New Faculty 2014-15: Soomin Jwa

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Welcome to the BU WP, Soomin! How are you finding the move from Arizona to the east?

It’s been a great experience living in a big city like Boston. European styles of buildings, convenient transportation systems (what’s called the “T”), and the fresh, high quality seafood are some of the things that I’ve enjoyed the most. Just recently, I started to worry about the cold weather, so I’ve stocked up on new types of clothes at home such as knee socks, earmuffs, and water-proof weather boots, which I’d never thought I would ever need when I lived in Tucson, Arizona.

Can you share an interesting story from one of your classes or engagements with our colleagues?

As an ESL writing teacher, I try to keep in mind that lack of language proficiency may often belie the student’s creativity, intelligence, and even his/her inner voice. One of my Chinese students emailed me at the beginning of the semester, asking me to be patient while she tries to step outside her comfort zone. She was shy and silent in class, but her voice still existed in her writing, and later I could see her confidently speak out, participate in class discussion, and try to overcome her fear of public speech. It’s just amazing to see ESL students’ growth over the semester, and I feel honored as their teacher that I have been with them during their growth.

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Soomin Jwa is receiving her PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. Her dissertation, which she defended this spring, is titled “Genre Knowledge Development: Tracing Trajectories of L2 Writers’ Transitions to Different Disciplinary Expectations in College Writing.”

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