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Workshop Descriptions

Free Winter Workshop Series

Workshops are held on Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:30 from January 15 until March 28 in MCB 2110. Workshop descriptions are below the calendar.

The Mechanics of Writing
Mondays 4:30-6:30
Focus on Communication
Wednesdays 4:30-6:30
Jan. 15
Punctuation

Jan. 17
Pronunciation

Jan. 22
The Building Blocks of Writing

Jan. 24
Defending Your Thesis

Jan. 29
Using and Incorporating Sources

Jan. 31
Successful Interviews

Feb. 05
Grammar Check-up

Feb. 07
Answering Assignment Questions

Feb. 12
Email Writing

Feb. 14
Adapting to Life in a New Culture

Feb. 26
Using Tentative Language

Feb. 28
Oral Communication for Undergrads

Mar. 05
Cohesion and Flow

Mar. 07
Oral Communication for Grad Students

Mar. 12
Using Emphatic Language

Mar. 14
Informal Speaking

Mar. 19
Digital Tools for Academic Writing

Mar. 21
Facilitating In-Class Discussions

Mar. 26
Idioms and Expressions
Mar. 28
World Englishes

 

Workshop Descriptions

The Mechanics of Writing (Mondays 4:30-6:30)

The Monday workshop series called The Mechanics of Writing focuses on the specific needs of students whose first language is not English. It is a review of all the building blocks of grammar to improve your writing on exams, assignments, and academic papers, and to help you make the most out of other academic support on campus such as the Study Skills workshops, the Writing Centre, and writing classes. Each workshop is self-contained, so you can come to just a few, or come every Monday. The workshops will include explanation of rules and theory, as well as ample time for writing feedback by a qualified and experienced ESL instructor.

Punctuation

This workshop is a review of punctuation: periods, commas, semi-colons and more, with a particular focus on common difficulties for writers whose first language is not English.

The Building Blocks of Writing

Phrases are used to build sentences, and sentences make up paragraphs. Well-constructed sentences and paragraphs are key to writing strong academic papers and exam question responses. In this workshop, the sentence and the paragraph will be approached with an emphasis on structure.

Using and Incorporating Sources

University students are expected to write research papers on a variety of topics, and one of the typical requirements is that they use reliable, academic, and non-academic outside sources in their research papers.  This workshop will focus the issue of using and incorporating sources into research writing and academic presentations providing some practical strategies and tips for how to do this best.

Grammar Check-up

Just like going to the doctor, the first part of the workshop will be identifying where the “grammar pain” is and diagnosing the cause.  Then, we will examine the possible cures. Finally, we will explore how we can stop the grammar pain from coming back and prevent new ones from appearing.

Email Writing

This highly interactive session will take a practical approach to improving your professional email-writing skills. The workshop will involve practice and individual feedback on your writing.

Using Tentative Language

Using tentative language, or hedging, is one of the most important aspects of high-level academic writing, yet one that many writers are not aware that they should be using. This workshop will include an explanation of hedging and review the different structures used in academic writing to express ideas with the appropriate level of nuance.

Cohesion and Flow

Good academic writing is not just a series of disconnected ideas; it shows unity and flows within and between paragraphs. In this workshop you will look at the structures and vocabulary needed to take your academic writing from good to great.

Using Emphatic Language

A key element of academic writing is emphasizing certain points in a nuanced and appropriate way. This workshop will include an explanation and exercises focusing on how to use emphatic structures in your writing effectively.

Digital Tools for Academic Writing

This interactive workshop will explore a number of online resources for academic writers. In addition to engaging with some of the tools presented, participants will be encouraged to discuss the digital tools that they have found most useful in their own learning processes.

Idioms and Expressions

The goal of this workshop is to present idioms in groups making them easier to identify and remember.  We will also review other figures of speech, including some expressions and slang. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples.

 

Focus on Communication (Wednesdays 4:30-6:30)

The Wednesday workshop series focuses on strategies and resources for successful communication in a variety of common contexts. The workshops will include discussion of theory as well as lots of practice time with a qualified and experienced ESL instructor.

Pronunciation

This workshop will focus on the mechanics, sounds and rhythms of English to help with your pronunciation issues. The workshop includes theory as well as practice time with feedback from a qualified instructor.

Defending Your Thesis

In this workshop you will practice some of the skills needed to present and defend your research effectively in the context of a graduate thesis defense or oral examination.

Successful Interviews

This interactive workshop will cover the grammar, vocabulary, and communication strategies necessary for successful interviews in a variety of contexts. The workshop will include practice time overseen by an experienced instructor.

Answering Assignment Questions

In this workshop you will practice the skills needed to analyze, understand, plan and write answers to assignment questions, with a particular focus on accuracy.

Adapting to Life in a New Culture

Moving to a new country is challenging due to the necessity to adjust to a new culture. This interactive workshop will explain the difficulties of cultural adaptation and provide you with practical advice on how to successfully live and study in Canada.

Oral Communication for Undergrads

This workshop will focus on communication strategies to improve your fluency and communication on campus, in both academic and non-academic situations typically encountered by undergrads. The workshop will include practice time overseen by an experienced instructor.

Oral Communication for Grad Students

This workshop will focus on communication strategies to improve your fluency and communication on campus, in both academic and non-academic situations typically encountered by graduate students. The workshop will include practice time overseen by an experienced instructor.

Informal Speaking

This highly interactive workshop focuses on communication strategies and linguistic resources for a variety of informal contexts, from social situations to shopping, to day-to-day life. The workshop will include practice time overseen by an instructor.

Facilitating In-Class Discussions

This workshop will focus on linguistic resources and strategies for facilitating seminars, problem-based learning tasks, groupwork sessions, or discussions in a lab setting. The workshop will include explanations, discussion and practical exercises to develop your skills.

World Englishes

There are many varieties of English around the world, which differ in terms of accent and vocabulary. Take a trip around the world in this workshop and better prepare yourself for the different types of English you may hear and use in your academic life at Dalhousie, as well as at conferences and events in other parts of the world.