writing ensures thatthe writing flows seamlessly and the ideas presented are connected toone another. In the essays “The connection between Chinese tea andChinese culture”, “10 workout secret from the pros” and “Thetranslation of Ancient Chinese literature” I have consistently usedconnectors to connect sentences and even paragraphs. These connectorsinclude, moreover, secondly, therefore, for example among others. Inote that the there are different types of connectors such ascorrelative conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. While Iacknowledge that I have not reached my pinnacle in writing, I plan tolearn to use all these types of connectors.

Besidesconnectors, there is also the use of structure and the processes touse in writing essays and other technical forms of writing. The twoconcepts that I have employed widely is the SWAP (Subject, Writer,Audience, and Purpose) and RAIDS (Revision, Arrangement, Invention,Delivery, and Style). These concepts guide writers in the steps tofollow when engaging in any writing projects. Aoron (2012) in theLittle Brown Compact Handbook emphasizes on the use of theseconcepts to generate stronger essays especially for thoseunaccustomed to writing. I believe that many students might betempted to use these concepts in theory and for class purposes onlyto score better mars. However, I believe that and I hope that I willget used to using these concepts to apply them for life and in myprofession. I believe proper writing is not just a requirement inacademic circles but also a requirement in most professions.

Forinstance in the essay “The connection between Chinese tea andChinese culture”, I employed the RAIDS concept effectively. Istarted out first by identifying a suitable topic that I was sure itwas rich and deep enough to produce an essay of the require length.Additionally, I had to make sure that the core cultural elementchosen fits the given criteria. In this case I settled for tea whichholds a key cultural significance among the Chinese. Here I had toadapt a Chinese perspective and create remixed paper that transcendstwo cultures, American and Chinese (Knobel &amp Lankshear2008). After writing the paper, I had to go through the paper all over againand revise it. In revising, I was able to identify several mistakesin grammar, spelling and punctuation. This should not be worrying asanyone can make typographical errors while composing and typing theirpapers. I also went ahead and rearranged two paragraphs to make theideas flow better. I also added several ideas in the paper and addedseveral connectors to the essay where I felt the flow was not smooth.Reading through the essay again confirms whether it achieves itspurposes and delivers the intended message. This required me to placemyself in the shoes of my audience rather than those of the writer.Finally, it was adjusting the paper to meet the desired style such asindenting paragraphs. I did this not only to score better but also totrain myself to get used to employing the concept in my writingalways.

Ican therefore candidly say that the semester has not been in vain. Ihave gained a lot as a budding professional, as a learner and as apersona generally. I believe that I will be in a position to employthe concept and show my expertise and qualification in English myprofession. I would therefore take the chance to assure my parentsthat I have not wasted my time or their money by coming to study hereat MSU. I am also personally satisfied that through this course andin this semester in particular that I have gained a lot.


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