“When I came here it was a little bit intimidating to me because [I] don’t share the same language with any of my students, so I was very worried about that. But there is definitely nothing to worry about and I understood that very quickly. If students are here studying at university and they got into a program, it means that their language is enough for them to understand most things. And all of us kind of studied the language, we didn’t acquire it from birth, we just studied it through the rules, so it’s very easy for us to kind of understand one another, and if I refer to some rules they would know them as well because it’s just how we all learned English. From my students, I usually get feedback that, ‘she’s not a native speaker and that’s why she understands what we are struggling with.’ …Like it’s not the overwhelming majority, but it’s more that I would want to be taught by native speaker. But in many cases, they appreciate that (especially maybe in writing since it’s not speaking or pronunciation) they really appreciate that understanding.”
Tanya Bychkovska is the English as a Second Language Specialist in the Writing Center.