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EMLS 109 (Fall 2011)

​Course involved: English for Multi Lingual Students 109

Professor who participated: Melanie Mowrer 

Number of students involved:  Approximately 25

Method(s) used to incorporate book or themes of book w/students: EMLS 109 students actively participated in reading The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, SAC’s 2011-2012 Book of the year. Students listened to the book on audio cd and followed along with their books. Some students purchased the book and others checked it out of the SAC library. I incorporated two successful reading strategies I acquired from training in Reading Apprenticeship including having students write Evidence/Interpretation reading logs. I also utilized a strategy called The Final Word where students speak one at a time about a quotation or discussion question in groups of 4 or 5. When each student has had an opportunity to speak, the question goes back to the first person who gives his/her final word. 

Outcomes of Activity: Students really liked listening to the audio cds and gradually improved the quality of their reading logs. Students also enjoyed learning about this particular time in American history.

Which core competency did your course activity support: (Communication Skills; Thinking and Reasoning; Information Management; Diversity; Civic Responsibility; Life Skills; Careers)? Diversity, Civic Responsibility

Did your course activity relate to a course SLO (student learning outcome)? YES

Student responses/comments related to course activity: In addition to reading the book, we watched a 60 minute video called “A Time of Fear.”  The documentary gave a firsthand look at the Japanese Internment camps which really helped to bring the book to life for students.  Students pointed out the similarities between the book and the documentary.

Students had heated discussions about” father and son relationships, dating/marrying someone of another race” and “the challenges of adopting/living in two cultures at the same time”.  Discussion questions and additional materials provided by Librarian Yolanda Garcia made teaching the book interactive and fun. We visited the author’s own website as well as other sites related to the story.

Faculty feelings about success of activity: I am always happy to participate in any activity that promotes reading and literacy. The students really looked forward to the days we read together. I feel activities like this build a strong sense of community in the classroom. I look forward to attending the campus wide activities Ms. Garcia is organizing

Would you incorporate future SAC Books of the Year into your curriculum? Yes, if the reading level and topics are appropriate for the EMLS students I am teaching

​"I try not to live in the past... but...sometimes the past
lives in me."