Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ekaterina's WINNING ESSAY for the NYS TESOL Contest

This year, New York Language Center schools participated in the 11th Annual New York State TESOL Student Project Competition. The theme this year was "Collaboration." We are proud to announce that NYLC students won in both the Essay Writing and Digital Essay categories! 

Below is the winning essay written by NYLC Jackson Heights student, Ekaterina Puzankova. To watch the winning digital submission by Advanced students at NYLC Midtown, visit this post.

New York Language Center – Jackson Heights
Ekaterina Puzankova
Teacher: AJ Gonzales

Advantages of working in a group
         Some people prefer to work alone, while others are in favor of a group work. Both approaches have their upsides and drawbacks. However, as far as I am concerned, working in groups is more beneficial for people, because it helps to achieve more far-reaching result, broaden their knowledge, learn how to cooperate and save an ample of time.
         To begin with, group of students can reach a better result, because a wider range of knowledge. Several people can contribute more to a project than one individual due to diversity of ideas and skills. A team has the opportunity to look at the picture from different perspectives, while by working alone you are able to make decisions based only on your own opinion and your possibilities are limited. Hence, the group has higher potential than one person and can achieve greater result.

          Secondly, students can learn from each other while working together. During the process group members share their views and experiences. For instance, in my TOEFL class working in groups is commonplace. Every time I work with other students I expand my vocabulary. By working together we come up with at least ten different synonyms for an English word verse to one or two meanings that I know. In addition, I learn many interesting things about other cultures due to diverse backgrounds of my classmates. Therefore, group work helps students to broaden their knowledge.
           In addition, working in a team develops some necessary skills such as the ability to cooperate. Through variety of difficulties that students face while working in the group, they learn how to compromise, resolve arguments and respect each other. Even though opinions may vary among group members, they have to come to a general agreement that would be somewhat satisfactory for all participants. From my point of view, this skill is especially important, because all prime aspects of life such as family, business, religion and so forth require an effective cooperation. Thus, the ability to cooperate is a rudimentary skill for every individual, and work group helps to improve it.
          Finally, because of the number of people involved a group can accomplish work faster than if it would have been done by one individual. When working alone you have to do a whole project by yourself. In contrast, group members can split the responsibilities among each other and save a great deal of time. Moreover, group members can cover each other’s weaknesses, and the right matching of multiple talents for specific purposes can significantly increase the efficiency of the group. Because all of those factors, a group works more quickly than one person.

          In conclusion, I strongly believe that working in a group is an essential life experience. Indeed life in general is a team sport and in the process of working in a group you learn how to play it properly. By cooperating we learn how to live in society. By improving of result and productivity we increase our chances to succeed in life. 

                                                                                                                              - Ekaterina Puzankova

Ekaterina is from Novosibirsk, Russia, but she's been in the U.S. for seven years.  She holds a Master's in Mathematics and plans to attend Queens College for a Master's in Math Education. She hopes to teach grades 7 to 12 math in the future. 

In her free time, she likes to spend time with her husband, as well as do yoga and go to shows.  She'd been studying English in her country since the fourth grade and into university.  Ekaterina loves writing essays in English at home, though she admits it's hard to time herself because she is a perfectionist.  She is working on improving her listening skills, especially when it comes to academic lectures.
We congratulate Ekaterina on winning the Essay Writing category of this year's NYS TESOL Competition!

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