Office of Academic Support

Division of Student Life

Coaching for English Language Learners: Academic Writing, Reading, Speaking, and Listening

Offerings for English-Language-Learning students from Dustin Simpson.

Dustin is a member of the Reed faculty (Humanities 110), and also the English Language Learner Specialist. He has worked with international and English-language-learning students in a variety of capacities since 1997. Below you will find a description of the non-credit workshops and coaching that Dustin offers to Reed students during the academic year.  


The Task of the Academic Essay
Tuesday, August 29th, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Eliot 314

What are academic essays supposed to accomplish? Who are they written for? How are they structured? These are the questions I will explore with you by focusing on how students should "construct a problem" in their introductory paragraph (usually during the revision phase). The focus here will be on Humanities 110.

What is Close Reading?
Tuesday, September 5th at 6 PM - 7:30 PM, Eliot 314

In this workshop, we will work on our close reading skills by reading passages together and then discussing them. I will also share examples of effective use of quotation, paraphrase, summary and analysis. A good workshop to take before finishing your first paper for Hum 110 (due on Saturday, September 17th ).

Characters and Actions
Tuesday, September 12th at 6 PM - 7:30 PM, Eliot 314

In this workshop, students will learn principles that guide sentence-level revision. Revising sentences according to sound principles will make your writing more clear, valuable, and interesting to your readers. We  will work together to understand what makes some long sentences so hard to understand, and what makes other long sentences as clear as a bell.

One-on-One Coaching

In one-on-one coaching, Dustin offers help specific to the needs or goals of individual students. Examples include language-focused feedback rough drafts of essays, help with working through ideas to kick-start your writing process, review of feedback from professors on papers you have already turned in, and/or discussing course readings in a more private and deliberate way.

  • Keep in mind that a lot of students want to meet during the week before a Hum paper is due. Get in the habit of starting your papers early!