Respect for L2 Writers
After reading the story and translation, I stayed on the website and went through a series of exercises for study and practice. I ended by taking several quizzes until I was able to pass them all with 100% accuracy. It felt pretty good to have the language start coming back to me, but it was also daunting to know that there was absolutely no way I could converse or write effectively in German at that point, other than saying, "Hello. I'm pleased to meet you. What's your name?"
My little exercise gives me great admiration for anyone who attempts to function in a second language. I want to get through ESL Writers in its entirety as soon as possible and read it again many times. One thing my reading has made clear to me is that writing center tutors would do well to learn something about the structure of the native language of the ESL writers they work with. (Preposition ending a sentence! I know.) Knowing about the writer's native language would help the tutor understand transfer errors and difficulty with articles. Even if the tutor knows nothing of the writer's native language, one thing is for sure: L2 writers deserve large amounts of patience and respect from writing center tutors.