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Nguyn H Trc Anh

TESOL 9

Reflection Paper

Reflection Paper
Throughout the very first subject in my MA course Academic Writing, I have learned a
number of necessary writing skills that are important to every final assignments as well as my
thesis. Furthermore, I also learn some teaching skills from the effective way that the lecturer
applied and partially developed communication skills during interactions with other classmates
and observing them.
On the first day at school, our class was required to submit a Diagnosis paper discussing
the current problems in Vietnam national EFL curriculum. We had approximately thirty minutes
to finish a complete essay. Although I had been trained how to build an essay, I found that
thirty-minute period rather short for me to efficiently express all my opinions onto the paper
while other classmates had been able to write a great deal. I have been always worrying about
my ability of writing efficiently in a short period like this. Moreover, I recognized myself as a
student lacking essential writing skills in order to perform well with long paper. Fortunately, the
subject has suggested several ways to help me overcome my weakness.
During the nine-week course, I was taught how to construct different academic genres
ranging from a paragraph, summary, literature review, book review and design a questionnaire
for the final project. From my own interest, I decided to focus on cultural elements in English
textbook comparing to the modern status of the English language. Therefore, all my weekly
assignments discussed a small part of a big picture of what I intended to demonstrate in the
final paper, except for the book review. On completing first weeks assignment, an essay on the
chosen topic, I had a chance to gain some insights into the field from a few articles. Although it
took a lot of time to search for necessary information from available sources, it was a good
chance for me to expose myself to related important articles, which would save my time for
later project on the same topic. The summary and book review were not very difficult since the
content to write about was explicitly introduced in the articles and the book. However, I found it
more less a challenge to have a well-written literature review and questionnaire. Although the
lecturer has instructed how to write a literature review, I still could not recognize a clear
structure of what I should include in my paper until the private talk with the lecturer. Apart from
the literature review, other assignments were clear in structure with supported skills and

Nguyn H Trc Anh

TESOL 9

Reflection Paper

essential tasks from the textbook so I was able to produce acceptable pieces right from the first
version.
I think it was a good practice to have our work corrected by peers. Thanks to their
comments, I then made some adjustments to the first versions. Besides, through the peercorrection process, I had opportunities to learn what other people were doing with their topics
and drew a few experiences from their work. However, I do not think that peer-correction was
effective all the time. My classmates helped identify errors according to a given list;
nonetheless, they rarely suggested any changes or improvements for my paper in terms of ideas
and cohesion. Maybe, it was not easy for them either when it came to the assignments s such as
literature review. I think that I learn more from the articles by experienced authors than from
other classmates. Despite the fact that peers lacked experience in academic writing, they gave
me valuable feedback to the questionnaire. Generally speaking, I still prefer to have my work
corrected by peers before submitting to the lecturer and I would apply this practice in my own
classroom. Added to that, I continue reading more articles to learn more knowledge and learn
from the way they construct their paper.
In closing, I would like to state that I have really enjoyed the experience of the course. It
has been good for me to learn first-hand what academic writing is all about. Although the course
was not long enough, I thought, it created learning opportunities for students to carry on with
their own studying. Later, when I work on the final paper, I will try to apply a good deal of what I
have been taught so far. I realize that if I had read more books and articles, I would have
performed better in the previous assignments. Therefore, it is crucial that I read more for the
final project. I would like to extend my thanks to the lecturer and classmates for their help and
patience.