Nancy Herzfeld-Pipkin has been teaching English as a
Second Language since 1976. “Even after nearly 30
years I remain enthusiastic about how rewarding it
is, and I always learn something from my students.”
Now Herzfeld-Pipkin’s students can learn even more
from her with the publication of another book in her
latest series, Destinations.
“Finding books that fit the needs of community
college ESL classes was difficult,” said
Herzfeld-Pipkin who has been in the ESL field since
1976, with stints at San Diego State, UCSD, and
Miramar in addition to Grossmont College.
“Grossmont College has an excellent ESL program
which covers several levels of proficiency. At each
level there are specific skills and topics that are
outlined in a program sequence of skills, and in our
official outlines. Because the available texts do
not cover all the areas we want to teach, teachers
usually order two separate texts and in some cases,
even then not everything is covered at a particular
Herzfeld-Pipkin explains, “We also found that the
available texts were not academically oriented
enough,” she said, “especially in the subject matter
they covered. They were teaching how to write
essays, for example, but asking students to write
about their favorite holiday or color or
superstitions. I wanted to give them materials that
would prepare them for the courses they were going
to take when they finished my class, such as General
Education requirements. I decided to write my own
materials by following a different academic theme
for each unit: psychology, U.S. history, business,
environmental studies, etc.”
The latest result in this new series is Destinations
2, which is Herzfeld-Pipkin’s fourth.
“My prior books have all been ESL texts,” she said.
“The first was a reading text, the second focused on
idioms through listening and speaking, and the third
was a grammar text.
“Destinations prepares students for academic
achievement in the classes they will enter after
ESL. These academic content areas prepare students
for the next step in their education,” she said.
“When the publishers saw my materials, they realized
that they fill a gap in the field,” said
Herzfeld-Pipkin, whose book is the newest entry in
the Grossmont College Authors Club. “We decided to
make this into a three-level series of books. The
lower level will cover mostly paragraph writing, the
second level (the book that just came out) provides
paragraph review and focuses on essay writing, and
the highest level will cover more about essay
writing, paraphrasing, writing from sources, etc.
In addition to focusing on academic themes, the
books are uniquely connected through themes and
Herzfeld-Pipkin worked at Grossmont in the 1980s as
a part-time English instructor and returned here as
a full-time ESL instructor in 2000.