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Sharman Yoffie-Sidman

Writing Program ESL Coordinator/Lecturer

B.A., University of the District of ColumbiaM.A., M.S., Long Island University


In 1985, I completed my undergraduate study in Spanish/foreign language education at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. I received an M.A. in English/creative writing in 1992 and an M.S. in education/TESOL in 2004, both from the Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. In 1993, after nearly eight years as public school Spanish teacher, I began teaching ESL in the Brooklyn Campus’ Modern Language Center, specializing in advanced ESL writing and grammar. During my time there, I designed Writing Curriculum Guidelines, Levels 1 - 9, and created and taught an online course for teachers in the Certificate in TESOL Program. Concurrently, I taught non-credit summer workshops in writing to ESL sections for the Campus’ Higher Education Opportunity Program, emphasizing syntax/grammar to prepare students for their first college semester. In 2000, I began teaching composition to ESL sections in the Campus’ English Department as well as co-authoring faculty development materials for the Writing Program Archives. I also worked as adjunct assistant professor in the CESL Department of New York City Technical College (CUNY), where I taught developmental writing to ESL sections. In 2002 I became the Brooklyn Campus Writing Program ESL Coordinator. In this position, I coordinate and mentor professors of the English Department ESL ("X") sections, provide faculty development and student/teacher ESL resources for the English Department and the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, make final placement decisions regarding ESL students in Writing Program classes, serve on the Writing Program Committee and several subcommittees, and teach two sections of developmental writing per semester.

I have been fascinated by foreign/second language education since my undergraduate days. For nearly two decades I focused on the pedagogy involved in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Acquiring spoken and written language are two separate processes that many Brooklyn Campus students must rapidly acquire and unite. I have been especially concerned with how grammar and syntax interact with academic writing, and I enjoy teaching other educators the methods and materials of such instruction. I believe that in order to teach writing to students whose native language is not English, instructors themselves need to be solidly grounded in grammar and the rule-governed behavior of language use. I have presented my views in a number of faculty development sessions across the Brooklyn Campus. My most important goal is to continually discover new ways to help “second language” students get across their real communicative intent so that they speak and write appropriately in an academic environment.


Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages