Instructor: Lisa vonReichbauer
In level 3 writing, students learn how to write essays in different organizational patterns. This lesson required students to write a compare and contrast essay based on two articles that they read related to experiences living between two cultures. The first article was an excerpt from the memoir "Lost in Translation" by Eva Hoffman, who moved with her family from Poland to Canada at the age of thirteen. Eva recounts the difficulties that she experienced trying to retain her Polish heritage while adapting to Canadian culture. The second article was the essay "The Struggle to be an All-America Girl" by Elizabeth Wong, who was born in the US to Chinese immigrants. Elizabeth grew up in California, and as a child rebelled against learning Chinese language and culture since she felt a strong desire to be an American girl. However, as an adult she had regrets about missing opportunities to learn more about her Chinese heritage.
The students read the articles and completed vocabulary exercises, comprehension exercises, and critical reading exercises such as using Venn diagrams to compare and contrast their own experiences with the experiences of the characters in the stories. The goal was to compare the ideas that they read about in the articles to what they had experienced since they moved to the US.
Below you will find an example of the Venn diagrams and the assignment sheet for the essay:
Directions: Using the Venn diagrams below, write details from the stories you read and details
from your own experience to clarify differences and similarities between Elizabeth,
Eva, and yourself.
"Lost in Translation" by Eva Hoffman and "The Struggle to be an All-American Girl" by Elizabeth Wong
Steps to writing your essay.