Student Spotlight: ESL student Samar Abdelrazzaq at the Art Gallery of Mississauga

By: Prof. Tahani Al Taha (ESL)

This semester, the ESL Advanced students at HMC were accompanied by their instructor of Listening and Speaking, Allyson Conrad, to the Art Gallery in Mississauga (You can read more about this trip elsewhere in this issue of Alchemy!). The students were requested to take notes about niigaanikwewag, the Indigenous Women Artwork exhibition and presentation. The students were also asked to use their notes in a group discussion as an assessment tool of the Listening/Speaking (LS) course, and to complete a writing journal in an online discussion format expressing opinion and critically evaluating the experience of this field trip as part of the Reading Writing (RW) course, taught by Tahani Al Taha.

Under the “Discussions” headline on Slate, the RW instructor posted questions related to the students’ expectations about the artwork of Indigenous women before going to the Art Gallery, and were then asked to share their opinions on the presentation as well as the artwork exhibition, supporting that with a reason or more. They were also asked to write a comprehensive description of their overall experience, and whether they prefer to explore more about the Indigenous culture or not. Finally, they were expected to comment on one of the students’ responses; to agree or disagree with them.

The responses of the students were quite interesting. The response of Samar Abdelrazzaq received the highest grade by the RW instructor based on the writing journal rubric.

Photo: Samar Abdelrazzaq

Below is the writing journal of Samar Abdelrazzaq:

My classmates and I visited the Art Gallery in Mississauga to see an exhibition about the Indigenous women in Canada.  My expectation before the field trip was that Indigenous women are the native people who have been in Canada before anyone else; they have been murdered and they have disappeared since 1980. However, when I went to the Arts Gallery exhibition, I learned new information. I liked the exhibition because it was full of the artwork that was made by those women. The presentation was interesting as well because it gave us brief information about those women lifestyle. I learned that they live in poor communities where they have to work hard for living. Besides, they have so many different languages. Finally, I loved the experience as it really helped me to know more about Canada’s history.