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Reflective writing

Learn how to write a reflective text about a learning experience.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

In January I spent three weeks volunteering as an English teacher in my town. I've been thinking about becoming an English teacher for a while so it was a good opportunity to see what it's like. The students had all just arrived to start a new life in the UK and they had a range of levels from beginner to intermediate. They came from a variety of countries and had very different backgrounds and experiences.

For me, the most important thing was the relationship with the students. I was nervous at first and did not feel confident about speaking in front of people. However, I found it easy to build good relationships with the students as a class and as individuals and I soon relaxed with them. It was a challenge to encourage the lower-level students to speak in English, but at least they understood a lot more at the end of the course.

At first, planning lessons took a really long time and I was not happy with the results. Classes seemed to be too difficult for some students and too easy for others, who finished quickly and got bored. I found it was better to teach without a course book, adapting materials I found online to suit their needs. I learned to take extra activities for students who finished early and that was much better.

I still need to continue improving my lesson planning. I would like more ideas for teaching mixed-ability groups and I want to plan the whole course better next time. That way students have a focus for each lesson and a sense of progress and of what they've covered. I'm also going to put more confident students with beginners when they work in pairs so conversation activities give everyone more chance to speak and students can help each other.

Overall, it was a really positive experience and I learned a lot. I've decided that I would like to become an English teacher in the future.

Tips

  1. Reflective writing is more personal than other types of academic writing. You can use the first person (I ... , My ... , etc.) and explain how you felt.
  2. Think about the experience in detail. Explain what went well and what was challenging, and say what you learned in the process.
  3. Use a structure:
    • Short introduction to the situation
    • Evaluate the most important things about the experience, including solutions to problems
    • Say what you would do differently next time
    • Say what you learned overall.
  4. Keep the focus on your learning process and what you will do better in future.

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

My last challenging learning experience was about do publicity for a small proyect whith my family. My cousing have a business of gift for special ocations. I study graphyc desing, so I decided do the plublicity. The advertising posters was very nice, but I think that I could do better it. I never have done a work like this, in this you have that think like the customer you want to reach, but it's some complicate. Finally, you dosen't know, if the costumer likes it or not your work and if it's feasible for the business. I practiced a lot doing this and also, learn some things about marketinag and publicity.

My last challenging learning experience is about event management and decoration.

In February I spent three weeks in London learning English at the UCL.
My challenging learning experience was to improve my English language.
At first, I was not very happy with my results.
I found that going out after the lessons and speaking with ordinary people, or taking activities such as playing table tennis and having conversations with my opponents helped me a lot.
Overall it was a really positive experience and I learned a lot.
I have decided that I will come back to the UCL and I booked my next lessons for June.
Nikolaos

PS. could you tell me please if the sentence above " I will come back to the UCL" is correct?

Hello Nikolaos,

The sentence should read as follows:

I will go back to UCL.

University College London is treated as a proper name and does not have an article.

We use come when we are talking about our current location and go if we are talking about somewhere else. Thus, if I say come home then I must be at home at the time of speaking. If I am, for example, at work then I should say go home.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you!!

My current challenge learning experience is the self learning English language. O have to practice the English language in its four skills writing , speaking, reading , listening . Because I am planning to get through the IELTS exam soon and I found that I have to practice English every day .

Two months ago I decided to move to another city with my boyfriend. It was difficult decision. My mother, friends and pets stayed in my hometown.
Now we live in house of my father. We thought that work searches will be quickly and easy. But our plans breaked by new virus and quarantine. All that happen is a challenge for me.
The work searches gave me experience and community with many people. Also I finished internship in some famous company where good spikers tought us the basis of business informatics.

I hope me and my boyfriend will find a job and move to rental apartment.

Last year I was working as a teacher in the department of Guajira, Colombia. My students were young and old ex-combatants from an illegal armed group. It was a difficult experience because I had to travel and live with my students in a place very affected by poverty and violence. Also, my students had a range of levels from beginner to intermediate, so many of them couldn't read or write.

It was easy for me to build good relationships with most of them. Because we spent all our time together, we became very good friends. We ate together, we got up together, we learned together, and we celebrated together, so in the end we went as a family.

The lessons took a really long time, but I think it wasn't boring for them, because I always had a variety of fun tasks. The lessons always started and ended with a game. Also, the confident students helped beginning students while I was busy.

For next year I hope to create new strategies, because I will have more students and this will change everything. I should be looking for more ideas for teaching in groups and I want to plan the whole course from now on.

My learning with English is regular, I keep learning, I am in an English course and I have learned new and interesting things. I need much more to learn. I would like my English to be more fluent and not be afraid of the pronunciation.

On this page there is a lot of material and one can learn a lot of grammar, I have learned a lot of things, English has to be practiced every day, and speaking to English-speaking people, this helps pronunciation, never give up.
Thank you for these excellent practices.

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