The “academic” version of any language, including English, is not natural or native for most people. It takes time and patience to acquire, and this happens throughout a student’s school years, including in college and beyond.
It is an unfair reality that the academic variety of English is “farther” for some students than for others from the English that is spoken in their home—especially, of course, if English is not spoken at home. But progress can be made toward learning useful aspects of Academic English when students are willing to devote time and attention to studying it. Is that yet one more responsibility and commitment for students to take on? It is. But help is available.
The CSUSM Writing Center is here to help all students on campus gain greater fluency and comfort in this “unnatural” variety of English that is nevertheless crucially important for success in college and in many professions. We recommend that students make a commitment to ongoing visits to our centers throughout the semester and throughout their college career. These visits can take the form of weekly or biweekly visits to our centers and/or attendance at the multiple workshops we offer throughout each term.
We also provide writing workshops helpful for Academic English (You may not be familiar with the structures named here, but be confident that all workshop topics represent common problem areas for students):