Learning is not all about learning for the sake of it, best type of learning requires one to sometimes reflect on what he / she has learnt, which can be referred to as learning what you have learnt. Reflective writing help an individual to look back and consider what he / she has learnt, reflective journal is also important since it helps to identify the gaps between what has been learnt and what has been applied (Kinsella, 2013). The identified gap can be shared with the lecturer so that he / she can guide on what to do next to overcome the gaps. Reflective journals increase someone’s chances of an employment opportunity after school since the journal exposes them to some of the potential employers. Creative journals can also act as evidence that an individual completed a certain course to those individuals that might be interested with your studies.
In this case will consider my field practice in the course of Teaching English Language to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL). Reflection is a crucial part in the field of TESOL, it’s advisable that TESOL students to have confidence to question their organization of practice and generally their own individual practice (Silverman,2013). I will start by explaining my own reflection during my practice in the field and reflect it to a case study, through this I will be able to realize how reflective practice influenced me to apply theoretical knowledge to practice and the things that I could have done differently. To begin with, my practice was based in a learning institution and to be specific the community college level and as a TESOL student I was put to task to ensure I impart or teach English language to non-English speaking students which was not an easy task. Most of the students I dealt with were speakers of different languages but they needed to learn English in their first year since they would be taught other disciplines using English language throughout their stay in that college. Reflecting was an important aspect especially to someone who is transiting from university to field placement, I had to critically reflect the things I had been taught in my TESOL classes only that here I was no longer a student but a teacher now teaching English language to non-English speakers. I enjoyed this teaching job, since I realized that being a teacher doesn’t mean that you know everything but you also learn as you teach and even learn from the students too.
Many of the students I worked with had problems with pronunciation and spellings, this greatly posed a major challenge to me and I had to work two times harder to ensure these students overcome these two problems. The teaching was a beat challenging but being that I reflected my work with a case study of one Mr. Abdul, it gave me more hope to work harder and ensure that my practice goals in the TESOL practice field are achieved. Let’s consider a case study of one Mr. Jacobs who is currently a senior TESOL lecturer in one of the local university. My encounter with him was a turning point in learning TESOL. Mr. Abdul came to London in his adolescent age, the only language he could speak and write was only Arabic, being that he couldn’t communicate in English and children younger than him could freely express themselves in English, Abdul developed a kind of fear and he faced stigmatization. All that didn’t prevent or deprive Abdul his interest of learning English. Abdul enrolled to a local school where he spent a whole one and a half years learning English. Currently Mr. Abdul is one of the best linguists we have around, indeed nothing is impossible.
Reflecting on Mr. Abduls case it helped me keep in mind and put in practice some of the ideas I learnt from him, this really helped me solve some critical issues in teaching TESOL. In fact I realized the students learnt better after telling them about Abdul’s own experience. An important aspect of reflection in TESOL is to apply the theoretical knowledge, a case study learnt or just a social story to aid the understanding of your students. In conclusion, reflective journals provide a platform of not just doing things, but also to stop and think what we are really doing. (Collier,2013)
- Kinsella, J., & Collier, G. (2013). Spatial relations: Essays, reviews, commentaries, and chorography.
- Silverman, J., Hughes, E., & Wienbroer, D. R. (2013). Rules of Thumb: A guide for Writers.