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.


  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.
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Worksheet97.5 KB

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by ouiam saoud on Sun, 11/09/2022 - 20:54


my last challenging learning experience (which even now lasts) concerns learning a Turkish and English, which are a very complex languages, also for people who, as me, has study with his mother language. especially when you study in a spicific major at university and you need onather language as module different of your mother language but you haven't it.

Submitted by marwan297 on Thu, 11/08/2022 - 18:36


My last learning challenging experience was English and still. I'm trying to improve my speaking and listening skills and it's hardly being improved. I have tried many places but they were overrated and not good enough, but I don't give up and I won't stop until I'm fluent.

Submitted by orhannt on Sun, 10/07/2022 - 16:14


During the last two months, I started using online course platforms, namely Coursera and Linkedin Learning. I had been thinking about using them for a while but I'd postponed several times. Then I found a great online Academic Writing in English course and became a keen user of these services.

To follow a course on one of these platforms, you only need a computer -even a cheap one would be fine- and an internet connection. The quality of the contents was really high. Some courses ask you to upload a project at the end, and some do not. Each group has a mini forum for students to ask questions either to tutors or students and do peer review. So, you are on yourself since everything is online and there is usually no one couraging you to practise regularly, unlike a regular course. Moreover, other participants were not keen on doing peer review.

First, I found it a little bit hard to encourage myself to practise every day. Luckily, I got accustomed to this new way of learning quickly. I believe that the instructors designed the course in a way that helps students to study every day. Regarding the lack of peer review, I couldn't find a solution to this. I offered discussing each other's papers, works etc. to my friends -the ones I know in person- and they refused. So I imagined like I was a stranger reading my own paper. Although it sounds strange, as if playing chess alone, it surprisingly worked. The next time I use these platforms, I think that it would be better to ask a friend to start together, rather than to enrol alone. Or I can make research about which courses have an active community.

Overall, online courses are a great opportunity nowadays. They are beneficial since I only have to pay to get a certificate but it is free to watch the lessons and access materials. Some platforms offer high-quality courses and these certificates could make a difference on CVs.

Submitted by Gildas on Sat, 29/01/2022 - 17:09


My first job was very specific.
It had a connection with my graphic design studies but it was completely new to me.
We scanned images on a scanner and we flashed the texts on a printer. We created films that were sent to the printer.
Then the computers arrived. The films have been replaced by digital files.
I had to learn how to use the computer and the layout programs.
This saved us twice as much time when we started working on the computer.
Currently, we are going ten times faster than 30 years ago.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sat, 06/11/2021 - 20:21


I have last challenging experience was about I was too sleepy but now I'm a hard working and non lazy person who do work hard on study.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Thu, 08/07/2021 - 01:42

My last challenging learning experience was exactly during this semester. I started university classes this year and I'm a freshman. In March of this year I started my online classes from university as an international business management student. I've been thinking about becoming a founder of a company in the future so I need to study this career. My classmates are any age I mean they are from 16 to 21 years old. They come from variety of districts and have very different backgrounds and experiences. For me, the most important part of the university is to present the projects on time and give a plus to some things (I mean to do something different with the project). It was challenge to getting used to working with my classmates, but at least now I have a really good teamwork and I do every homework with it. At first, distributing and avoiding the group meetings was so difficult. The majority of the members in the teamwork only talked about their personal lives during the work meeting , so I decided to delete the meeting style and starting with the work distribution for each member of the team, but it didn't work at the beginning because people were used to giving me their parts only one night before the presentation's day and I was not able to complete the work with their parts only in one night, therefore I decided to add a time limit and if they hadn't given me their parts until that time limit I would have eliminated them from the group and it works. Since that day the members of my teamwork always give me their parts until the deadline. Overall, it was a really positive experience and I learned a lot. I've learned how to talk to people whom don't like to help with the teamwork.

Submitted by Ehsan on Wed, 16/06/2021 - 06:09

My last challenge was learning to trade in Forex.

Submitted by German on Thu, 04/03/2021 - 01:39

My last challenging experience was the first semester of the master. It was difficulto to me because was a new experience and in a university very important in my conuntry therefore I was so nervous. Fortunately, It was a great experience and I could learn a lot.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Mon, 01/03/2021 - 08:49

Teaching training course was the last challenging learning experience of my life. That was really challenging learning for me.

Submitted by Jamilalucente on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 12:05

Im a personal student, I realized that I needed to improve my english speak, so I decided to take talk classes with other students people. It´s been nice, because I've broken my obstacle of espeaking in english.

Submitted by saifZU on Thu, 26/11/2020 - 06:13

From the day I'm born i couldn't learn Mathematic, even when I tried to hard to learn it i guess, anything you don't like it you will not learn it.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Fri, 02/10/2020 - 21:23

My last challenging learning experience (which even now lasts) concerns learning a German, which is a very complex language, also for people who, as me, has studied classical languages.

Submitted by YaMaCa on Fri, 02/10/2020 - 21:14

Actually, I have a big challenge in front of me. Despite I am not working, I have a narrow daily calendar. I am doing a Master in Project Management, also taking one course to improve English. Additionally, I continue learning the German language. At the end of the day, my brain is full of new information.

Submitted by kyawkyawsoezhu on Sat, 05/09/2020 - 15:01

As I'm challenging my self to study English 30 days straight, so I think I can say that this is my last challenging experience. I haven't done any study for a very long time so it's very difficult to motivate myself to study again.

Submitted by Mand on Fri, 04/09/2020 - 03:20

Since I decided that I want to study abroad I've been a lot of challenges days as I was at a lower level in English but I think that I'm improving now and my last test level I got a B1! However, every day I have to discover new ways to study, new ways to practice my speaking, writing, listening and reading and it has been difficult, but I can feel the difference day by day. Is not easy being your own teacher and see where you are making issues so the whole learning process is slower than with a teacher and the speaking part is the most difficult since I'm ashamed to talk with other people

Submitted by IKEDA on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 09:55

My latest challenge to learn something was building the team for a big project. I could understand that it's hard to go along with just theory.

Submitted by senes19 on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 12:58

For me, German was the most hardest challenging. It looks like English but it has many different structure. For example, the verb creates second position of sentence. To use right grammar entails many knowledge. And all rules has exceptionals. We can say exceptions are rulers. And when you improve your knowledge, you may use some word. It is going to reduce long of sentences. But I hope it'll her better every day :)

Submitted by DRAC.JAHA on Fri, 14/08/2020 - 11:26

Hello everybody i am new here
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Submitted by Hennadii on Fri, 14/08/2020 - 09:55

Actually, I'm in the middle of quite a challenging task right now. Some time ago I decided to change my profession. I this case I need to get new knowledge so I'm studying coding. I've never worked with any kind of programming stuff so it was hard at first and, honestly, it's still hard enough. I have to learn a lot and the different and difficult material and get some practical experience. I'm also learning two languages: English and Polish. And if English I'm learning quite long by now, Język Polski still looks very unfamiliar.

Submitted by Ayano on Mon, 10/08/2020 - 14:58

 In August last year, I went to Korea about for three weeks to study Korean. When I was high school student, I was interested in Korean culture or language, so I decided to go to Korea. It was the first time to go abroad and I felt nervous or fear but Korean students who were showing me around were very kind, so I could have a good time.  I was quite nervous in the first week because I took classes with my friends, but there were some people that I don’t know. So, I was ashamed to talk in front of them. In addition, I’ve never taken classes of Korean in all Korean. However, my teacher was extremely kind and gentle. What is more, the teacher told us that he wants us to say something even if you don’t have correct answer. I found it is important for students to say something to teacher because teachers want some response.  It has been going the time and I got used to answer or to say something. By doing that, I felt fun more against studying Korean. Therefore, if I take a chance like this again, I try to want to communicate with teachers from at first.

Submitted by Nanako Suzuki on Thu, 06/08/2020 - 05:57

From this July, I have started studying business, especially online business by self-education. Because my dream is to make a lot of money from my online business and take care of my parents, who have been so kind to me.There are only a handful of people in my country who can make millions in annual income, but I think it's possible to do that with an online business. What kind of online business is it, I think it's an information dissemination business. I will transmit the knowledge you know through the Internet to those who want it. For example, if someone would like to know how to develop a habit, I'll provide value to them by posting online how to develop a habit. It's efficient because once it's out there on the internet, I don't have to explain it over and over again to each person, and most importantly, I think it's great to provide value to people and make them happy. I haven't even started learning about online business yet, so I don't have any income, and online business isn't a quick money-making business. It's hard work because I have to study and gather knowledge every day, but it's a great way to live my life.

Submitted by Vinicius Alves on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 01:21

I cannot give a opinion over how was my English learning process, because I'm still learning, actually I'm a English student, though let me try to talk a bit about my experience as a English learner until now. I began in 2015 since it has been so hard, I had pretty goods moments and a lot of not good moments. One journy has diferents ways to follow, and so many times I chosen the wrong one, unfortunataly... i had had gave up but since this year I have return to the right way... I don't want to stop anymore!

Submitted by Glenda T on Sun, 28/06/2020 - 07:04

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.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 13:50

My last challenging learning experience is about event management and decoration.
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Submitted by Nikolaos Stavr… on Thu, 09/04/2020 - 17:06

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.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Magedelabd on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 17:45

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 .

Submitted by Vilena on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 11:57

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.

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 17:00

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.

Submitted by Raziel on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 01:55

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.

Submitted by Dianajimenezvargas on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 01:37

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.

Submitted by Maicol on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 01:28

English for years has been important to get a job, one can learn to speak this language through books in English, movies, since it is easy or also speak that language with people who speak English perfectly ...

Submitted by Angioleth Rojas Mora on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 01:13

The part of the present simple is the most essential to be able to speak English, I recommend that you practice a lot of vocabulary, listen to music in English and watch movies in ungles but without subtitles. If you have a person near you who speaks this language, they will make it easier for you to speak this language

Submitted by Munira on Mon, 23/03/2020 - 12:09

Can someone help me to write reflective writimg. Questions: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned this year? What is the something you need to make more time for?

Hello munira

I bet another user might be willing to help you with this, though I would suggest you put forward a few ideas to begin.

I'm afraid we don't revise our users' written texts, but if you have a specific question about a sentence, we're happy to help you with that.

Good luck!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Caterina Siligardi on Fri, 13/03/2020 - 16:37

My last learning challenge was to decide to learn English on my own. And it's a challenge that still continues. I mean, especially, the ability to fluently speak and to listen and understand. But we must never throw the towel away! Mustn't we?

Submitted by Elius Hossain on Sun, 01/03/2020 - 09:29

Last year, I had an opportunity to visit my school and deliver some speeches towards the students. Our honorable head-teacher invited me to share some valuable knowledge that I gathered in my student life. I made a presentation about what I told here. It was a challenge for me as before this I hadn't attended in fornt of gathering people. Starting was a little bit uncomfortable but after some talks a felt easy to deliver my messages. I was becoming more confident and enjoying it. I shared my experiences that I gathered on this campus. I advised them to study properly as well as involve in extra-curricular activities. Although I could not completely satisfy all of them with my talk, I collected some presentation skills which helped me in the next talks. I started participating in public speaking. Overall, giving a speech in front of students was a good experience, and I enjoyed it as well as learned how important to be a public speaker

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:35

My last challenging learning experience happened to me six years ago, when I had the opportunity to enroll in a specialisation course, that is in a Master's degree in "Public Management for a local development". It lasted one year and it occurred on line partially. Moreover this course took place in two towns; therefore my colleagues and I were supposed to move from our city to another city, on alternate months. It was an advantageous experience anyway.

Submitted by gicandrade on Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:59

A lived in Canada Three years ago, I went to Canada to improve my English and French conversation. For two weeks, I was in the school to get better in both idioms. It was perfect, because I met people of different nationalities and day by day I could to learn words in other languages. At the first time, I felt lost. I older than most people. However, it didn’t to stop me to make new friends. When the class started, I thought: “I don’t get it”. I very shy and introspective person. But the school is prepared to everything and the teacher understood quickly. It was so easy that I didn’t realize the time passed. The whole room had the whiteboard and a TV to watch various videos and practice pronunciation. On the other hand, the house that I lived it was pretty good. I slept in the library, thus I could read a lot in this period. It was comfortable and couple was happy and grateful. They had an old cat, Baby. It was 16 years old and liked to affection. The woman was responsible to make a breakfast and dinner every day. It was marvelous. She cooked very well. During this period, I studied English in the morning and French in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday. But the life wasn’t just studying. I took the opportunity to know some cities and sight of Canada. For instance: Ottawa, Quebec, and Niagara falls and other places. I continues to run two days a week to intend for met around my house. I took bus and subway with friends. It was a fantastic life experience and I want to repeat someday. I recommend all of us to do this one day in our life. Its change everything.

Submitted by popo1011 on Mon, 26/08/2019 - 07:35

the last challenging is grammar observance and correct vocabulary in English writing.

Submitted by khineeiei.hein on Thu, 11/04/2019 - 09:42

forgetting the words during writing.

Submitted by shah Mohammad Tariq on Sun, 24/03/2019 - 10:34

Fantastic practices. I have learned many new technics of writing and expressing my ideas. well done! Many thanks for the provision such great tools.

Submitted by Azzarine on Wed, 13/03/2019 - 14:40

I was challenged to learn maths and french primary school level. I'm 30yo, and I didn't this, it was a real challenge to not be bored everytime...