Archive | Writers

The Challenge of Using Prepositions

Grammar Hour topic: Prepositions Prepositions are one of the hardest concepts for English language learners because there are no hard and fast rules about how prepositions can be used across the board. Most rules are specific to one or two words, and often, there are multiple prepositions that you can use with one word, but each […]

The difference between my first and second semester at JMU

By Talat Altayyar The difference between my first and second semester at JMU My first semester at JMU wasn’t an easy semester for me. As an international student who has English is his second language, it was really hard the shifted between being a student in an English school to an academic student at JMU. […]

Diagnose Your Grammar Skills!

This past Friday, during Grammar Hour, we took a grammar diagnostic test from the Oxford Practice Grammar program. This type of test is designed to help you determine which grammar concepts cause you trouble, and which concepts you have mastered. We will use the results from the students who took the diagnostic last week to select […]

Whose, Where, When and Which in Complex Sentences

Grammar Hour topic: Forming complex sentences using adjective clauses Here is an example of using an adjective clause in a complex sentence: “I am friends with the people who live across the hall from me.” These clauses serve to modify the sentence to add a description. Typical adjective clauses use words like “whose,” “where,” “when,” “which” […]

Why Are You So Tense?

Grammar Hour topic: Perfect vs. Simple tense Knowing when to use a simple tense (I went to the store) or a perfect tense (I had been to the store) can be complicated. But, there are a few simple rules you can follow to keep things straight! Generally, simple tenses describe one event in at one […]

Grammar Hour Returns!

We are excited to announce that, due to popular demand, Grammar Hour is back this semester! Lani Furbank, the ELLS peer educator, will spend an hour each week answering grammar questions and leading a mini-workshop about a specific grammar concept. Modals: May I learn more? Last week, we discussed the use of modals. The word modals […]

Why I come to the Multilingual Writers’ Community

By Altayyar, Talat Before I attend to James Madison University I was in an English school in Houston, TX, to improve my English and to be able to attend an American university. I stayed for 9 months learning English then I moved to Harrisonburg, VA, to start my bachelor degree in computer science at JMU. […]

come on! Join us !!

By- Shirley Yang Language is not just a tool to connect with others. It has the cultural definition in it. As an English language learner pursuing college, how to master second language effectively is a challenge. For example, I want to describe a pulley or truck traveling on an overhead track and serving to support […]

Writing in College

Writing in College: A New Change for Us BY Shirley Yang        As we get off the airplane, carrying our heavy luggage into this new country, we know everything will be different from our home country. What we hear, read, speak, and write will be changed from our native language to English. Since […]

Great day in the morning!

by Kristen Shrewsbury Writing – the MWC is a group that brings people together for many reasons and at many stages as writers.  I am consistently surprised about how my students get here and what they want to do.  This morning I am happy to have a native English speaker here, a bilingual student who […]