Top tips for ESL
Top tips for ESL
student academic success
1. Get to know the people who can support you
Your professors are your first support, but
if you need more help, the ESL specialist
at the Student Academic Learning Services
(SALS) centre can help you with any
academic English language problems you
are having at college. Also, the diversity
officer in the Diversity office can help you
if you ever need guidance in a situation of
cultural misunderstanding between you
and someone else.
2. Continue to improve your english
English will likely create many challenges
for you during your time at college. Join
the new Conversation Circles or the popular
Conversation Partners program at SALS.
Join a club through the Student Association.
You might even book an appointment with
the ESL Specialist in the Student
Academic Learning Services centre for
more ideas about developing your English
3. Get to know your resources
You should spend time to explore and
discover the campus library and the Student
Academic Learning Services centre. You
should find out your professor’s office
location and hours, and you should know
who your student liaison (advisor) is and
how to contact him or her.
4. Learn how to use Web CT
Web CT is an Internet tool to link students
with their professors for class information,
instructions, and content. It is important to
know how to use this system well to access
your class assignments, class notes, class
discussions, and more. To access Web CT,
visit www.durhamcollege.ca/connect or
visit SALS for more guidance.
Student Academic Learning Services (SALS)
Student Services Building (SSB), Room 204
5. Learn about rubrics
Rubrics are documents that professors
include with assignments to explain the
expectations and requirements. They show
you exactly what the professor expects from
your work. You should find out more about
rubrics and how to use them to understand
the requirements of your assignments.
6. Learn how to improve your in-class participation
At college, your professors not only expect
you to be a good listener, but they also
expect you to join discussions, ask
questions, and volunteer answers. Your
participation in class will help to ensure
your understanding of course content.
7. Attend SALS centre workshops
A workshop is similar to a small class that
covers one topic in 50 minutes. The Student
Academic Learning Services centre offers
many workshops including acculturation,
writing, presentation, and learning skills.
Since there is limited seating for each
workshop, students need to sign-up for
them at the front desk of the SALS centre.
8. Ask questions when you do not understand or
when you need help
Your education is your responsibility. There
are many people at the college who would
be happy to help you, but they do not usually
know what you need help with. You must
learn to ask for help or clarification when
something is not clear. You must ask
someone for help very soon after you realize
that you need it. Do not wait for someone
to ask you because it might be too late.
9. Use the academic support available
Visit the Student Academic Learning
Services centre and make an appointment
with the ESL specialist.
T 905.721.2000 ext. 2491