In June 2002, Arizona was very hot and dry for someone like me who came from the Middle East. CESL had many students with different nationalities, but there were no other Palestinians except myself. In the beginning, I disagreed and argued a lot about why I should have a pre-academic course as my English language was considered very good. Later on, it surprised me that the Pre-Academic course offered more than English language skills. In addition to the language skills such as writing, reading, TOEFL, and communication, we learned to do research on the web and use the library's computerized system. In addition, several guest speakers introduced the students to the US daily life, general culture, and academic expectations of a major university. The reading class was unique as it improved my reading and wrting skills dramatically. Dr. Elizabeth Winkler runs the class professionally and flexibly. She adds her personal and practical experience to the course content. I think the pre-academic course is a necessity for all international students before they start studies in the United States or other English-speaking country.
Friday, February 24, 2012