English! It was my enemy for a long, long time. I was wrestling with the enemy, but the outcome was not good, and I wanted to give up this patient game. I was tired.
But one day I had to play the game again as a student at UHM. I was fearful once again, because I had never defeated my enemy…
But I eventually won my wrestling match with English (which is no longer my enemy) thanks to the allied army of ELI teachers. They are very friendly and excellent strategists who know how to overcome the many barriers that most international students have in learning English.
Since I graduated from the ELI, I still keep in touch with the ELI teachers. Whenever I ask them to help me out, they happily do so. For example, they let me know useful websites which show how to improve my English skills. I really appreciate that. If you have the same fear as I had, knock at the door of the ELI.
I took two ELI courses: ELI 82, Advanced ESL Reading, and ELI 73, Writing for Foreign Students. They turned out to be very helpful for my core courses which had a lot of readings packed with unfamiliar vocabulary. Various strategies were introduced during the reading course which really helped me handle the massive amounts of reading with ease. Most of the strategies worked well for me. I have also learned a great deal of vocabulary that is crucial for my academic field. I not only learned the meaning of the words, but also the way of using them correctly.
More importantly, The ELI gave me exposure to international students from many countries. There were so many things I have learned from my peers! Through learning about my peers’ interests, fields of study, and cultures, I discovered many things to a depth that I have never known before. We did a lot of group activities, such as discussions and sharing ideas on particular topics that were chosen by team members based on individuals’ interests. Because of this, we gradually built friendships, and some of us still keep in touch.
Lastly, the ELI instructors were really eager to help the students with all the problems that arose throughout the courses. Their dedication alone served to teach us many unspoken lessons that many will carry with us as we progress in life.
I highly appreciate the ELI. The program is carefully designed to help international students step by step in adapting to the new learning environment. In class, students not only improve their English reading, listening comprehension and writing skills, but also other advanced academic skills such as presentation, participative discussion, active reading and writing. The assignments in writing (citation, quotation, free writing, literature reviews), listening and speaking (presentation, free speaking) and reading (fast reading, comprehensive reading, speed reading) are effective practical exercises which have helped me to be aware of my weak points which I should work to improve, and have also emphasized my strengths.
I am particularly grateful to my instructors who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and skillful at English teaching. They provided me essential guidance on academic English skills that substantially helped me progress in my graduate classes. Students are all also welcome to drop in either by appointment or casually, to the instructors’ office to consult on their assignments or related activities. I have been progressively equipped with new life skills, and I am sure these will further accumulate—thanks to the ELI.
I would like to convey to the ELI program my sincere thanks for the very well-organized and useful English classes.
Although I was not required to take ELI courses according to the university’s criteria, I decided to attend the advanced graduate writing course in order to further improve my English language ability. The class turned out to be extremely helpful in terms of greatly enhancing my understanding of academic writing conventions as well as my knowledge of academic vocabulary, primarily through the intensive, but also interesting and worthwhile “CAP” project.
In addition we were also encouraged to think and write freely for the writing workshops, journals, and other in-class writing. This very much stimulated my enthusiasm partly because I come from a country and culture where free thinking is usually not encouraged. I would like to say that I really learned very much from both the class and the wonderful instructors.