Reflective Essay

Question

Canadian Language and Culture

Reflective Essay: Instructions

  1. Based on the SMART goals you have set for ESL 1000, write a reflective essay about your experience of pursuing them. You are expected to reflect on the strategies, tools, or workshops you have attempted to follow or use as resources to help you achieve your learning goals during this term.You should check your SMART goals in the journal you submitted on Moodle.
  • It should be written in an essay format (3 or 4 paragraphs – introduction, body, conclusion), around 500 words. Use APA format.
  • Guidelines:

Introduction: define your learning goals, explain why they are SMART, and briefly mention how you have decided to pursue your SMART goals (tools, workshops, strategies).

Body: Explain in detail how you have pursued your SMART goals. For example: How the workshops you attended helped with your learning goals. Describe briefly the material, strategies, or tools you have used to help with your practice (e.g. reading strategies, pronunciation exercises, writing activities, workshops, video, online resources, etc.)to achieve your SMART goals. Mention how you have organized yourself to work on your goals. Describe the challenges you may have faced and how you have overcome them or not. Reflect on/analyze your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes as you have attempted to pursue your goals.

Conclusion: Briefly revise your SMART goals and discuss what your future action/plans are to continue with achieving those goals. If you haven’t achieved them yet, what else you think of doing (e.g. different strategies). If you have achieved them, think of your next step/plan.

You may watch this video for more informationon writing a Reflective Essay.

Note: If you are still looking for further tools to help you tackle your goals, you may consider check the following resources.

  1. http://learningcommons.yorku.ca/workshops/
  2. https://spark.library.yorku.ca/
  3. https://www.coursera.org/courses?_facet_changed_=true&languages=en&query=english+writing
  4. http://www.uefap.com/writing/exercise/exwripar.htm
  5. http://www.uefap.com/writing/

Answer

Reflection

            At the beginning of the course, ESL 1000, I set out my learning goals that would help me in placing more effort and strategies to enhance my commitment to the course. I had two SMART learning goals that included learning how to read efficiently to identify the main arguments in a text by the end of the course and to learn how to present my ideas in a coherent and organized manner by the end of the course. My goals were SMART because specific. I identified specific areas of learning that I focused on majorly, and that I felt I needed to place more effort. My goals were measurable. At the end of the course, I was able to identify whether I had improved or not through taking exercises and assignments. I narrowed my learning goals to cover specific aspects of language learning that I felt were achievable within the given time period. The learning goals that I identified were relevant to language learning and the course. The goals were time specific. I had to achieve them by the end of the course. I achieved my learning goals through attending various workshops on how to handle comprehension exercise and to create themes from texts. Apart from workshop, I utilized various strategies that included participating in communicative contexts, employing reading strategies, and participating in writing activities.


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            I pursued my learning goal on learning how to read efficiently to identify the main argument by attending various workshops that were mainly concerned with reading an comprehension of texts. Apart from attending workshops, I also engaged in learning various reading strategies that would aid in the understanding of the texts. One of the main workshops that really helped in enhancing my knowledge on the identification of themes in texts was the workshop on reading comprehension. The facilitators offered great tips on ways of increasing ones understanding of a text by firs reading to enjoy and grasp the general idea expressed in the text and then reading the second time to identify common themes that tie the text together. The facilitators informed us that texts in most cases contain more than one theme. After identifying a theme, one should be able to back up their theme with evidence from the text. I was also able to learn other strategies that include monitoring comprehension, metacognition, graphic and semantic organizers, answering questions, generating questions, recognizing story structure, and doing summaries. The skills have helped me to improve in my reading significantly. I can comfortably read texts and identify the main arguments contained in them.

            Learning how to present my ideas in an organized and coherent manner required that I participate in writing activities. Previously, I was unable to organize my writing into a definite structure that included an introduction, body, and conclusion. Participating in various writing activities has enabled me to understand the various formats for writing and their purposes. I can write in different styles depending on the requirements. I understand various business writing formats that include business letters, minutes, memos, and quotation among others. I have also learnt academic writing formats that include writing term papers, reflective papers, research papers, summaries, and book reviews among others. Participating in communicative contexts has helped to improve my confidence in spoken speech. Previously, I was unable to go through my ideas coherently due to fear. I have also improved my vocabulary thus facilitating clear and communicative writing.

            The tools, strategies, and workshops have helped me to achieve my learning goals that include reading efficiently to identify themes and arguments and learning how to present my ideas in a coherent and organized manner. I am planning to implement other strategies to further improve my knowledge in the areas. The strategies include utilizes of online resources and participating in pronunciation exercises. Online resources provide a significant resource for conducting research on various writing and reading aspects. Pronunciation exercises will help me to master most problematic pronunciations thus improving my communicative language.

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