ENGL 119 – Who is interested in playing a game?

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This term is finishing, a new term is beginning. New students are going to once again need to make up their minds and choose an English course in order to get their English credit for their degrees. As a student who finished this course, I would like to make some suggestions to future youngsters so that they get to gain the most amount of benefit out of this hella expensive university.

I would like to suggest to everyone to consider the most useful yet chill English course – ENGL 119. In the course, I actually learned many practical skills (no kidding) that are applicable in both workplace and daily life. For example, emails, blog posts, Ted talks, technical reports.

Since I’m making a recommendation to new students, I will give a little overview of the course as well as the skills I learned. This course is like the game – Super Mario Bros. Each assignment is like a level in Super Mario. It gets harder eventually, but it is a fun process. Players need to build up the basic knowledge and skills at each level to defeat the mega boss in the end.

Level one: email to the professor. Needless to say, we send emails every day, whether it’s a work term or study term, therefore it is crucial to know how to write good emails. Since this is only the very first level, this assignment is a piece of cake. Don’t over think it; it’s nothing more than a greeting email that gives a little intro of yourself. Shouldn’t take more than 30 min. Skills gained: Knowing what tone and diction to use in order to achieve the writer’s initial purpose. Level up!

Level two: Blogs. Blog posts are simple dairies. Blogs basically record events that happened through the day and capture current feelings or thoughts. It’s like telling a story, about yourself, to the readers. If you are not comfortable sharing your ideas, no problem, you can be as technical as you want. Skills gained: different styles of writing, learn to use casual voice to explain an idea. Level up!!

Level three: Ted talk. Slightly different from all the previous assignments, this assignment needs to be a little formal. Presenters still need to use antidotes to attract audience’s attentions. However, statistics and arguments with evidence need to be used in order to support the presenter’s main idea. So pretty much, you and your teammates are giving a mini lecture to your audience on the topic you are interested in. Don’t be afraid, this is a battle you get to fight along with your teammates. Work well together, give positive attitude and know who needs to do what at what time, completely doable. Skills gained: team work, critical thinking skills, oral presentation skills. Level up!!!

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Level four – the final destination – the report. This is the final boss that you need to take down all by yourself before you can rescue the princess. Before you get to the Big Boss, you will need to deal with the little monsters who try to protect the Nexus, such as the proposal, the executive summary, and the introduction etc. No worries, aids are available along the way to fight off numerous monsters. There are things like in-class proposal write-along, executive summary write-along, as well as intro write-along. Moreover, you will have “peer review” to guide you along the way and “feedback” will point you in the right direction. Skills learned: report writing skills, critical thinking, time management, revising writing skills. Reward: Princess!!!!

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If you are able to keep up with the majority of tasks, you will be fine in the end. All through the game, there will be numerous instance dungeons to gain XP and sharpen your skills, some examples: Rhetoric quiz, Bibliography quiz, peer review sessions etc.

So yeah, that is pretty much my take on ENGL 119. It’s a fun course, and it has moderate difficulty with many places where you are able to pick up life skills. Surprisingly, I achieved all my goals I set for myself at the beginning of the term while going through this course. Not only I learned how to express my thoughts more efficiently using well-organized arguments but also became better at writing technical reports! Totally recommend it to new students who are looking for courses to improve their English communication, oral and writing skills.

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