StepUp Course Reflection


Final Self-Reflection

StepUp Course

Name: Hyomin, Shin

Before Step Up, English was like a heavy burden to carry in life for me. When I was in middle school, education courses in Korea started with grammar. And I stated the private tutoring of English for entrance into a university. However, both attempt didn’t gave me an incentive to study English. English was like a duty, not just for me, for everyone in my school students. For me, English has always been my partner and enemy who put the same weight on my life. Honestly, it wasn’t clear what should I do or what I want at the beginning of the course. But from now on, I want to sort out not only my English skills but also the abstract things.

First few weeks, I focused only on listening. Naturally, my first goal in the speaking class was to accurately understand the context and to ask questions without being ashamed of something I didn’t know. All of the other of classes goals, this one was the most difficult and hardest for me. My friends who took the class with me said they never thought I was hesitating, but in my heart I was worried. In Korea, I was used to attending classes quietly. Because of the cultural environment in my hometown, it was really strange and amazing not to be ashamed even if I response the teacher’s questions to wrong answer. However, the attitude of active classmates and the atmosphere of the class through discussion and conversation certainly helped my speaking ability. The first few weeks, my speaking were full of stumbles, and suffered from pronunciation. Still I can’t speak perfect pronunciation and sentence. But when I don’t understand someone else’s word during the talking, now I can ask questions again without fear. So I tried to meet my goal, and as a result I achieved my goal of speaking class.

On the other hand, in case of the writing class, I didn’t meet my goal yet. My original goal was “By the end of the course, I will write that clear topic to understand for readers. To do this, I will practice SVO structure to follow the rule.” I’m still practice making the SVO sentences and also plural structures. But compare between my class from the start point to now, my writing skill is gradually advanced. There are mistakes made in writing three essays. On the other hand, there are still some unnoticed mistakes. And sometimes, I can recognized the mistakes when I did the proof reading. All the processes are still awkward to me and take a lot of time to correct grammar, just like doing something unfamiliar, but as a result, I feel proud to find the wrong part. So I would say that I am in the process of developing. Also my SMART goal is still on the process to making the perfect sentence.

In case of my goals in Reading & Discussion class, was specifically focused on how to improve my English reading. However, this class also played a crucial role for me to express my opinion actively. I stuttered and used the wrong words, but I talked my opinions and didn’t hesitated during regular discussions in class. The time to communicate with my classmates was not only interesting but also valuable in that they could see an argument from various points of view. However, the ultimate goal of all goals was to abandon the fear and hesitation of English. And I think I did well combining my goals and purposes.

And Communicating on Campus, I expected before took this class was a lecture that teach about of American college life or the history of Lehigh. Of course, some of the classes included major buildings on campus and the history of the building, also festivals and events at school. But there was something really important. I was surprised to learn about my rudeness during class. Especially when I learned how to write e-mail, I was worried about my mistakes because I was so ignorant. However, all the assignments seemed to be made for the international students who first come to the United States. We did our first task of explaining the location and function of buildings to know what is available at school and how can we get. The next assignment taught us what services the school had and how to use them in a useful ways. Of course, the e-mail skills, communications and interview skills that I learned for conduct the interviews were also very useful and helpful to o adjust a American life. Finally, the third task was not just to interact and take advantage of everything that we have learned. The most valuable things is the group work, that help each others and make the result for one purpose.

To be honest, not all of the tasks were just fun. Some parts were difficult, hard to understand, and picky for students who were not familiar with English. But as a result, I think I have successfully adapted to life in America as well as school, All of my classes taught me important contents that were based on my basic English skills. I still use a lot of grammatical mistakes and wrong words during writing this page, but one thing I can be sure is that I will develop as I have done on this StepUp course.

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Errors Log



After writing two essays, I went through the process of checking the grammatical errors or wrong word choices, and correcting the mistakes. The most frequently found errors in the first and second essays were incorrect sentences that didn’t fit SVO format, and plural errors. When I first wrote my essay, I didn’t know anything about my grammar weaknesses. However, this error log helped me to check and correct the mistakes when I wrote my second essay. Besides mistakes in grammar, it was certainly helpful to find various mistakes such as run-on sentences and spelling mistakes.

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3rd Essay: Scholarly Research

The last essay was a arguable essay to find academic reference materials and deliver professional knowledge based on them. I found a topic by linking the fourth industrial revolution with the economy. The most difficult thing while write this essay was the explain of technical explanation for the general public reader. Also I asked for help because I did not know how to translate professional words into English. However, unlike the original peer review, the fish bowl peer review that all of my classmates read their essays and give feedback was really helpful to me. My classmates and Dr. Murphy read my essay and gave me the advice that I wanted. My essay’s biggest problem was that it wasn’t understandable to the public, so I could find a way to revise my essay based on their advice. On the contrary, the most enjoyable part of this essay was taking easy examples to explain difficult theories. For example, I mentioned the Netflix and the Uber app for explain the correlation between technology and consumption.

My final essay is have many weakness as well as a strength, but as a result, it’s improved my understanding the process of writing an essay in English.

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Environmental Pollution Presentation

  • Observe this PowerPoint page only 5, 11.


In Language Focus Class, I did the presentation about environmental pollution. Through this presentation, I recognized the seriousness of environmental pollution and taught how to protect the environment in life. Most important was global policy and direction for future. 

Nature has been seriously destroyed. Humans are faster in destroying than nature recovering their original cycle. We must find a co-existing way without threatening this ecosystem any more. Ensuring the humans least necessary and protecting the environment is the present task that given to us. 

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Panel Discussion

*Observe this video from 14:50 to 19:50.

The end of the Communication on Campus class was to create a panel discussion with using sentences that could be used to communicate. Most of the sentences which leading to the flow of discussion were almost we learned in class before. I think we had a successful discussion with the group. As a result, we were able to review the all contents of the class, because we created a combination of everything we had learned in the class.

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The Future is Female: Exhibition

There was the exhibition in Rauch Business Center. Best thing in this exhibition to me, was various perspectives and works of female artists, and explain the work one by one by students who majored in art. The background of the work and students own opinions seemed to blend into a wonderful story.

My favorite painting was these two works. First art was beautiful to me which the color of the dress and background. The second art was expressed the diversity of America, its beauty, and problems in opposition. I think it is a work that reveals the two sides of the U.S.

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Word Roots Presentation

*Please observe this PowerPoint only 5 and 6 page.

While learning English, I often saw words of similar shape. This project helped understand those words meaning and developed the ability to guess the meaning of words while the reading. I learned from this activity that many English words came from Latin. And I realized that there were many words associated with a single root word.

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Interview with Professor & Class Observe

The final task for this class was to integrate many things that had been learned. The first step was to find a professor at Lehigh in my major field and interview the professor. In my case, I majored in business, so I interviewed a professor who taught economic at Lehigh business major department. Next, I had to attend one of the lectures by the professor. I checked the professor’s timetable and took part in a lecture that connected the environment with the economy.

The purpose of the project was to compare the educational environment of Korea and United States. Therefore, I observed the atmosphere of the lecture by taking detailed notes in worksheet that we received from Elena.

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Farmer’s Market


The weather was cloudy. It rained a little, but it also felt better to walk around the market. Joyful noises and warmth from a vibrant market, merchant and dancing man filled the square. The market wasn’t not so big, but everything was there. Fresh vegetables, fruits, warm baked breads, exotic food trucks with strong spices and sweet dessert trucks. The food I chose was an Egyptian food truck which did not have many opportunities to experience to me.

Among them, a friend who knew about the menu, Mohamed, tried the Shawarma and also he recommended it to me. It was a wrap-like sandwich with unfamiliar spices and familiar ingredients, and it was a great combination of savory bread, fresh vegetables, and well-done chicken. And he bought us another kind of food before I even finished eating all the amazing Shawarma. After sharing the flavors that I had never experienced, I went to the bakery that I was most looking forward to. Dan recommended some bread to me, and I could choice the most eagerly anticipated cookies and some kind of nice, well-done bread on the spot. The meals and desserts with melted chocolate, chewy bread and warm pre-purchased coffee were satisfying and stable enough to want to eat even more. I had a meal with my friends, small jokes and lively Farmer’s Market, which was fun enough not only once but one more to try all the food.


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