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Reflection

1.) Kickstart to ALMS; English and me

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my ALMS2020 blog. Here I am going to keep track on my progression during this autumn and post some hopefully interesting texts and reviews for you to read. In this first blog post i will start this whole course by reflecting myself as a English learner and set some goals to aim at.

Goals and expectations:

My first feelings after signing up to this course were pretty mixed. At first I had some serious doubts and prejudices because of all the bad memories and experiences I have had learning English. I came to the first group session with no expectations, my only goal was to get through it. But as I started to get wind of all this ALMS-thing, I gained more and more trust about this autumn. I think this autonomous method is truly great! For the first time I can actually study the things I find the most beneficial to me, do it in my own way and pace. No more stress because of the word tests or grammar exams, just me studying English for my future. That creates also so much more possibilities.

One of the main things I’m hoping to gain during this course is to develop my academic English skills. I have been thinking that I would like to write my bachelor’s and master’s theses in English but I don’t really think I could do that with my current skills. Because of that I am going to focus mainly on reading and writing during this course. I will read and write different kinds of texts that will help me get more familiar with various writing styles and their attributes so that I could use them myself in the future. Secondly I would want to become more fluent reader. As things currently stand, I am quite slow reader and some more complicated texts are rather hard for me to understand. I usually get stuck with single words and then lose the big picture. In both of these previously mentioned issues I think would help if I expanded my vocabulary. In that way I could understand and use myself more sophisticated forms of expression. Considering all of these, I think I’m gonna have a pretty busy autumn.

Me as a English learner:

As a already pointed out I haven’t had the easiest possible relationship with English. My earliest memories studying English are probably from the time I was about 4. or 5.-grader in the elementary school. Every week our teacher made us translate a whole textbook’s chapter as a homework. And all I can remember is just that enormous anxiety and despair I had every time. English was hard enough for me anyway and that huge amount of work took me hours every week (and that was only one of the three English homework we had to do every week). Thank God I had my sister helping me with the translations every time, otherwise I would have been screwed. Later all this has made me think, why. Why the teacher gave us all that same challenging homework even though we had so various levels of skills? During that quite brief period of time I have spent in this faculty of educational sciences, I have been told, more than once or twice, that all the homework you give to a student should be manageable for him to do by himself. So why would this teacher do exact the opposite thing concurrently creating these kinds of negative feelings that, in worst case scenario, can affect in student mind for years. This I cannot explain. All I can do is make sure that I will do things differently. I want to be the kind of teacher that encourages children to reach their potential and get positive, exhilarating experiences from studying.

When I look back all my English studies at school, I think I can summarise it quite well with just one word, insecurity. I remember all that self-doubt I had, that actually affects my thinking still. Learning English has never been very easy for me. It takes time and patience that I don’t always have. And sometimes I have had challenges to motivate myself properly. I have a really bad habit comparing myself to others way too much which makes me question my own skills. Then that little perfectionist in me gets me frustrated of myself that really eats my motivation. But instead of swirling about my self-pity, I have now decided to take the bull by the horns and make myself proud.

~Satu~

ALMS hours spent: 4h

ALMS hours remaining: 94/98h

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