Welcome to the second weekly reflection on my experience with the intensive Delta Module 2 in Seville. You can read about Week 1 here. Week 3 and 4 will follow shortly.
- What was your lightbulb moment or what blew your mind this week?
It’s written discourse that I particularly enjoy teaching rather than teaching writing per se. The same goes for speaking (which I see as integrated in my lessons). As I see it, spoken discourse is where students’ speaking is upgraded by giving them more language – such as giving them more knowledge on “backchanneling devices” like “oh, I see” and “wow”.
- What has stressed you out most this week?
Again, the waiting. My LSA1 was on Friday so as the week went on I watched my colleagues finish and move on to LSA2. I moved on mentally, and chose my topic for LSA2 but the grammar lesson was still looming. I am glad that I had time to chip away at all three assignments (BE second draft, LP and PDA) though.
- What do you wish you could have done this week?
Moved on from grammar! I didn’t get as far ahead as I would have liked as I had a cold earlier in the week (yes, I do know it’s 30°C out, just my luck!) and had to spend some time recovering.
- What’s the best activity you observed, learned about or used this week?
Transcription. This is what my teaching of listening has been missing! I’ve done work the other way: teaching connected speech, having learners anticipate connected speech and checking by listening with the transcript. But I’ve never had learners transcribe a short section from a listening. (I have done it myself when learning Vietnamese though!)
- Which area have you improved on?
I started looking at tonic stress. As you may have guessed by the previous paragraph, I do quite a bit on pronunciation but sentence stress has always eluded me.
- What is the best or most useful tip you’ve gained this week?
Ask your colleagues for books and resources. Between the whole group, we have a lot of resources and knowledge!
- What have you done to relax this week?
Sleep because I was sick? I didn’t make it to dance class or yoga mid-week.
- What’s your new favourite word or terminology?
I’m going to go with “discourse”. Not exactly a new word, but I feel like I have a better understanding of what this is now.
- What have you disagreed with this week?
Some of the feedback on assignments I’ve submitted. But at the end of the day, the tutors have been doing this for a while and they know how to meet the criteria. Sometimes you have to just roll your eyes and make the changes. Or sometimes you have to rewrite your main aim
- What book have you added to your wishlist (or wish you’d already read)?
Writing books for LSA2, particularly Hedge’s Writing and Tribble’s Writing. (Not very creative titles, are they?)
- What would you change about this week?
Getting further ahead. I submitted a draft of my lesson plan the day before my lesson, but there were some holes so I only finished it the evening before teaching, then had to tweak my Background Essay and PD assignment as well as finish finding pictures for my powerpoint slides.
- What’s your top study tip?
I made a bibliography “Master List” where I’ve added all the books I’ve referenced in all assignments. If you quote the same book more than once (eg. Hedge), you can just copy and paste.
I also add each book to each essay’s bibliography as I write instead of adding them at the end. And, third and final tip, I write the page number for every reference in the document as I go along but now I highlight the ones where the page number isn’t necessary so I can do through and delete them at the end.
One more study tip – know your natural rhythms. I’ve found I crash around 4pm or 5pm every day so doing some filing or photocopying or going home a bit earlier, taking a nap, doing some food prep allows me more time to focus at 10pm when I’m more alert.
- What’s your main priority for next week?
Get further ahead! I’m going to get cracking on the background essay and lesson plan for LSA2 (Writing) and if I can, start the background essay for LSA3 (Listening, which I’ve already read quite a bit on).
And that’s a wrap for Week 2. Four more to go!