글번호 : 141242645
작성일 : 20.08.12 | 조회수 : 468
|제목 : 2020-1 성적우수자 수기(일반TESOL 조해린 선생님)||글쓴이 : TESOL|
|첨부파일: 첨부파일이 없습니다.|
I assume that this reflection will be read mostly by prospective students of the program, the year of 2021 or later. My name is Hailyn and I have just finished the regular TESOL course (Weekdays/Morning), 2020-1. I am also one of the very few who straightly went to sign up for another course offered by the program, which is YL-T and am going to start the course in September, 2020-2. If someone reading this would be in the same classroom next semester, I would like to say, “Welcome! It is nice to meet you.”
Before I begin I would like to inform you that, due to unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, this semester was a lot different than the way the course used to be run. None of the students were allowed to meet on campus for regular classes. We offline students (both Weekday Morning (Class A) and Weekday Afternoon (Class B)) had to follow the schedule and curriculum originally designed for Online 241 course. The first time we were officially allowed to meet face-to-face was when we were having our micro-teaching on June 24, which is sort of a prep course for final practicum. TELS I & II, for which all of us were supposed to meet offline, the class start had been delayed by 4 more weeks even after the semester had already begun 2 weeks late. On April 13, we finally had our first TELS class real time using WebEx and soon changed to Zoom. For the combined TELS I & II, therefore, additional makeup sessions were necessary while we were having our regular session once a week; which being said, in the middle of the semester there were the times when we had our 4-hour TELS class twice a week. Since the internship has also been cancelled even before the semester had begun, everybody was automatically arranged to attend practicum. Again, this semester was unusual in a variety of ways and will remain as special as it had been somewhat difficult and frustrating even to all of us. As you might be aware, none were prepared when we got hit hard by this COVID outbreak. There were no YL-T courses open this semester. Some classmates of mine, therefore, happened to be those who had initially applied to YL-T and later decided to join the regular course (Class A or B). I am glad they did. Thanks to their decision, we had an opportunity to get to know each other and study together over the semester. We had so much fun together, and I believe that they too left the program with much satisfaction because, in fact, even the regular course we spent quite a long time on young-learner contents, depending on the class.
Personally, I do not enjoy teaching. Growing up, teaching was always No.1 least possible option for me to even consider whenever I was told to fill out the form regarding my desired future career path. It had never occurred to me that I would end up with any connections with teaching, and I still don’t picture my future self to be in the teaching profession. I understand that you must be asking yourself why you clicked this post and read this long, seemingly pointless introduction. I am being honest with you. On this web page where you can see the list of reflections of many previous students, you will easily notice that 99% of them have reflected on the program in a similar way: mostly how their own interests in teaching led them to the center and how this program has strengthened their own innate love of teaching. One’s motivation for joining a certain program does not always have to be, “because I like the object.” You can join the program just because you would like to justify your aversion to it by learning more about it. When I applied to the program, I was in a situation where I’d just found out that I’ll be having about five months to spare, during which I wasn’t sure what to do. It was the primary reason I looked up the course, which my parents have longed for my taking for years. I thought, ‘Why not give it a try?’ I remember I read through this page as a prospective student just as you are now. Everybody was talking about how rewarding a thing teaching really is and mostly how well the course went. At some point I was lost because even before they started the program, their purposes or what they were looking for seemed far from where I was at, so that their writings came to me as something I could not relate to myself. What I was thinking was that, if or when I could have a chance to write such reflection after completing the course, I would rather make mine a letter to someone like me, who has zero experience or knowledge in teaching, does not like it at all, and has extreme anxiety and fear of public speaking. This is also a letter to those who are looking at this page for any other reason but “because I love teaching.”
- To those whose main goal is to improve your English:
“Language is for communication.” This is what you are going to hear from the very first week as a form of several different variables: language is for communication and the purpose of teaching language is to get students to communicate using the language (verbally in most cases here). You might or might not agree with this notion, but I perceive language a bit differently. To me, language exists to just...be. It is only there to exist, regardless of what people do with it. You get to discover a certain language at some point of your life, and you find yourself going deep into it and spending your time in it with feeling bliss and joy. You would be seeing yourself slowly but gradually building more and more knowledge in it. It CAN be viewed as a form of communication, yet I would not regard its purpose as a means of verbal interaction with other people. While you are in the program, however, you have to get used to spending your time on communication using the language; thinking more about how to improve someone else’s learning or knowledge than your own in terms of the language itself. What I mean by “someone else’s” is your target students’.
One thing you will constantly have to remind yourself of is that this program is not primarily for your language learning. Rather than learning more about the language, you are using the language to learn about many other things related to teaching. You are going to read, listen, study and analyze a number of different language-teaching/learning theories, principles and techniques, but you will not learn in this program how to speak and write English better directly as a learner if that is what you are looking for. You are emphasized to use the correct form of English as a prospective language teacher, but no one would really correct your English, and by not correcting it the professors let you focus more on the content of the assignments or your lesson plans - Yes, the lesson plans. They are plural.
Nevertheless, during those 16+2 weeks your English will improve anyway. You will inevitably study specific elements of English in order to complete each assignment or develop you lesson plans. I can tell, two identical assignments are given to you in the same class, once during the first week, and then once again during the last. You are going to answer twice the same 8 questions associated with language teaching and learning. During the finals week, you will open and read your response from W1 and must go through the comments given by the professor written over the entirety of your W1 paper. Then you will re-write your response to each question with what you have learned for the past 16 weeks and submit all of them together. It was shocking to see how ungrammatical and unorganized my paper from W1 was and I have heard similar things from my classmates as well. So, yes, your English will improve and you are going to see it with your own eyes at the end of the semester.
- Brace for impact and prepare yourself for the battle over homework:
You will literally have tons of homework until you finalize your practicum. I have to admit. I had no idea. Despite going through quite a few reflections on this very page before I started the course, I found myself wondering about all the warnings given by the previous students regarding what I would have to deal with, even after all this, I did not know enough. Maybe I thought I could handle and survive just fine. I was wrong. If you have not yet experienced being a graduate student, either in Korea or overseas, this program will be challenging in a way that the number of assignments you are going to have each week is something that...will make you speechless. You would feel that you are being chased by wildfire sometimes, raging on the outskirts first and dragging you to the corner and eventually taking over the ground you are standing on. Around W10, 11, 12... yes, it feels like it. Considering those assignments in regards to the entire course, however, it seems more fitting to use the ocean currents as a point of comparison – a barrage of waves that never ends. You are aware of it coming, and usually you know what to expect, but it still is overwhelming and makes you feel afraid.
I love being a student. I belong to a college community that I have never left for over 10 years since I was a freshman and hoping to see myself always be part of it. This is the community I have cared for and praised and will continue to do so as it is the most valuable place on earth. I believe that the No.1 responsibility for any student is to be a student. If you have a class, you go to class. When you have assignments, you happily get them done. That joy, I would hardly replace with any other in my day-to-day life. Even for me, however, the never-ending list of homework I had to manage in this program was something hard to get used to. What was a huge challenge especially for me was the fact that I am a slow thinker and used to do everything at a very slow pace. If you have a type of personality that is not concerned much about the amount of time you have for each assignment, you may likely be just fine. In fact, I know at least two classmates who went through all the coursework and have finished the program very successfully while, at the same time, having a semester in another graduate study as a student. It is still difficult for me to conceive how it was even possible. It still remains a mystery. I also know at least two other classmates who had to spend their entire afternoon at work and have also completed the program successfully. Thus, it depends whether you feel it’s doable, but it would be a lie if I told you that it was okay the level of difficulty that most students had to confront in terms of assignments. It surely was challenging for all of us.
In my case, I often take quite a long time to finish each writing assignment, however simple or easy it might possibly be. I prefer having at least a certain amount of time to focus on each individual paper. You do not have that in this program. Sometimes you open a new document in MS Word, and you follow your fingers repeating the process of hovering and flying over the keyboard back and forth, and after your alarm goes off after a few hours you have to put it aside, meaning you have to turn in your paper and forget about it because you have too many other assignments piled up on your to-do list, which are all due the same night or the same week. It made me burst into tears for several times to be honest, having no idea what to do first. Usually I prefer when a professor holds students to a strict deadline. Therefore, at the beginning of the semester, it had been bothering me for a while that most professors in this program were being lenient about late submissions. As the semester progresses, you will realize that there is a reason for that. This program allowed me to have a number of new experiences for the first time in my life. Late submission was one of them. More than a single time. And as embarrassed and ashamed as I am about my conduct, I truly appreciate the professors accepting what I had been working on, and never guilt-tripping me and leaving all those feelings as my own to deal with, my own reflection. Looking back, it was probably the right type of life-lesson given at the right moment that you cannot always expect things to be following your rules or patterns. It also allowed me to take a peek at how the life of a grad-school student would look. This program, though not being a “part of” it, is another type of a graduate program in the sense that if or when you get into the GS TESOL at HUFS, however many credits you have earned from this program will be 100% accepted as well as the classes you have taken.
I do not want to make things sound light or easy just because the semester has been over and I have already completed it and survived. I surely would not want to read those kind of reflections. However, I would like to make one thing clear. What I kept finding so strange was that the more difficulty you feel about a certain assignment or the more days you stay up all night worrying about it, the bigger satisfaction you would be able to get from it in the end. What comes to you easy, for example, any paper that would take you only half an hour to complete would surely be forgotten quickly.
- You are going to enjoy camaraderie in your team
During this semester, Class A (Weekdays, Morning) and Class B (Weekdays, Afternoon) were in a big student group from a week prior to W1 all the way through the finals week. I doubt it was exclusively for this semester, in that for a certain group project, both Class A and B were mixed and assigned to form small groups within. Though I was lucky enough to have a one-time opportunity to join Class B having their TELS make-up session, each class has separate schedules to follow even for practicum. As much as I wish both Class A and B had a chance to meet face-to-face at least once, I feel grateful enough that I went through this journey with fourteen people in total, with whom I can later enjoy talking about what a crazy and unpredictable time we went through and how we survived that in the year of 2020.
You are going to have a couple of group assignments during the semester which are different from what you would typically have in general liberal-arts courses at the undergraduate level. Before I joined the program, and even now, I believe I am the type of a person who fully enjoys having a reclusive life. I feel most comfortable when surrounded by inanimate objects and no living creatures, which also means that I would strongly prefer doing my assignments individually, silently at home, alone. One of the most valuable lessons learned from this program is that team projects can be as fun and enjoyable as an individual assignment when each member of the group is well aware that this is not a project for any single person; this is ours. It was the very first time in my life that I had such feeling in regards to the group assignments, which I am still surprised at seeing myself reflecting on them that way. Participating in those group projects helped me get motivated as a student and allowed me to think about the true meaning of having a responsibility as an adult; about how to hold all members as one group accountable for our work together.
Over the semester, I have been with a group of people who are specifically diligent, punctual, patient and professional as both students and current/prospective teachers. My classmates have continually taught me how not to hesitate to raise my voice whenever necessary for a better result, while still showing appropriate respect to the work done by other people; how to show proper concern for the feelings not only of other people but of my own; how to be responsible for the language I use and actions I take. In such environment, you see yourself changing fast and wanting to have more resemblance to them in you. What has strongly affected me in particular is how optimistic my classmates were in each situation and every aspect of life. I learned from them that the way we view the world, people and ourselves is the key to making the right changes and decisions in this given life. We are the ones who will find the right ways to step forward and take an action toward the opportunities we are trying to get. If you are not sure about joining the program, I would say, go for it. It is worth being a part of the team because you will not only learn from the classes you take; you will learn a lot from your classmates, who come to class with different backgrounds and have been through different fields of studies, different professions, and different types of teaching experiences that will enrich your appreciation of being a teacher. They are valuable human resources waiting for you to interact with.
I am not a competitive person. I do not enjoy competitions, games or races in academic settings, especially in college. However, before the semester started, I did have a certain desire to complete the course well with notable grades marked on my transcript, which I wanted to give to myself as a reward and to compensate for any doubts I initially had in my mind in regard to my abilities. You may or may not have a competitive trait in your personality, which is fine either way. What I would like to point here is that, while in the program, you might have this feeling that your original goal for the program has changed. Instead of picturing your own success, you may find yourself cheering on the whole group completing the course together as a team. You will find yourself trying your best to achieve that, and it was also a huge change I have experienced in myself during the semester, which I am very appreciative of. This program is not designed to help you succeed only with your own efforts. Your success must be earned with support from your classmates and you too will contribute significantly to someone else’s success. I strongly recommend that you enjoy this power of all the collaborative work that you are going to have throughout the semester – that I found to be quite compelling and somewhat addictive even. I am sure that you will end up adding a countless number of memorable moments to your journey of life that will later bring you back to this time and make you smile.
It has been said that school is an obligation, not a privilege. The truth is, having that obligation is the highest privilege we could earn as humans. This is your chance to be a student of what you have wanted to learn. I hope you take it and use it wisely. As you might have noticed, I am telling you all this only to encourage you. This is my own way to suggest that even the person who dislikes teaching and far slower in everything than the average college student has come so far, completing the course full of satisfaction and a strong sense of accomplishment. Whoever you are and where you are at right now, if I can do this then you certainly can.