Compass Courses:

The Compass Courses aim to enhance your English by using the Write Your Self’s trauma-adapted writing method as a foundation for fluency. Write Your Self offers an eight-step process intended for therapeutic writing. Although designed for healing after trauma, it is a remarkably effective tool for all forms of expression and accessing voice. We complement this process with ESL materials designed to support you through each of the eight steps. With your English teacher, who is also a certified Write Your Self guide, you will explore your inner world in the English language. There are four Compass Courses: North, South, East and West. They should be taken in order, but can also stand alone. Each Compass Course consists of two steps, and will last approximately 10 weeks. All sessions are private, self-paced, and set up to be comfortable.
Please sign up for a free consultation so that we can meet and discuss your options in detail.

The eight steps in Write Your Self’s writing process are:

1. A Room of One’s Own
2. Begin Writing
3. Self-care
4. The Writing Body
5. Genres
6. Topics
7. Creating Wholeness
8. Expressing the Wordless


We will go through steps 1 and 2 over the course of ten weeks.

Step 1: A Room of One’s Own

  • Video: The hidden beauty of pollination -Louie Schwartzberg
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • Adjectives for Imagery
    • Nouns and Naming Objects
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Present Simple vs. Present Continuous
    • Use of Articles (a/an/the)
  • Writing Exercises:
    • A healing writing retreat
    • A safe place to write
    • Medicine bag

Step 2: Begin Writing

  • Video: If I should have a daughter… -Sarah Kay
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • Action Verbs
    • Adverbs for Movement
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Past Simple vs. Past Continuous
    • Subjective Pronouns, Objective Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives
  • Writing Exercises: 
    •  Finish my sentences
    •  Stream of consciousness- A picture
    • Ten things I know to be true


We will go through steps 3 and 4 over the course of ten weeks.

Step 3: Self Care

  • Video: There’s no shame in taking care of your mental health -Sangu Delle
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • 20 Affirmations
    • Metaphor vs. Simile
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Present Perfect vs. Future Simple
    • Past Perfect vs. Past Simple
  • Writing Exercises: 
    • Writing Journal: Routine and Plan
    • Chart: Fear and Mantra

Step 4: The Writing Body

  • Video: Your body language may shape who you are -Amy Cuddy
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • Anatomy: Internal
    • Anatomy: External
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Active Voice vs. Passive Voice
    • Indirect Speech
  • Writing Exercises: 
    • Dialogue with a part of the body
    • The story of your hand
    • Take care of the body: A new habit


We will go through steps 5 and 6 over the course of ten weeks.

Step 5: Genres

  • Video: The elusive creative genius – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • Autobiography Features
    • Autofiction Features
    • Fiction Features
  • Grammar Packet:
    • 1st person vs. 3rd person
    • Conditional Tenses
    • Subjunctive Moods
  • Writing Exercises: 
    • Your name on a tree
    • Requests for a genius

Step 6: Topics

  • Video: How your “working memory” makes sense of the world -Peter Doolittle
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • Symbols
    • Motifs
    • Themes
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Past Simple vs. Past Continuous
    • Past Simple vs. Present Perfect
    • Present Perfect vs. Past Perfect
  • Writing Exercises: 
    • Memory Archive: The house I lived in


We will go through steps 7 and 8 over the course of ten weeks.

Step 7: Creating Wholeness

  • Video: The psychology of your future self -Dan Gilbert
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • Descriptions of People
    • Descriptions of Environments
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Future Simple
    • Present Simple
    • Past Simple
  • Writing Exercises: 
    • Write a new ending
    • Zoom in to a scene
    • Zoom out of a scene

Step 8: Expressing the Wordless

  • Video: What reading slowly taught me about writing -Jaqueline Woodsen
  • Vocabulary Packet:
    • A Giant
    • A Garden
  • Grammar Packet:
    • Transitional Words and Phrases
    • Outlining with Flashbacks and Foreshadowing
  • Writing Exercises: 
    • Negative space
    • The Red Thread