Tamanna Patel has been with EssayJack Inc., an education technology start-up that focuses on teaching writing, since 2018, and currently fills the role of marketing and client support. She has a keen interest in education and how lifelong learning can uplift, empower, and push people to reach their potential. She graduated with a Magna Cum Laude with Honours in Economics and a minor in Management from Clark University in Massachusetts, United States. Previously, Tamanna worked at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), then as an education policy researcher at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a Malaysian think tank, before joining EssayJack. When not in the middle of a global pandemic, she’s an avid traveller.
Learning a foreign language exposes a student to various facets of the culture associated with the language. For example, a Japanese student who is learning how to write in English learns that the conventions of writing in English are different from their native Japanese. They learn how in English writing arguments and information are presented in a very different sequence and have a specific structure. Teaching English language writing within this EFL context can be challenging as students have to be taught to change the way they think about and present information and arguments. The challenge is even greater when classes have to be conducted online where interactive components such as modelling and scaffolding are not easy to replicate. This workshop will review some of the challenges of teaching writing online and show attendees how to use the EssayJack app to overcome them. EssayJack provides smart interactive writing templates which can be easily customised for varying writing proficiencies, to include native language support, and to be used in-person or online classes for teaching English language writing. The app also includes feedback functions that streamline the formative feedback process to augment student learning. EssayJack is an education technology platform created by two university professors from Canada to support teaching and learning academic writing. EssayJack can be integrated with any LMS and used with Google Classroom.