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  1. #1
    nebulus is offline Newbie
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    Please help me with my essay.

    This is an essay as application for a language programme.
    Could you please correct it?
    Thank you very much.

    ----------------------------
    Essay


    I already had the idea to contact the Cardiff School for Modern Languages to offer my help to students that want to learn German just before I received the letter which informed me about the foreign language assistantship programme. All the more I am pleased about this offer.


    My previous teaching experience are due to the conduction of trainings and tutorials at my home university. In this tutorials I help students in lower study levels to get a better understanding of the contents of the particular lectures and we discuss about these topics.
    My trainings dealt with different rhetorical and presentation techniques, which can be useful for the studies. The trainings were hold in groups up to fifteen persons.
    I enjoyed both of these projects very much and also profited much by them on a personal level.


    Primarily, I would like to take part in the programme since I want to support others with their intent to learn a new language. I have much respect for such a plan and am gladly willing to help with the implementation.


    Learning a language is the most rewarding and also the most fun when you can use it right away. It is a lot more motivating to learn the language with a native-speaker, who can easily correct mistakes and can assist with the pronunciation. That is why I see it as my task to give people which are interested in learning German a motivation, encourage them to try to speak and to make their learning easier. I feel very connected to the German language and I would be pleased to share this passion to others.


    I think the learning of a foreign language whether in school or elsewhere can be a great personal gain. Language always is an integral part of cultural identity. Knowledge of a foreign language is often the first step in gaining a deeper understanding of another culture and way of life. Speaking a new language opens up a whole new range of possibilities: one can get into contact with other people, experience foreign cultures actively and become integrated. Language makes it possible to bring people together. Here I would like to help.


    Personally I expect to gain a better understanding of my own mother tongue and to understand better how languages learning works. And of course I hope to have an interesting and valuable experience.

    ---------------------------

    Best regards,

    nebulus

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Smile Re: Please help me with my essay.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebulus View Post

    I already had the idea to contact the Cardiff School for Modern Languages to offer my help to students that want to learn German just before I received the letter which informed me about the foreign language assistantship programme. All the more I am pleased about this offer.
    Thank you for sending me the letter informing me about the foreign language assistantship programme. I am all the more pleased to receive it because even before you sent it, I had it in mind to apply to the Cardiff School for Modern Languages.


    Quote Originally Posted by nebulus View Post
    My previous teaching experience are due to the conduction of trainings and tutorials at my home university. In this tutorials I help students in lower study levels to get a better understanding of the contents of the particular lectures and we discuss about these topics.
    My trainings dealt with different rhetorical and presentation techniques, which can be useful for the studies. The trainings were hold in groups up to fifteen persons.
    I enjoyed both of these projects very much and also profited much by them on a personal level.
    I have already acquired some experience in teaching German. At the University of Stuttgart, I conducted training and tutorials for groups of up to fifteen students. ** (SEE NOTE) I much enjoyed those tutorials, and I profited greatly from them. It was this experience that confirmed my ambition to become a teacher of German as a second language.

    **DEAR APPLICANT:
    - It is a waste of words to describe the activities of ordinary work. Probably the officials of the University of Cardiff already know what you do when you conduct tutorials.
    - Instead, find some way that your work was the FIRST, the BEST, the MOST, or the ONLY. That is what to say about your previous experience.

    >"The Dean of the Department of Language Arts singled out my work for particular commendation at the Department's annual Awards Banquet." or
    > "My students achieved a pass rate of more than 90%; 70% became Honors students in a subject they had previously failed." or
    >"I was appointed Lead Tutor for the purposes of training additional tutors."

    - Insert this material at the **
    --------------------------------------------
    DEAR APPLICANT:

    I presume you were asked to explain why you want this job, or perhaps to expound on your theories of teaching second languages. Both of these ideas are scrambled in the passages that follow.

    You should realize that the intent of any such question is for the University to obtain a sample of your English writing fluency, not to hear your philosophy.

    I think this letter is much too long, as well as poorly organized. I think you would do better to express
    - your eagerness for the position
    - your assertions that you are a perfect fit for the job opening
    - your confidence that you are sure to succeed
    - your love for the work
    This all means that you are alert to the questions in an employer's mind when he has to make hiring decisions. What is he looking for? What kind of employee is he hoping to find?

    I also think you should take the syntax down a notch. It is too ornately expressed, too formal, too elaborate. It should be more conversational and colloquial.
    -----------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by nebulus View Post
    Primarily, I would like to take part in the programme since I want to support others with their intent to learn a new language. I have much respect for such a plan and am gladly willing to help with the implementation.
    I'd love to have this job. I thrive on helping students learn to speak a new language. The position you describe sounds like it's perfect for me, and I think I'm a great match for this position.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebulus View Post
    Learning a language is the most rewarding and also the most fun when you can use it right away. It is a lot more motivating to learn the language with a native-speaker, who can easily correct mistakes and can assist with the pronunciation. That is why I see it as my task to give people which are interested in learning German a motivation, encourage them to try to speak and to make their learning easier. I feel very connected to the German language and I would be pleased to share this passion to others.
    I very much enjoy sharing with others my passion for the German language. My own enthusiasm motivates my students, and makes learning fun and rewarding.
    (NOTE: I think this passage should be added to the previous paragraph.)


    Quote Originally Posted by nebulus View Post
    I think the learning of a foreign language whether in school or elsewhere can be a great personal gain. Language always is an integral part of cultural identity. Knowledge of a foreign language is often the first step in gaining a deeper understanding of another culture and way of life. Speaking a new language opens up a whole new range of possibilities: one can get into contact with other people, experience foreign cultures actively and become integrated. Language makes it possible to bring people together. Here I would like to help.
    Learning a foreign language is a huge personal gain. For one thing, language is an integral part of cultural identity, and speaking a new language is the critical first step to understanding another culture. I love opening that door which allows students to experience German culture, to take part in German cultural activities, and to find points of contact with other people.


    Quote Originally Posted by nebulus View Post
    Personally I expect to gain a better understanding of my own mother tongue and to understand better how languages learning works. And of course I hope to have an interesting and valuable experience.
    I think I am the perfect match for this position. I am sure to be successful, and I anticipate a rewarding and fulfilling career.

    DEAR APPLICANT:
    The language and tone of my edit would be appropriate for America, but perhaps it is too bust-out self-assertive and chummy for British tastes. I don't know the answer to that, but I am concerned. If I were you, I would ask a Brit to vet my American-style edit -- or use it to apply for a position at the University of Rhode Island. :)

  3. #3
    nebulus is offline Newbie
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    Re: Please help me with my essay.

    Dear Ann,

    thanks a lot for your great answer. It is really very helpful for me.
    But I'm afraid I did not make clear what the purpose for my essay is and I am really sorry for that because you made such a good job.

    The essay is not an application for a job. The University of Cardiff offers a programme for foreign language students (exchange students - I am one of them) where they can teach other students or children their mother tongue.
    So I just had to write a short essay, explaining why I want to do this, what teaching experience I have and why I think that learning languages is important.

    Your version seems so perfect to me that I almost have not the heart to use it, because it does not reflect my English skills. But of course I will use parts of it. I really hope you understand that.

    If you do not bother, maybe you could tell me which mistakes there are in my essay. This would help me a lot.

    Thank you really very much!

  4. #4
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Please help me with my essay.

    Okay, nebulus. Here's an interlinear commentary:

    I already had the idea to contact the Cardiff School for Modern Languages to offer my help to students that want to learn German just before I received the letter which informed me about the foreign language assistantship programme.
    > Invert the word order so that the least important idea does not come last.
    - Before I ever got the letter informing me about the foreign language programme at the University of Cardiff, I already had the idea of applying.
    ----
    All the more I am pleased about this offer.
    > Not normal word order
    - So I am all the more pleased with this offer.
    ----
    My previous teaching experience are due to the conduction of trainings and tutorials at my home university.
    > Teaching experiences ARE, not are DUE TO
    > The CONDUCT of training, or CONDUCTING training. "Conduction" is a word from Physics.
    > Training is usually singular, not plural
    > Don't be shy about your school. Details refresh prose and sustain the reader's interest.

    - I already have teaching experience. For two years I conducted German language tutorials at the City College in Berlin for groups of up to fifteen students.
    DEAR APPLICANT: Here is where to put your FIRST, BEST, MOST, ONLY
    --------
    In this tutorials I help students in lower study levels to get a better understanding of the contents of the particular lectures and we discuss about these topics.
    > THESE tutorials
    > I helpED
    > run-on sentence. Break it after "lectures."

    - In these tutorials, I helped students understand their class lectures. I led discussions and provided practice around their assigned topics.
    DEAR APPLICANT: Delete all this.
    ---------
    My trainings dealt with different rhetorical and presentation techniques, which can be useful for the studies.
    > Training is usually singular
    > Different blah blah is too vague. Sharpen it up a little.
    > No comma after "techniques"
    > "for study" not "for THE STUDIES"

    - My training sessions included a wide variety of rhetorical and presentation techniques.
    DEAR APPLICANT: Delete all this
    ------
    The trainings were hold in groups up to fifteen persons.
    > were HELD not were HOLD
    > groups OF up to or OF AS MANY AS
    > "students" or "people" not "persons"
    > Get rid of the passive voice

    - I held training sessions for groups of up to fifteen students.
    DEAR APPLICANT: I already relocated this.
    --------------
    I enjoyed both of these projects very much and also profited much by them on a personal level.
    > No grammatical errors
    > Delete it anyway.
    > This sounds like a topic sentence, yet it is entirely undeveloped.
    > This application is already scattered and unfocused. It reads like you just wrote down in random order any random ideas that drifted across your mind.
    ------
    Primarily, I would like to take part in the programme since I want to support others with their intent to learn a new language.
    > Not PRIMARILY. THE MAIN REASON maybe
    > Not I WOULD LIKE TO -- too tentative. Maybe "I want to"
    > Support others IN their intent
    > "support others" is a circumlocution for "teach" and so it weakens the sentence by hiding its actual meaning

    - The main reason I want to take part in the programme is that I am passionate about teaching the German language.
    > This needs to be supplemented with some remarks about why you want to teach German in THIS programme --

    - In addition, this programme is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. It will allow me to teach German as a second language, while at the same time, living abroad will give me constant practice in conversing with English speakers. I also look forward to once again participating in a culture different from my own.
    -------
    I have much respect for such a plan and am gladly willing to help with the implementation.
    > Not IMPLEMENTATION for Heaven's sake.
    > I think you need a second "I" for the second verb ("am.") It looks kind of bare hanging there all by itself so far away from the subject of the sentence.
    > Not "gladly willing" I think
    > Not "much respect" A lot of respect maybe
    > The verb tense is wrong, since you don't have the position yet. "I WOULD BE glad to ..."
    > Not TO HELP and not TO TRY. TO PARTICIPATE maybe

    - I have a lot of respect for such a plan, and I'd be glad to join into putting it into effect.
    > But the real problem is that this whole sentence sounds like it's hiding its own idea under vague words and fuzzy thinking.

    - I think this is a great programme and a wonderful opportunity. I'd love to be a part of it.
    -------------
    Learning a language is the most rewarding and also the most fun when you can use it right away.
    > I keep on misreading this. I always think it is going to say "Learning a language is the most rewarding thing you can do" or something like that. So that means that this part needs to be revised.
    > Try to think of some way to steer clear of the sudden introduction of "you"
    - The best way to learn a language is to use it right away. This is makes learning fun and rewarding.
    DEAR APPLICANT: Delete this because it is entirely off topic to the essay you were asked for.
    ------
    It is a lot more motivating to learn the language with a native-speaker, who can easily correct mistakes and can assist with the pronunciation.
    > Avoid that indefinite subject "It"
    > No hyphen between "native" and "speaker" It makes it sound like you speak a language called "native."
    > Not ASSIST and not HELP and not TRY. Just DO it.
    > These are not the main benefits of native speakers as teachers. The native speaker's fluency, knowledge of colloquialisms -- and even slang -- are the main benefits.

    - Students are more motivated when they learn a foreign language from a native speaker. A native speaker can improve their pronunciation, fluency, and colloquial use of the language.
    DEAR APPLICANT: Delete this as "Completely off topic"
    --------
    That is why I see it as my task to give people which are interested in learning German a motivation, encourage them to try to speak and to make their learning easier.
    > THIS is why?? WHAT is why? Just say "I see it as my task..."
    > People WHO not people WHICH
    > Not A motivation, just "motivation"
    > Say "to motivate" not "to give motivation to"
    > Improve the parallelism by repeating the "to" in front of each verb

    - I see it as my task to motivate students who are learning German, to encourage them to try to speak it well, and to make their learning easier and more effective.
    DEAR APPLICANT: Delete this as off topic
    ----
    I feel very connected to the German language and I would be pleased to share this passion to others.
    > Automatically delete all outbreaks of the stale and overused word "very"
    > Share WITH others, not share TO
    > Avoid "feel" unless you are describing a physical sensation such as coldness or hunger

    - I am connected to the German language and I would be pleased to share my passion with others.
    > "Sharing your passion with others" is great. Let's look for a good place to use it.
    > Being "connected to the German language" -- even if you "feel" "very" connected -- has almost no meaning at all. Just delete passages like this. They crop up in writing all the time, but they are really a form of throat-clearing -- just white noise.
    -----------
    I think the learning of a foreign language whether in school or elsewhere can be a great personal gain.
    > Delete "-- whether in school or elsewhere --" What is the point of this phrase?
    > "THE learning OF" is not so hot here. Just plain "learning a language" would be better.
    > delete "I think" Just start the sentence with "Learning a foreign language...."
    > I think you need to say "can PRODUCE great personal gain. The learning itself is not the personal gain; it LEADS to personal gain.
    > This is a topic sentence. Now you must do two things:
    (1) You must develop the thought with examples or argument
    (2) You must be sure that the resulting paragraph actually is a meaningful part of the essay you were asked to write.
    Let's see how you do.

    - Learning a foreign language produces great personal gain.
    ---------
    Language always is an integral part of cultural identity.
    > Excellent sentence, grammatically flawless and elegantly phrased. Also, it is an idea worth expressing.
    > Let's see if it can be made to be on topic.
    -------
    Knowledge of a foreign language is often the first step in gaining a deeper understanding of another culture and way of life.
    > delete "often." It weakens the impact to hedge like this.
    > You need a repitition of "another" before "way of life" for the sake of the rhythm of the sentence and to keep the reader oriented.
    > Delete "in gaining." Just go directly to the point. It weakens sentences when they take so long to state their meanings.
    > I think it is a stretch to refer to Cardiff as "another way of life." They are not living in caves or something; I daresay their "way of life" is remarkably like yours.

    - Knowledge of a foreign language is the first step to understanding another culture.
    > Maybe this sentence can be joined to the one above.
    -------
    Continued ...

  5. #5
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Please help me with my essay.

    ... continued

    Speaking a new language opens up a whole new range of possibilities: one can get into contact with other people, experience foreign cultures actively and become integrated.
    > What does "become integrated" mean?
    > "a whole new" is a Walt Disney cliche, so it is much deprecated in Academia.
    > PERSONALLY maybe instead of ACTIVELY
    > Get into contact with FOREIGNERS anyway. Presumably the children of Cardiff are already in contact with "people"

    - Speaking a new language opens up opportunities to meet new people and to participate in foreign cultures.
    > Delete this as off-topic. I think you are going to have to assume that the sponsors of this programme already appreciate the value of learning a foreign language. So stop selling it.
    ----
    Language makes it possible to bring people together.
    > Whatever. A bland sentiment blandly (if grammatically) expressed.
    ------
    Here I would like to help.
    > Yah yah. Whatever. Unimpressive.
    ------
    I see that you have to say how this programme will benefit you.

    Personally I expect to gain a better understanding of my own mother tongue and to understand better how languages learning works.
    > PERSONALLY is wrong here, but the idea is sound
    > I think you should recap the "better understanding" rather than switch from "understanding" as a noun to "understand" as a verb
    > language learning, not languageS learning
    > not "my own" here, I think. Just "my"
    > Not "my mother tongue." Just "German"
    > I don't think it makes sense to expect to learn German better by going to Cardiff.
    > Furthermore, it's a shame not to use some of the really GOOD reasons for a student swap.
    > In addition, it's kind of late to drag in a new idea -- improving your GERMAN. Why not "improve your English" instead?

    - By participating in this programme, I expect to learn more about how language learning works. I am also eager to improve my English and to participate actively in the culture of both the city and the University of Cardiff.


    And of course I hope to have an interesting and valuable experience.
    > too vague for a finish. What does it mean that has not already been said?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dear Applicant:

    The University of Cardiff wants to know three things:
    > Have you had any teaching experience?
    > How can you be of benefit to their program?
    > How can their program be of benefit to you?

    In addition, I will tell you that they are looking for people who have already had some experience living or traveling by themselves in foreign cultures. If you have any such experience, you should work it in somehow. If you don't, I think you should lie.

    Here is the essay that I would write if I were applying for this appointment:


    Thank you for your letter regarding the foreign language programme at the University of Cardiff. I am all the more pleased with this offer because, before I ever got your letter, I had already planned to apply.

    The main reason I want to take part in this programme is that I am passionate about teaching the German language; I thrive when I am sharing my passion with others. Language always is an integral part of cultural identity. Language acquisition is not only rewarding in its own right, it is also the key to understanding other people and other cultures. Sharing the language and the cultural heritage of Germany is one of my greatest joys -- as is learning the language and culture of others. Multiple languages enrich both people and nations; a language in common promotes peace and prosperity through mutual understanding, mutual tolerance -- and ultimately even brotherhood.

    Beyond that, this programme is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. It will allow me to teach German as a second language, while at the same time, living abroad will give me constant practice in conversing with English speakers. I also look forward to once again participating in a culture different from my own.


    I already have teaching experience. For two years I conducted German language tutorials at the City College in Berlin for groups of up to fifteen students. My students passed their courses at rate of more than 90%; 70% achieved Honors grades in a subject they had previously been failing. After my first year, I was appointed Lead Tutor for the purpose of mentoring newly-hired tutors. At the 2008 Graduation Awards Ceremony, the Dean of the College of Language Arts and Sciences singled out for particular commendation my work as a tutor and a mentor.

    In addition, I already have experience with living on my own in foreign countries. In the summer of 2007, I spent five weeks with friends in Japan; in 2008 I made a solo walking tour of Greece and Turkey. I admire and enjoy foreign cultures, and I enthusiastically immerse myself in the ordinary lives of people whose ways are not like my own.

    This programme at the University of Cardiff will be my first chance to live and work among English-speakers.
    By participating in this programme, I expect to learn more about how language learning works and to improve my skills as a teacher of German as a Second Language. I am also eager to improve my English, and to participate actively in the culture of both the city and the University of Cardiff.

    I hope my application will be successful. I think I'm quite a good match for this programme. I have a lot to offer and a great deal to gain from this wonderful opportunity.

    Thank you for considering me.

    Sincerely,
    Signature hand-written in ink
    Name typed underneath

    Last edited by Ann1977; 11-Sep-2009 at 23:26.

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