Supporting students across time zones

Supporting students across time zones

Online English as an Additional Language (EAL) support will continue post-pandemic.

March 22, 2021


With Queen’s students studying from locations around the globe this year, connecting directly with support services has presented some challenges for those in various time zones.

In response, the English as an Additional Language (EAL) team at Student Academic Success Services (SASS), a unit of Student Affairs, has designed and implemented an asynchronous academic writing support program for all EAL students at Queen’s. The service provides writing support and feedback from English language specialists via email, complementing SASS’s full range of synchronous appointments and workshops. Students seeking EAL support can now receive the help they need, when they need it, without having to book a one-on-one appointment or worry about time differences.

Since the program’s launch, students who have used the service report the program has been highly valuable, constructive, and provided a new level of flexibility they would like to continue to take advantage of in the future.

“Working with written, rather than live, feedback gives students the chance to reflect on and analyze comments in greater depth,” says Alyssa Foerstner, Academic Skills Support Coordinator (EAL) at SASS. “The program encourages students to consider the choices they make in their writing and offers grammatical knowledge and strategies to broaden the choices students can make in future assignments.”

While the pilot is scheduled to end in June, SASS’s EAL staff are planning to ensure that asynchronous support is part of the unit’s EAL support portfolio going forward. Students interested in participating can email to learn more, or visit the SASS website. Faculty members are encouraged to refer students to SASS for a range of academic support programs, services and resources.