Kayo Garcia-Maquis ESL Summer 2019: Dayamudra's class

About Me

  • Hello, I'm from Kyoto, Japan
  • I arrived in the United States in 2012
  • I like to go hiking, camping, traveling, taking pictures and going to cafes
  • My goal is to become a Registered Nurse in California
  • I want to improve my reading comprehension
  • My 1st goal is to read quickly and accurately (150 wpm)
  • My 2nd goal is to have the habit to stop reading at the end of each paragraph and summarize it
  • My 3rd goal is to read actively. For example, I try to imagine the story from the title, and connect each paragraphs to the end
Kyoto, Japan
The first New year in the United States in 2013

Reading Skill

By Reading Gulp by Mary Roach

Gulp is very challenging to read. There are so many difficult words and phrases. Sometimes, if you do not understand the culture, it is hard to understand the real meaning. Even though you understand the literal meaning. To read Gulp, however, is great training to find out what is the important thing. Otherwise I will be easily confused because there are so many information. I try to not forget the proverb " You can't see the forest for the trees." Also, I can improve the basic grammar skill, for example, I can tell which is subject, verb, object, and adjective. Without knowing these grammar, it is difficult to interpret a sentence. As a assignment, we need to read two chapters a week, that gives me a good reading pace. To make a pager helps me to summarize paragraph easier. In addition, the questions also help me to follow the gist of the book.


  • From title and the first sentence of each sections I try to imagine what this passage is about
  • Stop every 3-5 words and understand the meaning
  • Focus on the verb
  • Try to understand the meaning of each paragraph
  • Try not to use a dictionary in the beginning

My Improvement

  • I can read a sentence a little faster than before
  • 112 wpm, 6/29/19
  • I can pay attention to S+V+O to understand
  • There are so many difficult words, however, I can imagine the word meaning


  • 114 wpm, 7/05/19
  • I need to understand gist. Not only details but also paying attention what the paragraph means
  • 121 wpm, 7/13/19
  • I should stop at each one section, and check what the section means

The Next Step

  • Try to enjoy reading
  • Try to understand gist
  • Use an audio book more
  • Try to check the reading speed with phone app once a week
Reading materials
Chapter 1&2
chapter 3&4
Chapter 5&6
Chapter 7&8
Chapter 9&10

Grammar and Vocabulary


Grammar is my weakest point in my English. The important thing is that without knowing grammar it would be impossible to raise my English ability to the next level. Grammar is vital to not only writing, but also all other section of English. Grammar is essential in order to make more academic sentence structure as well.

My Improvement

Learning by the book " Grammar and Beyond," John D, bunting, Luciana Diniz, and Randi Reppen, I slowly, but steadily start writing better sentence structures than before. The book has very useful contents, for example, interesting and up to date stories, lots of example of proper grammar, and "Avoid Common Mistakes", In fact those common mistakes made me confused as well. After starting my essay, I realized just how useful this book was. My top three grammatical mistakes are singular or plural subjects, subject verbs agreement, and word forms. It is hard to pay attention to those when writing an essay, however, I will check those points carefully, and utilize the phrases to write good sentences.


  • Make a list for transition words and punctuations.
  • Review for the grammar of past and present perfect tense.

The Next Step

I will pay attention to my top three mistakes and use useful phrases as much as possible in my essays.


My Improvement

I learned vocabulary by reading the book "Gulp", CCSF news paper, CCSF magazine "etc", and lots of texts from the grammar book. Each materials has different field of topics, so we had good chance to develop different kind of vocabulary. Moreover, by writing my essay, I learned more academic words and phrases as well. In the "Gulp", there are many new words in the one paragraph so that it is hard to remember them.


  • If I see any words I don't know, look it up the dictionary and try how we can use that in the sentences
  • Before checking the dictionary, guess the word meaning

The Next Step

I will always highlight the words that I don't know and I will check the definitions.

Vocabulary Materials


My improvement

I learned how to write an essay in the class, CLAD, workshops, and from the books. So far we wrote essays about the book " Gulp" and CCSF service programs. The workshop focused on specific point such as "How to write a topic sentence" so that I learned my weak point effectively. Now I know how to write a essay, however, it is hard to do. I still need to check the rule step by step.

  • I learned how to write Summary
  • I learned how to write Analysis
  • I learned basic rule of essay: Hook, transition words, punctuation, citing, topic sentence
  • I learned MLA form
  • In-Class Writing essay improved


  • Make a good draft
  • Make a good connection
  • Time management
  • Finish 5 minutes early and revise
  • Always check the cohesion
  • Make a list of transition words
MLA form
How to cite in-text citations
How to cite your sources (MLA)

Research Out Come

My Improvement

  • I could finally construct the five paragraphs
  • I could put the information in order with the flow
  • I could pay attention to the time, and I could finish writing within that time
  • I could pay attention for the connection of the each paragraphs better than before
  • However, all my paragraph were too long, so I should make them shorter, utilizing grammar and transition words


  • Make a list of the useful phrases
  • Make a time schedule to finish in time.
  • Make a check list
  • Take time to brainstorm a paragraph plan
Check list

The Next Step

  • Use grammar and useful phrases more often
  • Make paragraphs shorter


It was very challenging six weeks for me in physically and mentally. I feel I maximized my brain power. As a result, my reading has improved. Now I focus on gists carefully and I try to think what the author want to say. This is a big improvement. What the most difficult was essay. I need to develop the skill from the basic. Eventually I could manage the five paragraph. Moreover, in order to write essay, I learned how grammar is important and also is my weakness.


Thank you Ms. Daya and and all ESL 186 friends for support me to complete this boot camp! Without any of the assists, I did not think I could complete this course.

I hope everyone will have a bright future!

“Remember to turn: Sadness into Joy, Hard times into good times, Struggles into accomplishments, Obstacles into opportunity." -Hopal Green


Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "knowledge book library" • Randy Fath - "untitled image" • Devanath - "pencil office design" • wu yi - "untitled image" • PDPics - "grammar magnifier magnifying glass" • PDPics - "dictionary words grammar" • vision webagency - "untitled image" • Soorelis - "drop of water drip flower"