Testimonials

 

 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES UCLA
BERKELEY • DAVIS • IRVINE • LOS ANGELES • RIVERSIDE • SAN DIEGO • SAN FRANCISCO SANTA BARBARA • SANTA CRUZ

GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
405 HILCARD AVENUE
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90024-1521
August 17, 1992
To Whom It May Concern:
I am familiar with the work of Miroslava Vukelich. She has done an outstanding job of organizing the complexity of English grammar into a form which becomes a guide and easy reference for both native English speakers and those for whose English is a second language. Her Effective English Basics Chart is a reference easy to use for both teachers and students.
With the compounding of emerging knowledge, it is refreshing to find a person who can organize and simplify the basics essential to effective communication—something we desperately need in a world so full of misunderstandings.
Coupled with an effective writing and speaking program, the EEB makes a significant contribution to our nation’s schools.
Sincerely,

Madeleine Hunter

1747 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., NW • WASHINGTON, DC 20006
TELEPHONE: 202-833-0100 • FAX: 202-833-0108

February 20, 1996
Ms. Miroslava Vukelich
129 N. Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dear Ms. Vukelich:
I just wanted to thank you again for your testimony before the Senate on behalf of U.S. ENGLISH. Enclosed please find several copies of the newsletter. I thought you might want them since you are featured in it.
Please call me at 202/833-0100 if you need additional copies.
Sincerely,

Daphne P. Magnuson
Director of Communications
Ann Higgins
943 First Street
Hermosa Beach, California
Zip: 90254
October 3, 2002
To Whom It May Concern:
Miroslava Vukelich has been a friend and colleague of mine at Inglewood High School for many years. I cannot over-state my appreciation and gratitude for her inspiration, enthusiasm and creativity in the class room.
Miroslava’s keen analytical and organizational skills have allowed her to create Effective English Basics, a simplified, quick and fun way to learn the basics of reading, writing, communicating and listening. She has illustrated this process brilliantly in her Effective English Basics wall map. The students love rushing to this “map” to check their direction and progress. This process is magical, really, and to transforms the traditional image of the study of “grammar” as a tedious and confusing dry set of “rules”, into a fun, simple and natural way of acquiring a basic foundation of communication skills.
Miroslava’s program works beautifully when applied to “across the curriculum” teaching and activities. I was easily able to apply this program and map in my lessons, thus strengthening and re-enforcing students’ communications skills while they learn United States History!
I will be eternally grateful to Miroslava for her tremendous inspiration and assistance. She has helped make me a better teacher, and as a result, a greater help to my students. I can only hope that Miroslava’s English Basics program will be made available to as many educators as possible. It works!



Ann E. Higgins
Dept. of Language
Inglewood High School
231 So. Grevillea
Inglewood, CA 90301
April 30, 1996
Personnel Services Division
Inglewood Unified School District
401 Inglewood Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90301
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is in support of Miroslava Vukelich for a position as Mentor. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ms. Vukelich for the past 10 years as a colleague & personal friend.
Through the years, I’ve observed Ms. Vukelich reaching out to faculty & especially our new teachers, with strong support and a willingness to share expertise & needed materials. What she offers is immediately applicable to the classroom & helps the teachers to effectively communicate subject matter to their students. In addition, she has been a vital part in our curriculum development & worked tirelessly to develop an excellent program for our honors students.
Overall, I feel having Ms. Vukelich as a mentor, benefits all segments of our school society. Unique approaches and communication skills have benefited the community & Inglewood as well.

Sincerely,

M. Schiesel-Maning
(310) 419-2585
EMPOWERED ENGLISH – Shortcuts to Grammar
EFFECTIVE ENGLISH BASICS

Participants’ Input

“I expected to get practical grammar application – shortcuts to addressing grammar. What I got where the good, common sense strategies for addressing the challenges of grammar. I valued especially your visual connections to grammar explanations…”
“I valued your experiences and wisdom…You were very organized, earnest and sincere…”
”Your presentation gave me what I came for…I learned what I wanted to learn about grammar structure…”
“This was a well done and interesting seminar. I got good and useful ideas on how to incorporate grammar into my curriculum, how to narrow-focus on grammar by using pictures…”
“Very enjoyable – useful stuff! I got specific, practical approach to grammar instruction, What I need now is time to organize my overall program.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from a presentation that deals with grammar, but I got great ideas to help the 2nd language learner with grammar. I valued your style, and I need your materials!”
“Thank you for your expertise! I got what I expected – valuable tips on teaching grammar…Bingo! Thank you!”
“I expected to hear what I should teach…I had dumped daily oral language, because I didn’t see/or maybe didn’t look for the mistakes like lie/lay in student writing. You enlightened me as to how misused words can be. It seems to me now that some parts of English grammar must be taught directly…”
“I was pleased to get from you an affirmation of my personal philosophy of an integrated curriculum… Your presentation was a total simplification of what I needed… Your personalization, analogies/mnemonic ideas like ‘inviting guests for dinner’, ‘music and punctuation’ etc. provided more than sufficient information. Thank you!”
“This workshop gave me an excellent approach to English basics that are so important – basics that cause a problem…”
“I valued your interesting perspective of prescriptive and holistic grammar and your ideas about making grammar visual…”
“I liked your ways of implementing grammar into any curriculum…I liked the more friendly manner to do so…I likes its visual approach…”
“I valued your succinct system – it’s streamlined and has an abundance of mnemonic devices.. Thank you!”
“I really enjoyed this workshop. I wish it were longer…But, I got what I expected to get and much more – many great ideas. I learned some interesting strategies for teaching basics. I valued the simplicity of ideas that are so easy to remember. I also liked your de-emphasizing the book use. I would love to have you present at our districts in-service…”
“I got great ideas about teaching grammar… I learned not to teach it in isolation… This was a wonderful workshop. I could have listened to you for twice the time. Thank you – I have new life to take back with me… Thank you…”
“I got more than integrating grammar into literature based program, more than I expected – great! Your practical approach is what impressed me. This was a well received presentation – everyone wanted it to last longer…”
“I really enjoyed the whole concept of the session… I would have liked more time to go into the fun and interesting ways to bring grammar to kids without it being dry…”
“I attended this session in order to find new strategies to teach correct language usage. What I got was a list of innovative ideas that fueled my efforts to teach grammar. I valued especially discovering someone that believed what I have always held true to teaching English. All I need now is to sit down and thoroughly read and digest your great materials…”
“I valued your emphasis on need to simplify English…, to teach ‘booby-traps’ the way you do. Thank you!”
“Thanks! I didn’t realize English grammar could be boiled down into something so easy, so logical… I am very interested in languages and, as a teacher, in grammar as well! Your workshop gave me a very interesting information that can help my 3rd graders and also my 16 year-old son a lot!”
“What I expected to get today were strategies – techniques to help my department refocus our attention on improving learners’ test scores. Wow! I got so much… I am starting what I’ve learned immediately in my own classroom. I valued especially your formula for students to correct their own errors. So, what I need now is time to reflect with my colleagues as to what we should do… I am hoping that the idea of short/intense learning I got today will prove out your theory that I have learned enough to strengthen my own teaching and to inspire my department. Thanks!”
“I hoped to get test-oriented hints to help students succeed… But, I got it differently …. I became acquainted with an instant way of teaching the 4% of grammar that cannot be acquired through reading and writing. I found out that in order for students to succeed, these grammatical ‘bobby-traps’ must be taught directly, must become an important  part of any curriculum…”
“I wanted to learn some specific strategies for improving the 4th grade scores on the Stanford Achievement Test. I got a great review and set of ideas how and why to teach grammar… I valued all of it…”
“Your presentation was excellent! Good job of making the complex easy!

Students’ Input
QUESTION 1: What did you learn from an English class that includes EEB grammar?
"I learned to speak correct English... Hope to get a better job, not to get ‘jipped', and not get involved in unnecessary lawsuits..."
"Learned how to get better organized..."
"With the grammar I learned, my school work will improve, I will get ahead in life..."
"I learned how all skills are connected..."
"I learned how to express myself correctly. By making learning easier, I could understand everything..."
"I am able to understand the meaning of words better..."
"I can remember things more easily, I can talk and write better because of my improved vocabulary..."
"Grammar is not a mystery any more..."
"I got another chance to learn what I should have learned earlier..."
"I am more confident about my expression... I am more motivated to learn..."
"I learned the way I never learned before... If I did not attend this summer class, I would have stayed the same..."
"I learned how to do better, how to make things easier..."
"I will write now whenever I am asked to do so..."
"Learning is really fun..."
"A lot of things that I learned and that I need to learn are put together now... I know where I stand..."
"It was exciting to be learning something new..."
"I learned much more than in my other school because of the teacher who cares and knows my needs..."
"I learned that you can learn more in summer school than during a regular school year... Now I can use this learning all the time..."
"I was not only refreshed quickly on what I learned, but have learned everything I needed to know..."
"This class prepared me to be a better writer, to understand what I read..."
"I learned that teaching can also be fun, that a year's work can be done in six weeks..."
"I learned how to speak better, how to enjoy things more, how to feel comfortable when learning..."
"I am not afraid to write essays any more... I will teach it one day to my children..."
"This method made me feel happy that I am learning..."
"I will not be embarrassed anymore to speak freely..."
"I began to realize what the basic errors are. That makes me learn much more and faster..."
"I learned to become aware of what I have learned and where the errors are and how to bust them..."
"It's less work when you learn first what is not correct..."
"I learned more in this class than in any class before, and I had fun..."
"This class was an easy and funny way to learn... It's the way I would like my kids to learn..."
"I learned that you can learn the most when you know how to correct your own errors..."
"I can write now a variety of essays, I can read faster and understand what I read better..."

"I want to learn now because this class has told me how to learn... I know I will need all this the rest of my life..."
"I am more prepared and secure to face the world..."
"Class helped me understand my mistakes... I will be able to help my family and friends now..."
"This type of learning makes me understand the whole English language better..."
"I learned that not everything about English is hard... English can be easy and fun..."
"I learned that strong communication comes through writing and speaking to people..."
"I learned how to work fast and under pressure... I'll do better in all my classes..."
"English is very important in everyday life..."
"I learn better when a teacher has an attitude that can deal with all kinds of people..."
"I learned that I missed a lot of learning in my junior high ..."
"'Ghostbusting' helped me with my writing, reading and speaking..."
"I learned how to dig more profoundly into the English language..."
"I can speak better because I know more, because I can see how things work... Now I can help my little brother..."
"I learned in this class all kinds of skills... Together, they made sense..."
"Grammar is not boring at all. It makes me think, and it will help me in life..."
"I learned vocabulary as I never did before... I can remember now what I learned..."

QUESTION 2: What about the EEB teaching did you like the most?

“'Ghostbusting' makes it easier to learn..."
"We learned what we did not know and were told we needed to know..."
"It was great not to worry about making an error... I learned how to confront an error and correct it right away..."
"When we did not know how to spell a word, we were told not to worry but instead try to write it the way we feel because it may be correct. Sometimes, this really happened..."
"I enjoyed all the grammar that was thrown at us because we really learned something..."
"The way the class was taught relaxed me... I finally was able to give an oral book report without being nervous ..."
"Everything I learned was organized and fun..."
"There was always something new, exciting and challenging... Nothing was ever boring..."
"I liked that teacher communicated with all students at all times..." "Our learning was fun and fast...."
"The teacher had a most successful way to teach minorities..." "Grammar was never boring...."
"The way teacher taught was simple and easy to understand and remember..."
"I liked teacher's different approaches and methods of teaching... I liked that the subject related always to the real world..."
"I liked my teacher's easy teaching..."
"I liked learning the 4% of grammar that bothers most people because this made me less confused and worried..."
"Exciting, fast and fun learning that allowed me to improve my skills I liked the best..."
"I liked the variety of easy things that made me remember things forever..."
"Easy to understand learning inspired me a lot..."
“A variety of ways to improve all our skills gave me a lot of confidence that I can
do it…”
"I like the well organized steps of teaching, the variety and the speed of learning..."
"I like my teachers unique and different methods of learning ..

QUESTION 3: Do you feel English basics that include grammar should be taught in elementary schools?

"Yes, if 1 had them then, I wouldn't have had all the bad habits I have
now..."
"Yes, young kids want to learn move..."
"If I had them then, I would have enjoyed high school much more, would have attended clams at all times...
"Yes, because I would have been doing much butter on all my tests..." "Had I learned basics then, my expression would have been untouched by slang of my peers..."
"Yes, because I would be able to see a better facture for myself..." "Yes, because life today would have been much easier for me..." "Yes, 1 would be doing touch better in all toy classes..."
"Yes, I would have been in a driver's seat right now..."
"It's easier to learn proper English earlier in one's life..."
"Yes, I would have had a better chance to get into the college of my choice..." "I would have cared more about learning as much as possible..." "Yes, it wouldn't have taken me that long to see that strong language proficiency is important ..."
"Yes, I wouldn't have been as shocked as I am now to learn that I spent all this time not learning enough…”
"If I learned the basics earlier, I would have been happier today..."
"If all this was done when I was younger, I would spend more time on reading and writing, being with friends and on hobbies I like..."
QUESTION 4: Explain your teacher's attitude, way of teaching, style...
"I feel that your way of teaching is great, you work hard and you taught me a lot... you gave me a lot of knowledge..."
"Mrs. Vukelich uses our pacer but still accomplishes what needs to be done. I really learned a lot in her class..."
"I learned something I never liked before... the grammar... but I learned in a fun way the important words and how to use them, the tricks of reading and writing. Now I know how to make my essays better..."
"Her teaching is the fun way of teaching - it's really fun coming to class because it's the easy way to learn..."
"I liked her exciting and always challenging ways of teaching something hard..." "The way she teaches is effective at all times..."
"She teaches things we really need to know... Everything I learned I will need in life..."
"She is patient and always eager to teaches us something..."
"Mrs. Vukelich has a method that works... It's like listening to breaking news. It's new and informative..."
"I just want to say that you are doing a good job and I thank you for all of your help...it will help me in the future.. Thank you, thank you Mrs. Vukelich!"
"I feel that your way of teaching is very good... You like your work and you give us a lot of good work to do..."
"She has shortcuts that tells us how to catch our own errors and correcting them with understanding..."
"I liked that you teach good, because I learned something in class and I began to put more attention in what you are saying..."
"She is positive and makes me be that way too because I am looking now at things in
a positive way... also, as she always tells us in a constructive way..."
"Being in Mrs. Vukelich's class becomes a great experience for everyone..."
“For her I even read the Great Gatsby. I never thought a book like that can be damned good!"
"I learned because of you that I can also do hard work...I saw that you have an
education so you know what I need and how to make me try...Now I want to get a better education also..."
"She has a great attitude, is very funny and entertaining, makes everything easy to remember..."
"It took me ten years to begin to kind of like grammar! Her "ghostbusting" that took care of the "booby traps" made me read more, write better and much more..."
"She is one of a kind - has special something that makes you motivated..."
"She has a strong determination to teach what is necessary and to relate it to other subjects I have so I can get the message..."
"She believes that we all have a potential to succeed in life...Sop, most of the time she is tough with us but also knows that we are never going to quit on her..."
"I am giving her a ten because she never bores her students and is always so unique and different..."
"Mrs. Vukelich is a very hard teacher, but we need more teachers like this..."
"She teaches us like we were the college level...I learned that even that is so easy to understand..."
"In her class, I always knew what I was doing..." "Mrs. Vukelich you
are the greatest! Thanks!"
"She is the teacher who knows how to handle her class, how to teach things that we just happen to need that day... She even helps us with other classes..."
"You are wise and intelligent, understanding and helpful! What more can I say... should always stay that way..."
"Mrs. Vukelich is always extremely motivated and organized in whatever she does..."
"She takes time to work with each of us and to explain everything that may be different or difficult..."
"She checks our homework on a daily basis... I like that. I also like that she never fails to check our writing and make comments as to how she feels about it..."
"This teacher is a fine teacher who makes sure that her students learn what they need to learn so they can face the world we live in with confidence and enjoyment..."

NOTE:
Please be aware that the above statements were written by students in grades 9-12, by students who were singled out as underachievers, regular students, honor students, AP students or students who took my summer school classes. As usual, wanting to keep up with their needs and trying to find out how they felt about what they do and learn in my class - their English class, I would, for the sake of my next year's students, ask them to express their feelings in writing and without giving me their name.
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