CSUEB American Language Program student Mohammed Alanazi (right) receives prize for Esther Briano Essay Award from Barbara Forsberg, ALP assistant director.
Cal State East Bay American Language Program (ALP) students Mohammed Alanazi and Soyun Choi were named the winners of the 8th annual Esther Briano Essay Contest at the ALP graduation ceremony that took place at 10 a.m. on June 7 in the University Union multipurpose room.
The Esther Briano Award was established to assist outstanding students in ALP in memory of Esther Briano, a longtime CSUEB employee who passed away in 2005.
All essay submissions were between 100 and 400 words in length and addressed the essay question: “How has your experience at ALP and CSUEB influenced your view of the world and, as a result, what will you do differently when you return to your country?”
“This question is a wonderful opportunity for students to reflect upon their experiences of studying in an American university,” said Shannon Woodworth, who has been an ALP instructor since 2006 and served on the judging panel for this year’s Esther Briano Essay Contest. “We understand that (ALP students) come from such different cultural backgrounds. As students acquire a second language, in a sense they are also acquiring a second culture. This essay asks them to think about how they have adapted to these differences and how they think it will influence them as they reenter their home countries.”
Papers were judged on originality and clarity of expression, and the winning students were each awarded $100.
“We look forward to this writing contest every year because it gives us a chance to see what ALP and CSUEB means to our students and how their language and culture acquisition might change how they see the world,” said Woodworth.
In addition to the contest winners, other graduating ALP students were honored during the ceremony. Students were presented with certificates for their achievements in writing classes as well as for completing specialty programs such as the International Business Diploma Certificate program and the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate program.
CSUEB’s ALP offers a range of high-quality programs for students from all over the world, including diploma, certificate and graduate preparation programs. However, the majority of ALP students are part of the Intensive English Program, which gives participants conditional admission to the university on the condition that they raise their English proficiency to meet program standards.