How bad is the English in this college essay, really?

Here’s an e-mail that Dana Ferris, an expert in teaching English as a second language, once received from an engineering professor who was peeved about the writing ability of one of his foreign-born engineering students:

“I have a student from Turkey. She speaks English beautifully and writes well except for one thing: Turkish has no articles and I cannot explain the article rules to her (these seem really hard to codify, I’m afraid). So she leaves them out. Not good. I’m appending a paragraph she wrote. (There’s also a little subject-verb disagreement, which is minor compared to the article issues.)

Are there any resources from the UWP where a writing professional might be able to sit down with her for an hour and talk about this?”

Here’s the student text he was referring to:

“As Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) has become more programmable, we have been increasingly using it for data-parallel applications beyond traditional graphics, which require general-purpose computation. We achieve significant increase in the computational  performance of these applications by leveraging highly parallel  architecture of the GPU. Performance speedups provided by GPU computing makes GPU suitable for data-parallel tasks, especially with time constraints such as real-time applications. GPU is also good fit for embedded systems which run data-parallel tasks, since it offers superior price-performance and power-performance. An affordable, embedded, low-powered GPU can be used to exploit the parallelism inherit in such tasks and can perform computations at a fraction of the power needed by traditional processors. It is common  for embedded systems to run multiple real-time tasks concurrently.  Although current programming model of the GPU does not allow us to  multitask between disparate kernels, developing such techniques would further motivate the use of GPU in real-time embedded domains.”

Her assessment?

The prof was a little hung up on the little things. He’s got to be realistic.

But he’s not alone, and he’s joined by administrators and employers as well.

She’s got some really interesting points and anecdotes in her lecture here at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis about handling ESL students.