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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 challenge was learning to trade in Forex.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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