English Language Learners
If you are a non-native speaker of English, the Jacobson Center has a number of services to assist you. All services are free.
Individual Writing Conferences
The Jacobson Center is a place where you can bring any writing you are working on—not just papers—at any stage of the writing process and receive expert, professional advice from Writing Instructors on all aspects of the writing. Writing Instructors are not proofreaders or editors. Rather, they help you understand your writing patterns and teach you strategies for maximizing your strengths and addressing your weaknesses. Most conferences are half an hour in duration. You can schedule a writing conference at http://smith.mywconline.com.
English 118 ELL Sections
These small classes provide systematic instruction and practice in college-level expository writing and are specifically designed for students whose first language is not English.
The Jacobson Center offers workshops and individualized meetings in study skills and exam preparation. For more information about study skills see LINKS, The Study Skills Toolbox and/or contact Gail Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call extension 3037.
The Jacobson Center offers peer-tutoring to help you get through challenging course material. For more information about tutoring, see Tutoring and Support Services and/or contact Gail Thomas at email@example.com or call extension 3037.
As a non-native speaker, remember the following:
- Learning to speak and write (especially academic essays) in a second language is a long-term, difficult undertaking.
- Errors are a natural part of language learning.
- It may be unrealistic for non-native speakers to expect to be able to write like native speakers, certainly not without a lot of effort. Research shows that even non-native speakers who have lived in English-speaking countries for many years and write regularly in English maintain a written accent (like a foreign accent in pronunciation).
- Focus on substance; do not worry constantly about style and mechanics.
If you have any questions about writing services for non-native speakers, contact Holly Davis, Smith College’s English Language Learning Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call extension 3034.