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Preparation Workshop on Reading Strategies and Writing Skills for the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies (CURE)

Ms Emily Yan was warmly invited back to conduct a 2-hour reading and writing preparation workshop for Prof James Frankel’s course, CURE1123 World Religions on 26 November 2021. This is the second year of collaboration with Prof Frankel from the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies and the first workshop conducted in mixed mode due to the previous interventions being launched on Zoom during the pandemic. The first part of the workshop prepared students with writing skills to complete their compare-and-contrast term paper. The second part of this workshop covered strategies for reading journal articles, which is complementary to a recorded PowerPoint video on strategies for reading textbooks shared with students in October. This workshop aimed to equip students with the knowledge of 1) the structure and patterns of a compare/contrast academic essay; 2) the appropriate language use, tone, and formality of academic writing; 3) the usage of cohesive devices and transition signals; 4) the appropriate reading strategies to tackle academic journal articles; and 5) the citation and sourcing of information for academic papers. Since the target group consisted of mostly year one students, it is hoped that these academic reading and writing skills could be obtained and transferred to other courses within their discipline and to contexts beyond their academic careers. It is also hoped that students will be inspired by Ms Yan’s advice to find fuel for their curiosity and explore what it means to be a lifelong learner.  

The student feedback was very positive, and many students expressed their appreciation for Ms Yan’s optimistic attitude and wisdom. They also appreciated the comprehensiveness of the workshop materials and enjoyed the practical exercises that were tailored with samples from previous students’ work. The overall atmosphere of the Friday evening workshop was pleasant and productive. The EAC project team is grateful for the students’ praises and kind feedback, as well as Prof Frankel’s continuous input and trust in the project. The team looks forward to strengthening this collaboration for years to come.