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Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Student Success
March 6, 2015

Canadian Excellence


The Blueprint Magazine: Call for submissions

The Blueprint is looking for people to contribute to their next issue. Submissions are due Friday, January 16th via Learn more here.


The HB Pencil Lamp

If I had a lot of money, I would buy this for our Writing Centre:





The designers, Michael & George, have also produced a miniature version that stands about 40cm high.


photos via Fast Co Design

Tips for International Students Working on a Team

Tips for International Students Working on a Team

Jianan Mo

Michael Jordan said: Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. Teamwork happens in every aspect of our lives. It happens, for example, when we have to finish team-based assignments. Almost every business class you take at Laurier has a team-based assignment. Teamwork with international students can provide a more empowered way of working because this teamwork will encourage multi-cultural ideas. I did two group projects last week and I had fun working with my team members. I would like to share some tips for international students about how to work on a team.

1.Fully prepare before every meeting.

Reading textbook or assignment instructions and creating ideas about how to do the assignment can be part of preparation. If you prepare for the group meeting, you can help your team through generating more ideas, which helps you to leave a good first impression. You will get lost during the meeting if you dont prepare.

2. Always be reliable.

Demonstrating reliability can be a big part for being a vital person in your team. There are some methods to show reliability such as working hard, meeting group deadlines and commitments, and coming to every meeting on time. Objectives and goals of the whole team cannot be met if some of the team members don't work towards the group commitments. These team members will probably be kicked out from their groups.

3. Be an active participant in a group.

An active participant is a solution-oriented person who always shares ideas with other team members and consistently shows a positive attitude. An active participant isa key component of a group. Ateam is built for solving problems. Trying to be a solution-oriented person can help international student become a valuable team player. As an international student, one tactic to become an active helper is figuring out the part of the assignment you are good at. I am an international student on campus. I sometimes take the quantitative part of the assignment since I am good at calculating and take a small part of writing a professional report. In this way, our group members can learn from each other.

4. Maintain effective communication with your team members.

Effective communication helps all group members to have clear group objectives and to make sure all group members are on the same page. Communication determines how successful the group project will be. Be friendly to your team members. Building trust with the team members is the first step international students should do. For me, I always start the conversation using some topics other group members are interested in (e.g., dance shows on Sunday). Not only talking about the academic things shows you are willing to make friends with them in your life!

In conclusion, being fully prepared before every meeting, always showing reliability, trying to become an active helper in the group, and maintaining effective communication with your team members are four things international students should keep in mind when they are working on teams!



Conference: Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing - Call for Papers

The Writing Commons:
Research and Pedagogy in Writing and Discourse

The SeventhAnnual Conference of
the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing (CASDW / ACR)

University of Ottawa - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, May 30 to Monday, June 1, 2015


We invite papers on all aspects of writing studies for the seventh annual conference of CASDW/ACR, the largest gathering of writing studies scholars in Canada.In particular, we invite papers on research into discourse and on writing theory and pedagogy connecting with our theme of The Writing Commons. This theme suggests multiple interpretations of common and the intersections of these meanings with writing.

Papers might address topics such as:

the nature of public discourse and public writing; past, present, or future of public discourses

writing commonplaces: beliefs and perceptions about writing and writing pedagogy; how these commonplaces are challenged or supported

the writing centre as a writing commons

writing to build public knowledge, disciplinary knowledge, or the professions

common versus individual voice(s) and identities in writing

writing and accessibility: who needs access and improving access

the role of writing in academic institutions: democratic impulses and policy making

writing and resources what we have, what we share, what we need to protect

Papers that address the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences theme of Capital Ideas s are also welcome.

We invite papers that draw on work in genre studies, rhetorical theory, writing studies, writing centre theory and practice, and professional and technical writing research and practice. We welcome papers that connect with CASDWs heritage as a place for sharing research on technical and professional writing as well as those that connect with its more inclusive mission to examine all forms of discourse and writing and to explore pedagogical practices and innovations.

The proposal deadline is January 12, 2015 (See Proposal Requirements)

(PDF Version)

Chinese Students Decision Making about their Names

Chinese Students Decision Making about their Names

Jianan Mo

One of the trickiest things when Chinese students choose to study abroad is deciding on whether to change their names or not. Whether to choose an English name as a Chinese student is a hot topic in the Chinese student community. Names are used for identifying people and names can somehow influence how Chinese students are treated by others. I have done interesting research this week about why my Chinese friends decide to choose English names or keep their Chinese names.

Some of them decided to choose English names because:

First, it is really hard to pronounce a Chinese name. Chinese is really complicated, since the slightest changes in tone can create a totally different pronunciation. Changing tones is really hard for English speakers. Therefore, they prefer to choose popular English names which are easier for others to pronounce, such as Nancy, Helen and Lucy.

Second, my friends are tired of correcting their names again and again when introducing themselves. One of my friends named Linzi, which is pronounced in two words in Chinese, like Lin Tze, but this is incorrect. In English people call her Lindsay every time she tries to introduce herself. Because this is not her name but people keep saying again and again, this made her feel embarrassed. Therefore, she decided to choose Lindsay as her English name instead.

Third, some of my friends think English names can help them to find better jobs or get more interviews. I have heard that interviewers seem likely not to choose participants with Chinese names because they are afraid to make a mistake on pronunciation.

Some of my other Chinese friends still think they will choose to keep their Chinese names (including me), because:

First, it will be difficult for others to find Chinese students on a social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook if they use English names in their lives while keeping formal Chinese names in their profiles. For example, I used an English name when I was in first year at Laurier. One of my friends complained to me about my different names in school and on Facebook. She said she tried to search for me five times on Facebook and couldnt find me. I felt so embarrassed, so I decided to keep my Chinese name.

Second, some Chinese students think changing their names to English names is unnecessary. A name was the first gift your parents gave you when you were born. Some Chinese students think changing their names are not showing respect to their parents. Also, If you dont recognize yourself as a foreigner, others wont. This is what my friend told me when I hesitated whether to choose an English name or keep my Chinese name.

I believe if someone truly wants to make friends with you, they will try to learn how to pronounce your name!


source unknown



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