About Me

Know where you stand and stand there. - Daniel Berrigan


I was born and raised in Hong Kong. In 1985, I came to the U.S. with my husband and my 3 1/2 year-old son to further my education. Though I majored in geography as an undergrad, I was fascinated by linguistics (the study and analyses of languages) and the theories and methods for teaching English as a Second Language when I started my graduate studies at the University of Georgia. In 1986, I earned a master's degree in English Education. Then, I entered the University's doctoral program in Language Education, specializing in the teaching of writing to ESL students. In 1991, I received my doctoral degree.

At De Anza College, I teach a variety of writing, reading, and grammar classes. Mostly, I teach ESL 6 (Critical Reading and Research for Writing), ESL 5 (Advanced Composition and Reading), ESL 272 (Advanced Reading and Vocabulary), and ESL 253 (High Intermediate Grammar and Writing). Prior to joining De Anza in 1995, I taught at San Jose State University and two other universities on the East Coast.

As a writing instructor, I do what I preach.  In other words, I write daily like what I ask my students to do.  For my interest and passion in writing, I attended the Creative Writing Program housed in the English Department at San Jose State University and received my M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing from SJSU in December, 2015.

My family has expanded from four to eight people.  My daughter, born in Athens, Georgia, grew up in the Bay Area.  My son, a postdoctoral researcher in biological sciences, is now a proud father of two young children.

You will find out more about me when you take my class.

Classes I Teach

No Classes this quarter.

Course Syllabi

Faculty Info

Campus Shot, House Finch

Clara Lam

English as a Second Language



F 11-C


  • M. Ed., English Education, University of Georgia, 1986
  • Ed.D. in Language Education, University of Georgia, 1991
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing, San Jose State University, 2015

Office Hours

Spring 2018

By appointment.

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