Reflection on Self Study Essay

The main objective of my independent language learning this semester is to enlarge and activate my vocabulary (i - Reflection on Self Study Essay introduction. e. 120 assigned words and 120 personal words) and to improve the organization of my writing. Compared to the objective I set last semester, “to learn 100 words or expressions, including 70 active words and 30 perceptive words”, I will not only grow my vocabulary substantially but also learn to activate these words in my speaking and writing. Frankly speaking, only recording and remembering isolated words by rote is regarded as of little use for a significant improvement of my English.

Therefore, I modified the objective which I set last semester and put more emphasis on the usage of these words. Thinking of my previous learning experience, writing remained the weak spot of my English skills. I could still remember the time we were asked to write an article about “My hometown” in the first LANG001 class. I was too panicked to think of anything to write and it turned out even worse when I looked around and saw all my classmates were writing smoothly.

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In this semester, I will make effort to improve my organization of paragraphs, such as coherent and cohesive paragraphs and clear controlling ideas. In fall semester, MyWords was my best helper with my vocabulary learning. Firstly, I was knee on recording new words in a beautiful note book with their definition, collocation and translation. However, after 3 weeks we were ask to do a in-class vocabulary test and I suddenly realized that recording words in notebook had done little help of my vocabulary as I seldom referred to words on previous pages and it was hardly possible to evaluate my learning in such way.

After I shared my ineffectual learning method with my instructor, he suggested me to use MyWords tool to record the words and to evaluate my learning by doing online self-check quizzes. Thanks to his advice, I made full use of MyWords and it contributed to a significant improvement of my understanding of words as well as usage and connotation of words and it helped activate my vocabulary. Joining the “South China Morning Post-University reading Program” was a good learning experience which contributed to my vocabulary learning and reading throughout the semester.

In this program, I subscribed one-year online E-papers for free and a piece of latest released newspaper was sent to my e-mail every morning. Regularly reading newspaper helped me understand ongoing events worldwide, at the same time, focus on repeated occurrences of words. But there was a shortcoming that some of those news were written in professional expressions and it would be difficult to digest those sentences unless you had have related background information.

In general, my vocabulary learning can be simplified into these procedures: Raw reading materials >> Record useful words >> Word selection >> Make word list >> Review >> Self-check. These steps fitted together to conducive to my vocabulary building and they enabled me to evaluate my learning and set a clear direction towards my objective. As for recording words, I changed to use MyWords toolbar as far as I found out that recording words on note book was of little use for my learning after my 3 weeks’ practice.

Making flash cards and placing them differently by categories was a successful practice of my independent language learning. According to the result from self-check quizzes on MyWords, I classified my words into 3 categories, actively use, recognize and just academic use. Then I made small flash cards of each word with its meaning and my personal sentence. Those who were considered most important would be stuck on one side of my mirror, as girls always spend more time in front of mirror. Then words to be recognized would be stuck on the wall near my bed and I just took a glance of them before I fell asleep.

To weigh the words and learn them by different strategies was of higher efficiency and it fitted well with my objective. I was satisfied with my independent vocabulary learning last semester although there are still limits and flaws in my learning strategies. I will carry on my language learning with strategies which fits my objective most and works better, like making flash cards of categorized words, regularly reading, mastering words on MyWords and do self-check quizzes online to evaluate my learning.

However, justification and modification are as important as other procedure. Once I find that such a strategy works poorly, no matter how it worked last semester, I will re-evaluate it and do proper justification. On the journey as a learner of English, running straightly towards your destination would never be a wise choice; only if you wander around can you see beautiful flowers alongside the path.

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