"I applied to the University Scholars Program because I am interested in Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and I recognized the opportunity USP would give me to pursue my interests in this area. In the summer of 2010, I worked in Hong Kong for an organization called Summerbridge Island School as a teacher for disadvantaged middle and high school students. At this unique summer program, I taught Creative Writing with an emphasis on English language development and this past summer I returned as a teacher in order to conduct research with my mentor Dr. Danling Fu. I am studying samples of my students’ work to better understand how language and culture can affect thought process and expression in their writing. This year I hope to use my research to learn the best methods to improve writing in English Language Learners."
Spanish and Women's Studies
French and Education
International Development, Education, Education Policy, East Asian Studies, Foreign Languages, Second Language Acquisition, Gender Studies.
Academic and Other Awards
- UF Lombardi Scholarship (2009)
- Charles Vincent and Heidi Cole McLaughlin Scholarship (2011)
- Golden Key International Society (2010)
- Beta Rho Capter of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society (2011)
- Hillsborough County Youth in Philanthropy Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service
- Breakthrough Collaborative on Campus
- Summerbridge Hong Kong Teacher
- English Department Head United World Organization
- English Language Institute Conversation Partner
- Teacher Aide in ESOL Department at Gainesville High School
- Volunteer Intern at Mary Lee’s House, A Child Protection and Advocacy Center.
Hobbies and Interests
- Foreign language and culture
- Creative writing
Nativeness in ESL Writing
This past summer I worked as an English and Creative Writing teacher in an academic Summer Program for high achieving local secondary students in Hong Kong. I am working with Dr. Danling Fu and using my students’ writing to research and better understand non-native English speakers’ process of writing. The research we conduct will not assess simple grammatical errors, but will go beyond these shallow mistakes in order to analyze nativeness. Nativeness, or differences in expression owing to the author’s native language or culture, can be assessed on five different levels. These levels of assessment are as follows 1) Linguistic (idiomatic expressions, grammatical ways) 2) Word Choice of author 3) Concept Confusion (how the culture of the author changes their perception of loyalty, faith, etc.) 4) Ways of Reasoning and 5) Ways of Composing (non-western ways). Dr. Fu and I will evaluate student writing for these characteristics in order to pinpoint the ways in which nativeness manifests itself in the writing of English language learners. I hope this research will contribute positively to our knowledge of native language and culture in ESL writing and subsequently allow us to better teach writing to second language learners. By conducting research in this area I hope to provide more literature and dialogue on the topic of nativeness to the Education and English language learning community. Much to the detriment of the growth and development of other languages and cultures, we live in a world dominated by the English language. For this reason, I feel that any research on English language learning is of the utmost importance.