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Chaparral 2016-2017: 25.3 NC ESL Reading Group

Garfield Gleanings (March 2017)

Garfield Gleanings

by Harriet Cohen

“Orhan’s Inheritance”
NC/ESL Reading Group
Open to Levels 4 and 5+ Students
Wednesdays 12:15-1:15 p.m.
TR 209
Facilitator: Mrs. Harriet Cohen

I am pleased to share news about a first-time activity taking place at the Garfield Campus, an after-class Reading Group for upper level NC/ESL students. The idea for such a group came about because of repeated requests from my students, particularly those who are avid readers in their native language, to read novels in English. Though I have heard students express this desire for years, it was the email from Lara Kartalian, One Book One GCC Coordinator, that got me to spring into action. The chosen text is encouraged throughout the credit program on the Verdugo campus, and I realized that there was probably no reason not to have our motivated students at the Garfield campus join in. They simply needed the opportunity and someone to guide them. Additionally, the book which was chosen, “Orhan’s Inheritance”, has a theme all of our students can relate to, in one way or another. The group, which began in November 2016 and will run through May, began as a volunteer activity on my part, but was then approved for an Adjunct Ancillary Stipend.

The students are having quite an enriching experience. For most of them, it is the first book they have ever read in English. A few had tried reading novels in English on their own before but said they could not understand the subtleties of the language and therefore became either bored or frustrated and gave up. Now their eyes are lighting up with the delight of understanding simile, metaphor, references, and so on. They are also thrilled that the author, Aline Ohanessian, will be visiting GCC on April 13 to give a keynote address, and that they will have a chance to meet her and have her sign their book copy.

As our noncredit students look forward to entering credit classes in the near future, our Reading Group provides a wonderful means for them to acquire some of the skills they will need in credit classes while at the same time doing what they have always loved to do in their native language, to read for enjoyment!

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