Things might go a little different for me from other StepUp students, I’m a hybrid student and I had my first few weeks of study online and last two weeks on campus. I only have three classes online, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, and Portfolio. After I arrived at Lehigh, I start having other classes. Here are my final reflections for my courses.
Speaking and Listening
For this class, I think is the most helpful class for me. I took the first several weeks of classes online and the last two weeks on campus. In the past, I used to be afraid of talking to others in English, because I believe I have poor pronunciation and I’m not sure whether I was using the right grammar and words.
Before the class started, I hope to learn about pronunciation and communication skills with others. So, I set up three goals for myself:
- I will understand the vocabulary and grammar which should be used in the discussion of an academic topic by the end of the Setup Course.
- I will be able to: communicate with my classmates by not thinking about which words should be used in the conversation after finishing the speaking & listening course.
- I will feel: confident about the understanding of what are my classmates talking about in their daily-life after taking the speaking & listening class.
After the class, I think I reached some of my goals, I am able to communicate with my classmates by not thinking about which words should be used in the conversation and I felt confident when talking with my classmates in daily-life. However, I still need to focus on my vocabulary and grammar in oral English.
Before I arrived at Lehigh, I need to record videos every week. At first, I felt very shy and nervous about it because Ms. Reiss told me that she will play it in class and show others about it. In order to not make so many mistakes in my video, I will re-watch my video, try to find out the mistakes I made and the place I need to improve. With doing this, I can feel that I stop being nervous and start to be confident. I was no longer shy about taking videos.
After I arrived at Lehigh, the most impressive project is the Panel work. This is the first and also the last project I did after arriving at Lehigh. This is the first time for me to give a presentation in English before so many people. Also, the topic we choose is so interesting, and I have worked a lot on it before I arrived at Lehigh. During the panel work, I learned how to interview others via email and by an online meeting, also, how to work with other students. I believe these will help me in my future studies.
Reading and Writing
Writing is always the most difficult thing for me, I am afraid of writing English essays and papers. So this time I really want to improve my academic English writing skills. In this class, I learned about three different types of paper summary, compare and contrast, and argument essay and APA format. Mr. Ellison taught me about the skills of writing passages, what one paragraph needs to have, and how to write a thesis sentence, how to write an opposite point.
In addition to writing skills and writing paper, every week we have reading to finish. Since the theme for our class is rediscovering the past. We read a lot of articles about the history of America and Lehigh. Reading these articles helps me to know better about America and Lehigh.
I have to be honest, that I didn’t meet my goal which I set up at the beginning of the class: I hope I can write an article with few errors, especially for an academic essay. I still have a lot of grammar mistakes and verbal problems. Also, I sometimes used the wrong APA format in my paper. In the future, to keep raising my goal, I’ll keep writing essays and go to the Writing Center to ask for help. I will focus on grammar as well, checking it cautiously.
Communicating on Campus
For the Communicate on Campus, I think the most useful things I learned were appellation and internet communicating. Appellation taught me the right ways to call people, it’s very important in daily communication and to show respect to others. Internet communication is very important because it will be frequently used in future studies, so learning how to write respect and polite email is very important.
For my first week’s class, I had a campus tour with Ms. Newbegin and Osama, they took me on a tour around the campus and Osama leads the tour. It was a really interesting and meaningful tour. It showed me the history of Lehigh and during the tour, we get close to each other. Also, Ms. Newbegin taught me about the Americans’ names and the right way to call different people, which bothered me before. Also, Ms. Newbegin helped about the panel discussion, telling the steps of how to give a panel discussion.
Although I only have the class for a week, it really taught me a lot, from internet communication skills to face-to-face communication skills. These are two skills we used mostly in our daily lives. For the first time, I notice the differences between Ms., Mrs., and Miss., without the class, I cannot have a clear understanding of it and recognize when to use the correct one. Campus tour also helps me to get familiar with the university and learn about the history of it. Though I only take two classes, the things it taught me will last forever.
All in all, this is a really useful class; it’s very practical and based on daily life, the situations we, the foreigners will face in the normal life. I love this class and feel regret of not taking the class for the whole semester.
Reading and Discussion
For this class, I only had 2 classes, but it still helps a lot. During this class, Ms. Cusumano taught us about the reading skills, this was very helpful to me.
I learned different reading strategies but there are still some difficulties and challenges I am facing. The first one is, sometimes, the reading topic was so unfamiliar to me, without enough background knowledge, it’s really hard for me to read through the whole passage and understand it. The second one is, I will forget what I was reading about after reading the whole passage. To solve these two questions, I will search the background knowledge before I start reading, and I will reread the text again to remember the missing part. I believe in this way, it can help me to rise above the ordinary.
For this class, I only attended for about a week, I felt really sad because this is really a great class and is helpful and useful. I think I will go over the book in the future to improve myself. Which is essential for me to raise myself above the ordinary.
Language Focus Workshop
I only have one Language Focus Workshop, but it gave me a lot of memories. In the class, we watched a TED talk and start making a tower using the skills we learned from the talk. I think it’s interesting and meaningful.
After all, I just want to thank all my teachers; they are all very patient and professional. They taught me a lot of skills about learning English, and the content for the class helped me to get familiar with American culture and Lehigh’s history. Here, I really want to appreciate Dr. Murphy, she helps so much with all my questions and portfolio. With the zoom meeting every Friday, she gave me so much support and help. I will remember the time studying here and will keep improving my English.