Learning obstacles and solutions for college students

Introduction

As the college student, I have already experienced a variety of activities and events which are all so meaningful to give me so much useful experiences. One worth mentioning experience is the internship in a middle school to teach student English which can be defined as a fantastic learning event in my life. In this individual reflective account, it will develop a discussion on the learning needs in such event.

Prior skills and competencies

Luckily, I am a hardworking girl with proper ambition which makes me work and learn positively in my student life. Before I joined in the event and worked as a practice English teacher in the middle school, I had owned a relatively rich life experience, the teaching related skills as well as knowledge. I have a lot of experiences as the part time teacher for the students to help them enhance their English competency in my summer vacation which endows me a good competency in class teaching ability.

At the same time, I’m so interested in book reading which not only enriches my vision and knowledge but also build the necessary knowledge for me to work as a teacher. Moreover, the diligent everyday practice in English skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening gives me confidence in the professional skills as the English teacher.

Insufficient in skills and competencies

Although as the above mentioned, I have owned relatively appropriate skills and good competency to assist me to take part in the learn event. I still have many insufficient aspects as well.

To begin with, my experience in English teaching belongs to the part time one, which means I never receive the professional training in teaching skills.

At the same time, I also need to develop my competency in teaching research which is the primary factor to act well as a teacher.

Learning needs

Thanks to this learning event, it offers me with many opportunities to fulfill several needs and enhance my competitiveness.

In the beginning of the internship, I was so frustrated that I can’t separate the role as a teacher from the role as the friend of the student. Because I was 19 years old when I joining this event and my students were about 15 to 16 years old, I got along well with them and became their friends. But in the class, they still treated me as their friends, which may me very embarrassed.

But with the help and guidance from some experienced teachers in that school, I realized the importance to make some distance with the student and build the dignity as a teacher. It makes me more professional to be a teacher.

And in the teaching research aspect, I still have a good development. Due to the preparation in many exams for the student, I also benefited from those processes. For example, to present a relatively perfect exam paper, I had no choice but to have a thorough research of these previous exam papers to learn the exactly means of exam paper making. And meanwhile, I also had to dig deep into the teaching plan to determine the major focus of the exam paper. This kind of experience not only enhanced my patience but also improved my competencies in teaching competencies. In a word, I had benefited a lot from this experience.

Obstacles

Although this experience was interesting and helpful, there were several obstacles when I taking part in this event as well.

The first one was my handwriting. I was used to writing in the paper when I worked part time as the English teacher for the students. But at that moment I had to use the chalk to writing on the blackboard, which was so strange and uncomfortable for me. I even had no idea in the arrangement of my handwriting on the blackboard. Due to this, some students complained a lot and even showed some resistant emotions, which made me so frustrated.

Another one was my pronunciation, which wasn’t so exactly as the native speakers. Some students often laughed my pronunciation in the class directly which made me at a loss.

Means to solve problems

To touch up my hand writing, I really worked hard to practise my hand writing. For example, I kept on practicing the English handwriting in the exercise book during my spare time. And in the Sunday and Saturday, I practiced on the blackboard to correct my handwriting. And meanwhile, I also consulted the advices from these experienced teachers on how to arrange my writing on the blackboard.

In terms of the pronunciation, I kept on listening to the Radio-the Voice of America to practice my listening and at the same time I tried my best to imitate the pronunciation of these hosts. And with the hardworking and continuous practice, I really made great progress.

Due to my great efforts, the students began to realize my efforts and hold positive attitudes to my hardworking. Since then, the cooperation between me and students became more and more harmonious and smoothly.

Learning style

According to the learning styles of Kolb, there are four styles of learning styles including concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation as figure 1.0 shows (Swailes & Senior 2002).

Figure 1.0 Kolb’s learning styles

Based on the above learning style, my learning style belongs to the concrete experience and abstract conceptualization. As Kolb mentioned that the concrete experience refers to the feeling aspect while the abstract conceptualization refers to the thinking aspect. And for me, I was exactly this combination style, which was defined as the converging style referring to the problems solving ways via learning. (Mumford & Honey 2006)

In this learning event, I used my knowledge and learning to enhance my competencies and skills so as to win more recognition from the students. Generally speaking, under the guidance of this style, I practised a lot, learned a lot, which made my learning event so meaningful and efficiently.

Reference

Swailes, S. & Senior, B. 2002, The Dimensionality of Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, vol.7, p.1-11,

Mumford, A. & Honey, P. 2006, The learning styles helpers guide, Peter Honey Publications Limited, Berks,

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