"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irragete deserts."
- C. S. Lewis
I use English every day as my husband is Irish. Together we raise three bilingual children. When our children were small we used to go to English speaking community activities organised by Class Acts, later on I started to volunteer for the organisation and became an assistant to teachers. I really enjoyed this volunteering position and decided to become a teacher myself.
At the end of my studies I would like to become a confident and creative teacher for preschool and primary school children.
Pronunciation: to focus on unifying my accent. My accent is influenced by American, British and Irish influencers which results into having a mixed accent.
Aim: to have a British accent.
Spelling: to practise spelling of difficult words and words where I am "chronic" uncertain.
Aim: to be able to spell 10 words from "My list of words I can not remember the spelling"
Grammar: to work on the conditionals
Aim: to be able to pass the final test in online English grammar course.
Speaking: to develop my presentation skills.
Aim: to be able to speak confidently for 10 minutes.
My general goal during my studies is to gain confidence that I know the language and I don't make mistakes when speaking the language as well as in written English. I am aware of mistakes in my pronunciation and I am uncertain in some grammar areas. Therefor I have set my goals to work on my weak areas:
Grammar - focus on English conditionals and syntax.
Pronunciation - focus on one accent and work on correct pronunciation.
Spelling - learn at least 10 difficult words from my list.
I have taken third placement tests in the 3rd semester 27.9. 2019) with a result B2 (score: 65 points). This score is much lower then the score I gained in the second semester which is disappointing.
By listening one learns a lot. We are exposed to a language as a complex- its melody and speed , vocabulary, pronunciation, use of a language, dialects...
I listen to English every day at home as my husband is Irish, on radio, TV and as well at work. Despite this fact sometimes I struggle with the audios at UNI - especially when the audio focuses on special topics with technical terms I might have a difficulty.
To improve my listening in 3rd semester I listen to a audiobooks in English. As a part of British History and Literature course I was able to listen to two old stories which were just amazing. Also as a part of the course I had a chance to watch (online) a The Midsummer Night's Dream theatre performance.
List of the stories and others:
Beowulf and the Monsters by Seamus Heaney (link here)
Gawain and the Green Knight (link here)
Midsummer Night's Dream (link here)
I also watch most of the films and TV series in original language (English). In past three months I have watched the Netflix series The Crown. This was a great opportunity to listen to British accent and be able to practise prunnunciation.
As mention above I listen daily to BBC radio broadcast, I also listen to audiobooks in English- especially in a car when I am driving on my own.
Reading is a very important element of language learning, however, I find it very difficult to read in English, mainly because it takes me longer to finish a book then in my native Czech.
I have to really push myself to read a book in English and I tend to choose children books rather then books for adults.
During 3rd semester I read two stories (as a part of my literature seminar):
English is the first language in our household when the whole family is together. It is fair to say I have English speaking interaction 50% of the day, as my husband and I also work together and our suppliers tend to be English speaking (from the US and throughout Europe). My colleagues are native speakers and mainly from America and Britain. This helps me to listen and try to copy their pronunciation.
Daily listening to BBC radio Broadcast. Especially in the car.
Watching TED Talks which offers many interesting ideas from professionals as well nonprofessionals.
During the second term I practiced my spoken English in a course: Online speaking. I also find an inspiration in many online videos produced by TED. This online database of presentation on different topics also includes videos of how to make an interesting presentations, a powerful speech and deliver it well. I strongly believe that teacher needs to be a powerful presenter.
In this semester I haven't signed up any courses where it is required to produce an audio piece. However I speak English every day - at home and at work. I have also started to teach at kindergarten where my communication skills come to a test. I practise my classes beforehand, especially the pronunciation of nursery rhymes and songs.
Later on in this semester I will be recording a short video (10 min) explaining a pedagogy term.
Writing is a language learning tool. It helps to develop theoretical knowledge we gain during studying language. By writing we practice many elements of a language - grammar, spelling, expression and communication skills. This semester I haven't signed up many courses which would require writing. I am currently working on an essay for my literature seminar. I will upload my work as soon as I will finish it.
As a part of my participation at translation course I have translated two texts from English to Czech. (link). Lats semester I have written a Haiku in memory of a teenage girl who tragically passed away. To keep her memory I would like to share it.
by Tereza Dubsky
The sound of life
The taste of youth
suddenly an Autumn silence
My extra materials are:
My Journal - I have written a journal for course of Didactics. (link)
I have prepared a school plan for a kindergarten where I started to teach children (age groups: 3yo, 4yo, 5-6yo). (link)
I am also teaching an English Club for young learners (6-8yo) - ESL students. Here is one of my lesson plans. (link)