Monday, July 21, 2014

Multilingual Flyers to Target Our Demographic

Here are the Arabic and Chinese versions of our current new student registration flyer. It would be nice to have the Russian, Vietnamese, Farsi, and Japanese versions, too. Do you know someone who can help us produce these other versions?

Monday, July 14, 2014

ESL Registration Begins

Our talking points:
  1. We are here.
  2. We are affordable. Our noncredit classes are tuition-free.
  3. We are not la migra. No residency requirements are needed to take our classes. 
  4. We are a school for everyone. Everyone in the community owns this place called Palomar Community College.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) for California Community Colleges

I just witnessed a common occurrence in our front office when a Vietnamese student with his father walked in to request a waiver of the placement requirement here, based on his DeAnza College ESL course level. Current policies are highly restrictive. A student's placement level applies only to the college where the placement test occurs. So, the student was told to take our placement test again to determine his right level at Palomar. Now, this is not a problem unique to Palomar. Currently, community colleges don't recognize each other in this regard. But things are going to change. A Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) is actually under way, again. And not only for ESL, but for math and English also. With a common assessment for colleges, students can expect to move freely between colleges without having to re-take each college's placement test, and everyone will know what Course A at DeAnza means compared to Course B at Palomar if the cut-scores are revealed. 

The following 12 colleges have been selected from more than 30 that applied to pilot the yet-to-be developed/adopted test delivery platform and the math, English, and ESL test content early next spring (simulating the timing of placement testing of students entering fall 2015).
  1. Bakersfield 
  2. Butte
  3. Chaffey
  4. DeAnza
  5. Delta
  6. Diablo Valley
  7. Fresno City
  8. Rio Hondo
  9. Sacramento City
  10. Saddleback
  11. Santa Monica
  12. West Los Angeles
For more information about CAI, check this website:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Which Version of English Do You Speak?

I'd like to share a fun online quiz that can correctly tell which version of English people speak. Here's the link:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Documentaries of Human Mind, Body, and Soul

Thanks to Roberta Cantow, who herself is a filmmaker and has her works showcased therein, I now know another treasure trove of documentaries made to explore the human mind, body, and soul in the form of real-world story-telling. Perhaps, you can find something useful for your higher level students this summer where the focus is on listening and speaking.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Transforming the Mindset

Here's a month-old, long, but interesting New York Times article about the power of positive versus negative mindsets in the context of an issue that hasn't been systematically resolved - how to empower disadvantaged students to make the choice to be resilient and to strive.