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1. PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - October 28, 2011

Reflection 1

14 October 2011, PBGS 6113: Research in Second Language Acquisition – waiting to hand in my first assignment on Annotated Bibliography. What an effort! I had re-do my assignment noticing that none of the 15 articles that I managed to collect was listed under ISI Journals! Never gave up hope! After working round the clock for three days, finally, I managed to get 15 articles from ISI Journals which made me to be on top of the world. I had to read and digest the issues discussed with the research methodology outlined. Those articles really gave me a lot of valuable input on issues being faced by the ESL teachers and students and strategies to address them which could come in handy in getting great ideas in doing my proposal. Upon reflecting on this, Dr ‘JC’ came into the class with a pleasant smile.

‘Sounds very familiar’ as I thought, Dr Jessie’s lecture on SLA Theories reminded me of my interview which I had attended a couple of months ago. Oh! Dr Jessie, I should have come for your lectures before so that I could be able to answer much better during the interview. Your brilliant explanation on SLA theories with exemplary examples really gave me a clearer picture on them. Your prompting questions made me think and reflect on my teaching experience in various schools. “What did I set out to teach? What technique did I use? Did I discover anything new about my teaching?” were some of the questions clicked in my mind as I was listening to Dr Jessie’s lecture. Her vivid explanation on the theories made me realise that I am a constructivist most of the time.

Lectures on ‘cross-linguistics interferences’ had helped me to reflect on the articles that I had read in order to do the annotated bibliography. The influence of L1 in acquiring L2 made me to link with the findings of a few articles that I had analysed thus making me to visualise that students whose mother tongue is Chinese could not really rely on L1 in acquiring English (L2) especially grammar as the rules in both the languages are differ. Explanation on the inter-language grammar was interesting to discuss as there is a bridge between L1 and L2 which varies from one learner to another.

SLA is really an interesting subject to learn as I could reflect on my teaching experience in a multiracial setting. Lots more to explore and to reflect! After all learning is a lifelong process.

2. drjessie - October 29, 2011

Way to go, Pushpa! Congratulations for starting it right.

PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - October 29, 2011

hi, Dr Jessie. thank you for your supportive comment. i’m working on the second one. Really enjoy doing it.. ok. take care

3. PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - November 6, 2011

REFLECTION 2

‘PP.. PP.. PP.. PP..’ Well! Finally was the day of “PP”. Of all the hustle and bustle of Deepavali preparation, at last I managed to send the first “P” – Proposal! What a hectic life that I had to go through for the past few weeks. On my one hand with the proposal and on the other hand was preparing for the next “P” – Presentation! No objection. Varsity life is such! The ‘four’ paged proposal really killed my time to get it done with the flow of the overall idea of the proposal. How to make it in four pages as the first draft was unexpectedly double the number of pages required? “Which part of the proposal needs amendments? Can I do my best in four pages?” were the questions that had been repeatedly popping out in my mind. However, ‘Practice Makes Perfect,’ right! After going through the proposal for many times, the end product was overwhelming! Dr Jessie’s way of asking us to go all out with the proposal really made me to put a lot of effort as to make sure that I could be able to produce a quality proposal. Thank you Dr, because it was a good start for me to no more driving the car with the first gear but it was time to wake up and run. What a great experience that I gained upon doing the proposal because while reading the related articles, I could be able to get a lot valuable information in order to proceed with my proposal and the upcoming stages of the study that I planned to do. Being able to settle with the first ‘P’, the presentation meanwhile was another significant part that I had to take into account.

Waking up at 5 in the morning and doing rehearsal for the presentation was paid off. Though a week before the presentation three of my group members gathered to share the ideas and discussed about our presentation, deep in my heart, the little question – ‘Could we perform well?’ was kept on beating. Well! One after another started presenting and I was consoling myself to be steady – sort of self motivating myself and my group members. As expected, my group did a good job and made the class to be attentive which led them to comprehend better about the topic of the presentation.

Nevertheless, there were rooms for us as the group members to improvise on certain aspects of the presentation via the post-mortem that we had after that. Though we worked as a group with full of team spirit besides putting lots of effort in making it better, things sometimes turned out to be in such a way that we never expected. It’s okay. We learnt from mistake and the experiences gained via the presentation made us learn a lot of values especially helping our friends who need out hands and shoulders. We have to be supportive towards our friends so that goals would be achieved as wanted. The lessons learnt would create a new path for all of us to perform better in upcoming attempts. Yes! We can do it. The confidence built and knowledge gained throughout the preparation and presentation would be useful in future undertakings.

In addition, Dr. Jessie’s suggestions to relating the issues from the articles to the points that are discussed was a good idea for us to understand and explain the topic assigned better. Though the topic, ‘Classroom Research’ looked very authentic for me as a teacher, the opportunity to know the real context of the topic was attained through the presentation. Now, I am even clearer about the topic and it is a great pleasure that in the days come, I could be able to explain to my friends confidently not only about my topic, but also my friends’ as well which was on Introspection Research, a study closely linked to thinking aloud process. Krashen’s ‘i+1’ theory on gaining some new input on the topics discussed would come in handy in doing researches in the future. Let’s be a researcher from the experience of being a teacher! Go for it!!!!!!!!!!

4. Princess Lina - November 15, 2011

September 23 2011, It was my first day attending SLA class. I was happy but at the same time I was scared and confused as It had been almost 6 years since I read any books or did any revision for test and exams. After attending the class, I was more confused. Anyhow, after attending the next class, I was not worried anymore. Having friends who are so friendly and helpful in the class really helped me to overcome the problems in understanding the subject. Dr Jessie is also very helpful in providing information and guiding me through this subject.

I can stiil remember, on the first day of the class, I had so many questions running through my mind about the course. As Dr Jessie was explaining to us the course outline, I was more confused whether I had made the right decision by taking up this course. We were given homework on our very first day of the course to read up chapter 1&2 from the textbook Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers (2009) and also to start looking for 5 articles for our first assignment, annotated bibliography. It was an easy task looking for the book but finally, Dr Jessie was kind enough to lend her book for us to photostate. When Dr Jessie was explaining the theories of SLA, I could not understand it at first but then looking at the examples provided by Dr Jessie, I was a bit relieved. Thank you, Dr Jessie….

5. Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - November 16, 2011

Cassandra Jothi Krishnan
PGP110022

The moment Dr Jessie informed us that our next evaluation is presentation of the chapters from d Doing Second Language Research text book, I was a little worried. Very worried actually as I had not presented for quite some time. The last I did presentation on educational related subject was in 2009 and that was during my under grade years.

I must admit that I was super scared as the day of my group’s presentation was nearing. Despite of countless meet ups with my other 2 loveable members, my confidence level wasn’t just there at its most confident peak. All I could say is whatever I do or say weren’t even of much help at that moment of time. I thought to myself, this time it isn’t the same as when I was sitting at my best comfort and evaluate my Diploma students presenting in front of the class but now it would be me presenting on a topic in front of my classmates with many pair of eyes scrutinizing at me which really scares me off.

It was actually on Deepavali day while I was busy washing the dirty plates that it made me thinking of it wouldn’t be that scary presenting in front of the class. Look at Dr. Jessie, she manages the class just fine. She makes the class lively every single week without failing. If my lecturer can do it, why can’t I? So, right there and then a flow of confidence entered me and I got all excited to present already. The Friday of the Deepavali week was our presentation. The 1st group presented theirs and my group went next. My group members and I were confident that we could deliver it well. We started off with a video clip from the “Mind Your Language” sitcom which was very mind relaxing due to the funny elements presented. Finally, it was time for me to present, I could have gone blue of out oxygen that instance if it wasn’t because of the positive thinking-words that popped out in my mind. I stood there and presented my points just like how I have imagined it. Dr Jessie’s way of teaching came into my mind at that time and I too want to make the class lively just like how she does it.

Eventually, we have presented our part and all 3 of us felt relieved and happy. It was now time for us to wait for the marks allocation.
So that night when we got to see the marks and comments given on our presentation, it made me felt proud of myself and my lovely group members. All our hardwork paid off immediately. I have never felt so proud of myself and my group members for being able to present confidently. Initially, I guess by being evaluated by my own fellow classmates was scary but it actually made us realized the mistakes we did, be it on the slides, way of presenting or even the information given. Not only that, evaluating your own classmates no joke. Seriously. Everyone has to learn how to become active listener and critique constructively and positively. This approach, I believe has made everyone a better evaluator.
Lastly, before I end my reflection I would like to congratulate all those who had presented for the job well done and good luck to those presenting in future and thank you Dr. Jessie for giving us the opportunity to act as a lecturer to evaluate our classmates.

6. Anita a/p V. Sivanesan ( PGP110010) - November 16, 2011

Anita a/p V.Sivanesan (PGP110010)
Course requirement 3
Commentaries of previous class discussion

Reflection 1
Theories in Second Language Acquisition

Summary
Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism are the three theories explained in the second and third lecture by Dr. Jessie. Behaviouristic model focuses on learning through stimulus – response method. This theory is popular among ESL teachers teaching low proficiency students in Malaysia. They feel these students are not able to perform on their own, thus they need complete guidance from the teacher.
Cognitivist theory is constantly on learning as an active, mental process. The role of the teacher is to arrange and present new information in such a way that learners can relate the new information to their own mental structure and previous knowledge.
Constructivism focuses on social interaction and discovery learning through the construction of meaning. While cognitivism emphasises on cognitive (mental) skills, contructivism the other hand, pays attention to both cognitive and social skills. Learning is acquired through collaboration, i.e. interaction among the students. Students work together to figure out the meaning and make sense of the learning. They use language as a means of communication. Hence learning and acquiring a language is more meaningful this way.

Reflection
Eventhough I learnt all these theories in my first degree, but after 10 years, they were quite vague. When Dr. Jessie’s first asked us to explain the theories, I was quite nervous because I couldn’t remember them clearly. But by viewing the video clips of the theories and various prompting by Dr Jessie, I had a clearer picture of the theories I learnt before. Thank you, Dr. Jessie for activating my background knowledge and helping me understand the theories better. Even when we were asked to discuss the theories in groups, my group members and I were a little confused between the cognitive approach and the constructivist approach. We were afraid to present, in case we wrongly presented. But after discussing and re-reading the notes we were able to help each other understand the theories better. I took brave step and decided to present 1st, hoping that nothing goes wrong. Thank god, Dr. Jessie found no errors in my presentation. Thus the contructivist approach was used by Dr Jessie in teaching the theories, whereby we used collaborative learning in helping each other understand the theories better. Then in the 3rd lecture, Dr. Jessie showed us more video clips of the theories which were truly remarkable. Her power point presentation truly enhanced my understanding of the theories taught. I am now able to differentiate quite clearly between the three theories.
In my language classroom, I usually adopt the Constructivist Approach to language learning. After teaching the content / topic, I usually get the pupils to carryout group based task. They complete the task in groups and present it to the class. Hence the pupils are forced to use the L2 to communicate in order to complete the task. This not only improves their communicative skills but also their language proficiency as a whole.
Learning the theories has also helped me figure out the best theory for my thesis in SLA. Since my research is on improving listening skills, thus I chose the Cognitive Approach. Comprehension is achieved if the pupils are able to activate their schemata by having some insight into their background knowledge of the topic under discussion. Thus this will enable them to become more proficient listeners and be able to communicate competently in the outside world.

Reflection 2
Classroom research

Summary
In a nutshell, classroom research is a study of what goes on in a classroom. It is an interaction analysis of teacher and learner, and learner and learner. Classroom research can be based on a variety of topics, such as, teacher questions, teacher error correction, quantity of teacher speech, teacher explanation and teacher ‘wait- time’ for learner responses. There are many aspects of interaction between teacher and learner, especially the types of errors made by pupils, the ways the errors are corrected by the teacher and the pupils’ preferences in it. Learner and learner interaction is about cooperative learning, whereby pupils interact in groups while performing a particular task.
Interpreting classroom research is not as easy as it seems. From a wholistic view, researchers only analyse and interpret a small portion of their observation and findings. Thus the findings of the research are not completely accurate. Three areas in which classroom interaction studies have major influence on discussion on language pedagogy are teacher-student interaction, student-student interaction and student-text interaction. The first two has been explained earlier. The third is an interaction between the author and reader. Thus reading is seen as an interactive process. There are many reasons, including personal interest for carrying classroom interaction research and a more focussed look can bring insight and ideas for practicing teachers.

Reflection
Classroom research is an interesting research to be carried out, since as a teacher, I’m faced with this situation everyday in my classroom. By studying classroom research, I’m able to reflect on my teaching and how much input the pupils really acquire. When looking at the type of errors and the ways those errors are corrected, I remember similar instances of my pupils’ errors and how I corrected them. One such instance was when a year 5 pupil could not pronounce the letter ‘h’ in ‘house’ due to mother tongue intervention. He pronounced it as /auz/. I tried many ways, especially phonetically to help him pronounce the sound of /h/ but to no avail. Then, since he was a malay boy, I asked him to translate the word ‘thirsty’ in BM. He told me it was ‘haus’. I asked him to repeat it faster and faster. Thus he was able to say ‘house’ with the correct pronunciation of /hauz/. This is a case of phonological error and correction method included modelling the correct form, explaining the correct form, telling him ( student) what to say and finally what worked was prompting the correct form with the help of his mother tongue.
Eventhough there are many views of what constitutes a good teaching, I strongly agree with axiom 1 and 5. Axiom 1 states that ‘learners learn more effectively when given positive feedback (praise, approval) than negative feedback (criticism, disapproval)’, while Axiom 5 states that ‘the more language interaction involving learner participation that goes on in class, the better the opportunities for language learning’. I find my pupils learn better and produce better results when positive feedback is given. Their communicative skills and language proficiency is also enhanced when they participate in collaborative learning though interaction among learners.
Lastly, among the enthusiasm for classroom interaction research listed in the book, I personally find the ‘importance of education improvement’ as the key factor if I’m to do this research. There are a lot of things, we as teachers would like to improve in the education system. The programmes are planned one way but carried out in another; and some not carried out at all due to time constraints, such as the teaching of listening and speaking skills. This is because the schools these days are exam orientated and focus more on writing skills and final results. Hence the teaching of listening and speaking is forgotten. This is the reason why our straight A students lack communicative competence in the outside world. Therefore this has pushed me to do a research on improving the listening skills among primary school pupils for my SLA assignment. I hope this study will give insight to what is happening currently in schools and change the mind set of the school administrators to produce students who are able to use the language competently in the outside world rather than just producing good results in exams.
During presentation of this topic, I was quite nervous. I’m always nervous when it comes to any presentation. I always speak fast when I’m nervous. There were many things that I wanted to say during my presentation, such as sharing my experience of correcting my pupil’s phonological error of the sound /h/ etc. But due to my nervousness, it slipped my mind. I even planned to explain the research that I looked up on error correction slowly and clearly, but when I was put in front of the class, I just rushed to finish up. But nevertheless, this is a good experience and I hope I’ll do better in my future presentations. Thank you Dr. Jessie for giving me this opportunity in public speaking and in spite of my nervousness, I think we as a group did quite well. By looking at the marks awarded to us by our friends, we were truly at the top of the world. Thank you very much for your support, my dear classmates.

7. PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - November 20, 2011

Reflection 3 – Pushpa Kandasamy (PGP110002)

Hi friends, have you got the letters? Who are your supervisors? Oh! Mine I managed to get it on….. . Oh really! How come mine is not…….? What a colourful expressions and feelings that I could see on the faces of the friends of mine from PBGS 6113. Some were happy while others were puzzled and didn’t even know what was going on! As I was busy talking and observing the situation, there came …. ‘Gorgeous!’ Who else, Dr Jessie walked in attractively which had caught not only my eyes but surely my buddies’ as well. After a short break, finally we were happy to be pooled together with a new resolution and mind set.

‘Surely, they would have prepared very well as they could have learnt from the previous presenters. In fact there shouldn’t be rooms for them to say that it is time consuming.’ As I was thinking about the presenters and their topics, all the doubts that I had upon doing some homework on the topics targeted for the day, I could be visualised in order to get clarifications.

I should really stay focused on their presentation as it would come in handy for me to get a better understanding in doing my interim draft assigned by Dr Jessie. ‘Descriptive statistics research’ was the eye opener for the day as I could be able to get a lot of valuable information to do my report on the classroom based research conducted. “How am I going to do data analysis? Am I supposed to analyse all the items given in the questionnaire? I couldn’t get a clearer picture?”, were some of the questions that crossed in my mind, however, I could be able to solve the problem based on the explanation given by Dr Jessie not only in the midst of the presentations but also towards the end of each and every session of the presentation. I was over the moon as I could start doing my interim draft with a proper guidance from my friends and also ‘The Constructivist’, Dr Jessie. Her vivid explanation and appropriate assistance in showing the correct path to be followed in completing the task assigned, I truly appreciate.

Now I know why we have to be constructivists! ‘Learn to explore and explore to learn’ is the key statement of the year that I have to practice in my journey of life as an educator. Though it was a bit difficult in the beginning, the positive attitude that we have in ourselves via constructivist theory could actually allow us to learn better and it was evident from the performance done by the presenters. The confusion which I had in determining the difference between a case study and an experimental study was cleared upon listening to the presentation by the presenters as well as Dr Jessie’s justification by just mentioning one word ’UNIQUE’ – an absolute keyword that I could grasp and save in my hard-disk permanently. Now onwards, I should not misuse the word case study in writing any academic proposals. Thank you dears. To put it in a nutshell, 18.11.2011- Friday, is a day in my life that I really learn a lot of information which would come in handy in my daily life.

Douglas Adams quotes that, ‘I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.’ Yes, PBGS 6113 – Research in Second Language Acquisition has really created a supreme platform for me to land and explore more about teaching and learning of English as a second language. The knowledge gained would be useful in my future undertakings.

8. Nabila Anwar - November 21, 2011

Nabila Bt Noor Anwar
PGP110026

Reflection 1

My first day in SLA class. Excited, happy and there is a part of me that is still not ready. What kind of lecture would this be? How was the lecturer? Those are the questions that keep popping up in my mind. To be true I was not the one for research stuffs even during my undergraduate years. Dr Jessie started the class by giving us a brief explanation about the course outline and the requirements needed for the course. As she started my mind raced like mad..ok..cool..research..uhuh and to make matters worse for me she assigned us to the assignments that was needed. Great..I thought. Scared, confused and puzzled all these feelings bottled up inside me. Can I get this done on time? Will I do well? How should I start this off? The very first assignments Annotated Bibliography itself left me with thousands of questions.

All right I said. Phase 1 of the course. Had to start reading journals soon I said to myself. Afraid, yes I was. But the only solution to it is just do your best. And with the help of Dr Jessie who never grew tired of giving us her never ending guidance really made me felt relieved and confident. And with her help that changed my perspective towards research. Research is not that bad after all. Thank you Dr Jessie. I know I will learn a lot from this class.

Reflection 2

The second lecture. Today Dr Jessie started the lecture about the theories of SLA. I could still remember learning them during my first degree and it’s been a while since I encounter these names again. Krashen, Pavlov and others. Welcome back, I giggled to myself. During my first degree I memorized these theories rather than understanding them. Dr Jessie interesting lecture provided with examples and videos made a good kick start. Her clear explanations made me understand the theories better.

For me, SLA is one of an interesting subject. Dr Jessie made the class lively and interesting although the class was rather passive at times. Thank you, Dr Jessie for the interesting lecture. It was awesome. This lecture also made me sit back and reflect on my teaching during my teaching days. Her clear explanation let me see what I didn’t manage to see before and soon it started to dawn on me that I never fully utilize all the theories given. Ok took that in mind. Next time I’ll be sure to remember these theories and adapt them. I am really looking forward to this class.

9. Nabila Anwar - November 21, 2011

Reflection 3
Nabila Noor Anwar PGP110026

14 October 2011- The due date for my very first assignment in research in SLA class. Believe me, it wasn’t an easy task although it may look simple on the outside. But that’s what people say “Never judge a book by its cover”. Countless and long pages of journals to read and in the end summarize it into 5 sentences only. Nevertheless, I took my time and I had pleasure in doing them. After all, readings can give you more information on various issues in this world of learning and education.

Shock! That was my first expression when I realized that my first draft of the annotated bibliography was way beyond correct. No ISI journals and not in line with the topic that I had in my mind. But, that didn’t diminish my spirit to work even harder. It was my lifelong motto to never give up. Not half way like this. So, within the limited time given and staying at wee hours to read and summarize all the journals I manage to gather 11 ISI journals which I find interesting and use full for my research later on . “A job well done” I said to myself. Although I didn’t manage to gather 15 ISI journals still I am satisfied with what I have. Alas when I handed in my assignments I noticed that it wasn’t organized in alphabetical orders. Good work, of all the things that would be incorrect in my annotated bibliography is this? Therefore, without further delay as soon as I reached home I edited my work and resend it. Phew~ that was close. Sorry Dr Jessie for the mistakes. Promise to be extra careful next time.

When I started to work on with the assignment I really had the pleasure of reading the journals. It was interesting to know the different issues that were being reflected by various people. It gave me a whole new impression in the world of language teaching as I discovered various methods that was both fun and effective in second language vocabulary learning. It made me reflect on my teaching days. How I wish I had encounter with these ISI journals before. Well never mind, this is not the end I thought I can still use them when I set my foot in the path of teaching again.
I have a long way to go and this is only the beginning.

10. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - November 22, 2011

REFLECTION 1
I have to say that the decision to enrol myself in post-grad studies is a surreal experience, as I have met with so many people that share the same interest as me, which is language teaching. Many of them are much more experienced and knowledgeable than me, which I find quite liberating as they did share their fair share of knowledge in class, and I did learn one of two new things from them : ). Even though that I had taken ‘Second language acquisition ‘subject during my degree years, I found that this ‘Research in SLA’ has broaden my perspective on how our education scene revolves. This subject emphasis more on thinking outside the box about the reasoning behind education theories rather than memorising those theories for the sake of scoring examination, which is what learning is all about, thinking about the subject matter in a more in depth manner.
I’m learning new things from every lesson and I hope to learn more 🙂

11. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - November 22, 2011

REFLECTION 2
It was our second class, as I remembered. Dr. Jessie and the whole class were discussing on the issue of educational theories (behaviourism, cognitivism, etc). That was a very heated discussion, I would rather say. Some of us did rebut on some statements, and gave their own reason for their objection. Dr. Jessie then popped out a question for the whole class to answer. She asked us about the theory that our own Malaysian Education Ministry believed on, and most of the class said ‘communicative approach’, whereby students learn English language in order for them to communicate functionally with the society. I personally felt that the approach chosen is equally important to the reason why the students want to learn the language in the first place. That sort of reminds me of a conversation that I have once had with my fellow students. They said that even though that they really enjoyed English class, they tried to strive for the best grade merely for their CGPA (cumulative point grade average), not for their personal attainment of knowledge, I did feel annoyed but sad at the same time as I feel that learning is about experiencing the whole process, not about just thinking about the end result, which is the grade that they achieved. To me the important thing is not on the approach that was used, but the students’ mindset.

12. LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - November 22, 2011

Although I did know that ‘The early bird catches the worm’, I also believed in the saying ‘Better late than never’. For our second SLA class on the fateful 30 September 2011 , my tardiness was most unforeseen and totally unforgiving. Frankly, I could go on forever explaining regarding why and how I could not come to class on time. For this reflection, I would just be as brief as I could. First, there was a fire at the bus station. Then, my bus trip was delayed. The traffic jams along the way made things worse. The heavy downpour was not much of a help either. I was just praying to the Almighty that I could reach KL safely at that moment. Once I arrived at the KL bus station, I took a taxi straight to the UM, burning a big hole in my pocket of course. For the sake of the SLA class, I did not mind going through all the hassle and sacrifices just to be there. On hindsight, deep in my heart, I was adamant that I enjoyed learning and had the passion to study. That was why I enrolled in the course in the first place.

While I was in the taxi, I was preparing various excuses and I was imagining all 30-35 pair of eyes staring at me once I reached the class. I also knew that almost everyone would be concentrating on the SLA lecture when I appeared out of the blue. But I couldn’t care less. I could have just missed the class and did not have to face the music at all. I could have taken the easy way out but I would have missed a precious lesson on SLA by Dr Jessie and deprived myself of the invaluable discussions with my peers in the class. Finally I made a tough choice by attending the class bearing in mind that I was actually taking a risk. Dr Jessie might reprimand me while everyone in the class would boo or jeer at me perhaps. Nevertheless, I stuck to my personal principle of “Better late than never’. In fact, the outcome of it all was the least that I had expected. I was very late to class, an hour late to be exact. After apologizing for being late, Dr Jessie just said ‘Oh, you are early for the next class.’ “Ouch, that hurts!’ Well, I was resilient and strong enough to accept such comments as it was indeed my fault. I also vowed to try my best so that I would not be late to class again.

13. LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - November 23, 2011

In the third week of Dr Jessie’s lecture, I especially enjoyed the debate/forum on the four theories-behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism and humanism. Upon reflection, I actually preferred behaviourism and humanism theories for the teaching of younger learners, in this context, I am referring to Year 1-3 pupils. I find it tough to control the class in a constructivism classroom in which pupils are actively involved in constructing their own knowledge through group work and research. Lower primary pupils are also not trained to learn through project work, discussions, team work etc. It takes a longer period of time to get them to be independent learners and not be too dependent on the teachers. It is an uphill task to implement such methods in a large class size in Malaysia. Another hindrance is that I am the only teacher in class with no assistants or helpers. It is virtually impossible to give attention and focus to all the 40 pupils in one class. As a teacher, I will be bombarded with questions from the pupils and the class might be chaotic at times. Another point worth considering is that many classes in Malaysia are mixed-ability classes. What I am saying here is that even in a ‘good’ class, for example 1A, there are still many who are not proficient in English language. This is because the streaming is done according to the overall grade percentage. A child may be good at Mathematics, Science, Malay language and do poorly in English but he or she may still be in the first class because of a better overall average grade. Therefore, even in the first class, differentiation is important.

Another issue I wish to highlight here is regarding Multiple Intelligences. I am well aware that as teachers, we should incorporate as many different teaching and learning styles to cater for the pupils who may learn better or be more motivated to learn in one method or another. But, time constraint is usually a factor in the Malaysian classrooms, therefore, I feel saddened as I had not been able to expose my learners to more teaching and learning methodologies which may appeal to them. Based on personal experience, I think one-third of my classroom time is spent on classroom/behaviour management, another one-third on housekeeping matters and giving instructions which leaves only one-third of the lesson for actual language input and content. I am sure this is similar to many of my peer’s real-life experiences in class. While attending Dr Jessie’s lessons, I often ponder how to put theory into practice as well as how to adapt and adopt what I have learnt in the classroom. I suggest using an eclectic approach whenever possible in the teaching and learning of English language in the Malaysian classrooms. Now, I believe there is no such a thing as the best practice but we can try to experiment and work out the most effective practice to suit our learners

As widely acknowledged, one very pertinent issue today is the examination-oriented education system in Malaysia. Sometimes, I wish I could incorporate more fun and meaningful learning in class. But, because of the constant push for academic achievement by the school and district heads, I had no choice but to resort to drillings and exercises especially for my Year 6 classes. I feel guilty that I am neglecting the listening and speaking aspects of the English language component which are only taught ‘on paper’ as these skills are not tested in the UPSR examinations. Dr Jessie has reminded us time and again that we need to ensure our pupils can communicate in English in their daily life rather than just scoring in the examinations. An interesting comparison that I can make here is that for my Year 1 classes, the way things are is completely different. For Year 1, in line with the new KSSR curriculum, I am given more freedom and leeway to teach according to the methods I like to cater for the learners. It is no longer about completing the textbook syllabus but more to mastery of skills. The English periods have also been increased so I have more time to impart knowledge and give more attention to the weaker learners in class. I try to use more game-like or hands-on activities in the class, creating a fun-learning and non-threatening environment for the pupils. I also teach using songs, rhymes, jazz-chants and maximize the impact of Total Physical Response (TPR) for the Year 1 pupils. I could see they enjoyed the classes a lot. Although using 100% English as a medium of instruction and communication for Year 1 was a stumbling block at first, I found that after one full year, most of the pupils could understand at least 85 percent of what I said in class. Some have even tried using English when conversing with me in and outside of class. In short, I have managed to try out more English language learning approaches and theories in my Year 1 class as compared to my Year 6 UPSR class. I am more satisfied with the Year 1’s achievement as I could see them progress in every component-Listening and Speaking, Reading, Writing and Language Arts. This form of job satisfaction should spur me on to strive harder for the betterment of the learners, school and nation as a whole in future.

14. Safiatun Baharom (PGP 110009) - November 23, 2011

1st Reflection
The discussion on the behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism theories for the past three weeks was a flashback of what has been taught during my undergraduate’s studies 18 years ago. At first everything seemed so blur and hazy (shamed on me). But as the lectures and classroom discussions went on, I could recall some of the things I’ve learnt earlier. I would say that some of Dr. Jessie’s questions really make me think of the teaching approaches I’m using to teach my students.
In the behaviourist theory, the learning is structured. Language is broken into pieces and learned through rote and drills. Normally, the teacher uses the reward for learners who can master the structure. Negative reinforcement will also be given to learner who failed to acquire the structure. This is the way how grammar was taught to me. Tenses were memorized and spelling mistakes were not tolerated. Though a lot have criticized the behaviourist, I personally think that this approach is good in teaching ESL students grammar at the early stage of the L2 as it will prepare them for other skills in the target language.
So much so I used the behaviourist theory for the less proficient learners. The first reason is that they have low self esteem and are not independent. They really depend on the teacher to guide them in the learning process. So, they will be very happy if they are able to remember the structure and get it right. This will really make my students happy and boost their self esteem and lower their affective filter. And this has brought a lot of changes in the mood of the learning of the L2.
As for my intermediate and proficient learners, they are more independent and have a better or good foundation of L2. Normally, the language activities that I designed are more communicative depending on the students’ level. So the theories of cognitivism and constructivism will be adapted in these classes. My function is more to facilitate and guide the students. Students link what they know to the new things they learnt. This will be the cognitive process that happens in their brain. And they will normally collaborate with others and used their own experience to solve a given task.
I hoped that the course will enlighten me and give me a better understanding of how my students learned the target language. I would also like to thank Dr. Jessie for the interesting slides (though it was a bit fast, I could not get all of your notes Doc….) and discussion we had during the lectures.

15. Safiatun Baharom (PGP 110009) - November 23, 2011

2nd Reflection.
When Dr. Jessie told the class about the group assignment, I personally took it positively because I love group work. Firstly, I feel that the discussion helps the understanding of the task and secondly it will lead the group to generate a better presentation. So, my group (Group 7) decided to choose Chapter 4 for our classroom presentation. The objective of the presentation is to facilitate the other students in the class to understand Classroom Research.
Before the group met, we have already assigned reading to be done at home. The first time we met was at Anita’s place. The discussion went smoothly as we already have ideas how to make our presentation interesting. One of us was thinking of going to school to get a video of what happen in the classroom. But due to some bureaucratic problems, we cancelled our plans and decided to search from the net. In the discussion we have decided to make our slides simple and concise as the time given to the group was only 20 minutes. At the end of the discussion, we have already divided the workload for preparing the slides and assigned the presenters. Then the group met once more to see individuals’ slides and try to organize the slides.
The day finally arrived when we had to do our presentation. We managed to catch our friends’ interest and mood by watching the sitcom. I did the first part of the chapter by giving definition of the term research and classroom. Next, I described the term interaction and what are the areas of classroom interaction research. My other group members, talk about the other sub topics. Overall, I think group 7 has done a good job. I’m thankful to my group members; Anita and Cassandra for their hard work and dedication in order to make this assignment a success. Thank you to Dr. Jessie for giving us the chance to explore learning thru this approach.

16. Erin Balqis Qing - November 28, 2011

REFLECTION 1

PGP 110025 Balqis Shi Qingqing

As the lectures go on, I began to think more about SLA. I have heard that ‘the best teachers are those who equip students to think for themselves.’

I think education is not an end, but a means to an end. In other words, we do not educate children only for educating them. Our purpose is to fit them for life.

In some modern countries it has been fashionable to think that free education for all can solve all the problems of society and build a perfect nation. But we can already see that free education for all is not enough. We find in such countries a far larger number of people with university degrees refusing to do what they think is “low” work, and. in fact, working with one’s hands is thought to be dirty and shameful in such countries. But we have only to think a moment to understand that the work of a completely uneducated farmer is far more important than that of a professor~ we can live without education, but we die if we have no food. If no one cleaned our streets and took the rubbish away from our houses, we should get terrible diseases in our towns.

In fact, when we say that all of us must be educated to fit us for life, it means that we must be educated in such a way that, firstly, each of us can do whatever work is suited to his brains and ability and, secondly, that we can realize that all jobs are necessary to society, and that it is very bad to be ashamed of one’s work. Only such a type of education can be considered valuable to society.

I’m very serious to this English education course. Because I know things that I have learned will be used in the future. I must take responsibility for my future students. And I also observe how lecturers teach and try to imitate their methods to teach. Yes, I agree that teaching is a lift long process.

^_^

17. PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN - November 29, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)

Course requirements 3: Commentaries on previous class discussion

23rd September 2011, was my first day attending Research in Sla class. To be honest, I was in a combination of blended feelings because I knew that this is not going to be an easy journey of education since I enrolled myself as a part timer in the postgraduate studies as well as managing myself lecturing in college and since I’m not from the Tesl background because my first degree was in Literature in English. So, I’m basically a newborn infant to the education contour given that I have missed countless terms and approach which are related and taught during the undergraduate years (education). But, since I’m a confident and courage’s person, I believe that I’m able to face challenges despite discerning my effort which will be rewarded at the end of my studies.

Consequently while waiting for our research in SLA lecturer on the very first day, I did mingle around with my co-mates, discussing about the paper that we have decided to enroll ourselves. Finally, after waiting for like about 10 minutes, here comes the elegant lecturer, DR Jessie. During the first class itself, Dr Jessie epigrammatic enlighten us about the learning outcomes (applying principals and theories), critical understanding (major issues and theories) along with insights using the cognitive and linguistics approach. Dr Jessie also elucidates about the course requirements which we will be applying for this course. We were also given a task to read chapter 1 & 2 (Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers, 2009) whereby I was a bit petrified because it was beyond my expectation. Subsequently, realising that this is a research class, I took the task valiantly and decided to read the book. In addition to that, we were also assigned by DR Jessie to work on the first assignment which is our annotated bibliography. DR Jessie was indeed kind enough to provide us useful links (links on guidelines for writing project paper) as a consequence, it rally round me to read those thoughts, perhaps improving my knowledge on the particular approach. On the other hand, I did explore a lot since I was working on this assignment because I’ve to rummage around for journals related to the research topic. As I was reading the journals, I realise that I’ve learn a lot and I could feel that I am a transformed person for the reason that after reading about three journals, I as a student able to analyse the insights of the journals. Thanks a lot Dr Jessie for giving us the urge to explore journals by ourselves and not spoon feeding us whereby the outcome will be pretty passive since students tend to take things for granted 

Week 3
30th September 2011, was my second class and eventually I could sense that I’ve learned quite a lot after exploring the journals and at this point of time, I may perhaps feel that I am way confident in facing the class erudition. Basically, DR Jessie explained to us on the three theories (second language acquisition) which are the behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Personally, I enjoyed the class due to the teaching approach. DR Jessie took the initiative to endow us with slides and videos in order for us to capture the theories in-depth and comprehensively. Upon manifestation, I prefer cognitivism compared to behaviorism and constructivism. The reason is simply because; congitivism is a design behavior whereby it’s a processing model in response to behaviorism. Since I’m teaching young adults which are the undergraduate students range from 17 to 21 years old, hence congitivism is an approach in which getting student as in whole to participate in class whereby the teacher guides the students on the meticulous topic in which a teacher provides charts and diagrams which facilitate learners to immerse in a challenging and fearless environment. On the other hand, students encompass an independent studying environment in which they are competent to organise information and concepts linking to prior knowledge. This will therefore enhance students’ capability and competence in approaching the subject matter. Hence, cognitivism is worth considering since the large scale of a class which occupies about 30 students. And from time to time, as a teacher, I’ll be bombard with questions from the students. In a nutshell, cognitivism is a perspective approach since it creates an essential leaning which connects teacher and student is a circle interaction.

Week 4
10th October 2011, cognition and language development. Profoundly, the scheme explicate about the aptitude approach deals and dwells in a semantic learning using the cognitive development. The processing stage is a set of communication between teacher and learner or learner and leaner. The relationship governed reconstructs learner traits in approaching questions, strategies and learning styles in a dynamic and reflective loom. This is indeed an essential technique of learning because as a teacher, it is significant for me to analyze learner traits so that I’m able to acquire a learner’s ability based on the faculty of language (L1 to L2), grammar as well as social interaction within a conversation among teacher and learner.

28th October 2011 until 25th November 2011 Report on the book by numerous groups whereby each group reported on the chapter assigned. Hence, this is indeed an active and dynamic research activity performed by us as in a group, thus permit the class to comprehend the chapter in a wide-ranging approach. Hat’s off to the entire group.

In one piece, handful thanks to DR Jessie. Dr, you have guided us throughout the semester and we are grateful to have u around.
I utmost my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

18. PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - November 30, 2011

REFLECTION 4

BINGO!!!! It’s time for me to reflect on my lecturer. What to comment on a role model who has opened my eyes today. Having nightmares due to inferiority complex whether all the assignments assigned could be able to finish on time really made me to hardly digest everything that went through for the past two weeks in my life as a varsity student. Always motivating myself intrinsically to be the bird as early as possible in completing whatever tasks assigned to me sometimes make me to work round the clock and burn midnight oil just because of the doubts mounting in my mind without getting proper clarifications. This really tortured me on finding ways to address certain crucial problems until I could attend Dr Jessie’s class today (30.11.2011)

I could just feel that I was on a boat without a paddle to direct me until I found one to come to the shore after floating on the ocean with full of questions not really on real life survival skills but the skills on academic writing. What a relief! During the lecture, I really gained a lot and managed to clarify the doubts in completing my interim draft. The step by step process in presenting the points for carrying out both quantitative and qualitative researches truly comes in handy not only to complete out tasks but for future undertakings. The steps in the research process explained patiently and full heartedly by the lecturer gave me a better picture on how to go about it. A part from the valuable information gained via the presentations from the peers, the added knowledge obtained today was absolutely worthwhile.

Now I could give a ‘thumbs-up’ for myself that I could differentiate on many aspects of the stages involved in the research writing process. How to construct research questions based on the variables was the most critical part of the whole research writing process which I could learn clearly today. Though I read the journals in order to understand the process of conducting and writing a research paper, the room for doubts would always be there just because of I am going through the process of learning. If I were to assign to count the number of times I uttered the word ‘ohhhhh! and ‘nodding of heads’, for sure would be countless which really shows that today’s lecture was an eye-opener! Experimental … quasi experimental… control group …experimental group….. pre-test… post-test… have become very common now in which I could reflect and relate to my own written interim draft on the area of weaknesses that needed amendments.

Ability to answer the short sweet yet challenging exercise assigned towards the end of the lesson really gave me extra tonic to go for it…. What else the evidence would be rather than the time of this reflection was put into words…12.10 a.m, (01.12.2011) – no kidding! Being able to write the general topic and bringing it to a narrower direction towards the research questions was a hands-on activity as to test our understanding of the overall process of producing a research paper. Though we worked as a big family under one umbrella in presenting the topics on different types of research in SLA, we still needed guidance from our expert to sharpen the blunt skills especially in the process of conducting and writing a research paper. Thank you, Dr Jessie.

The fire from the eyes not only of mine but also my course mates’ as well, could really be seen when the words ‘seminar…viva’ were heard. The enthusiasm in us by asking questions on how to defend ourselves showed that we are indirectly visualising the sweet moment of proudly declaring ourselves that ‘we’re the masters holders’. Time and tide wait for no man. Surely, our dream will come true one day.

In a nutshell, attending the class from 2 p.m. up to 8.p.m. really made me to think on behalf of my friends on what a waste for those who couldn’t be able to turn up for today’s lecture on research writing due to certain inevitable reasons. Well, friends no worries. We are there to help one another, so let’s cheer up guys!!!!

19. PRASHENA NAIR A/P PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - December 1, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)
Course requirements 3: Commentaries on previous class discussion

23rd September 2011, was my first day attending Research in Sla class. To be honest, I was in a combination of blended feelings because I knew that this is not going to be an easy journey of education since I enrolled myself as a part timer in the postgraduate studies as well as managing myself lecturing in college and since I’m not from the Tesl background because my first degree was in Literature in English. So, I’m basically a newborn infant to the education contour given that I have missed countless terms and approach which are related and taught during the undergraduate years (education). But, since I’m a confident and courage’s person, I believe that I’m able to face challenges despite discerning my effort which will be rewarded at the end of my studies.
Consequently while waiting for our research in SLA lecturer on the very first day, I did mingle around with my co-mates, discussing about the paper that we have decided to enroll ourselves. Finally, after waiting for like about 10 minutes, here comes the elegant lecturer, DR Jessie. During the first class itself, Dr Jessie epigrammatic enlighten us about the learning outcomes (applying principals and theories), critical understanding (major issues and theories) along with insights using the cognitive and linguistics approach. Dr Jessie also elucidates about the course requirements which we will be applying for this course. We were also given a task to read chapter 1 & 2 (Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers, 2009) whereby I was a bit petrified because it was beyond my expectation. Subsequently, realising that this is a research class, I took the task valiantly and decided to read the book. In addition to that, we were also assigned by DR Jessie to work on the first assignment which is our annotated bibliography. DR Jessie was indeed kind enough to provide us useful links (links on guidelines for writing project paper) as a consequence, it rally round me to read those thoughts, perhaps improving my knowledge on the particular approach. On the other hand, I did explore a lot since I was working on this assignment because I’ve to rummage around for journals related to the research topic. As I was reading the journals, I realise that I’ve learn a lot and I could feel that I am a transformed person for the reason that after reading about three journals, I as a student able to analyse the insights of the journals. Thanks a lot Dr Jessie for giving us the urge to explore journals by ourselves and not spoon feeding us whereby the outcome will be pretty passive since students tend to take things for granted 

Week 3
30th September 2011, was my second class and eventually I could sense that I’ve learned quite a lot after exploring the journals and at this point of time, I may perhaps feel that I am way confident in facing the class erudition. Basically, DR Jessie explained to us on the three theories (second language acquisition) which are the behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Personally, I enjoyed the class due to the teaching approach. DR Jessie took the initiative to endow us with slides and videos in order for us to capture the theories in-depth and comprehensively. Upon manifestation, I prefer cognitivism compared to behaviorism and constructivism. The reason is simply because; congitivism is a design behavior whereby it’s a processing model in response to behaviorism. Since I’m teaching young adults which are the undergraduate students range from 17 to 21 years old, hence congitivism is an approach in which getting student as in whole to participate in class whereby the teacher guides the students on the meticulous topic in which a teacher provides charts and diagrams which facilitate learners to immerse in a challenging and fearless environment. On the other hand, students encompass an independent studying environment in which they are competent to organise information and concepts linking to prior knowledge. This will therefore enhance students’ capability and competence in approaching the subject matter. Hence, cognitivism is worth considering since the large scale of a class which occupies about 30 students. And from time to time, as a teacher, I’ll be bombard with questions from the students. In a nutshell, cognitivism is a perspective approach since it creates an essential leaning which connects teacher and student is a circle interaction.
Week 4
10th October 2011, cognition and language development. Profoundly, the scheme explicate about the aptitude approach deals and dwells in a semantic learning using the cognitive development. The processing stage is a set of communication between teacher and learner or learner and leaner. The relationship governed reconstructs learner traits in approaching questions, strategies and learning styles in a dynamic and reflective loom. This is indeed an essential technique of learning because as a teacher, it is significant for me to analyze learner traits so that I’m able to acquire a learner’s ability based on the faculty of language (L1 to L2), grammar as well as social interaction within a conversation among teacher and learner.
28th October 2011 until 25th November 2011 Report on the book by numerous groups whereby each group reported on the chapter assigned. Hence, this is indeed an active and dynamic research activity performed by us as in a group, thus permit the class to comprehend the chapter in a wide-ranging approach. Hat’s off to the entire group.
In one piece, handful thanks to DR Jessie. Dr, you have guided us throughout the semester and we are grateful to have u around. I utmost my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

20. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - December 1, 2011

REFLECTION 3
Phew! What a relief, I uttered to myself after the end of our group presentation. I think that most students think that giving a presentation is a daunting task (including me :p ), as people will look at you and judging the things you are saying, and the presentation jitters isn’t helping either. As scary as the word ‘presentation’ sounds, giving presentation actually is a good tool for scraping the fear of public speaking out of you and acts as a platform for you give a brief explanation on your personal understanding on t the issue or topic presented.
Before all of you will fall into boredom of hearing about the pro’s and con’s of giving presentation, let’s just rewind back on the main topic of this entry, which is about my group presentation on Chapter 7, ‘quasi experimental’, last week.
The preparation for the presentation was tiring yet fun at the same time, and having a great bunch of group mates is a plus point indeed : ). They were committed to their task, even though some of them are working. The presentation was a smooth sailing one, I would rather say. The last part of the presentation, which is the Q and A session with other groups was the part that I would remember the most, as it make us as the whole presenting group ponder on certain aspect that we tend to overlook. I would like to thank other groups for all of your comments in our class’s ‘Facebook’ group, on how our presentation can be improved, and such. : ) . Those comments were helpful in assessing the areas that our group lacks in.

21. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - December 2, 2011

REFLECTION 4
The replacement class
The last day of November, to be exact was the day for our class back to back 5 hours lectures to replace the two classes that we have missed. I was wondering before the class begin on whether I would feel bored, lethargic after the end of the class, or would it be a fun filled, informative class.

My wall of those doubting and wondering finally take apart during the class. The lecture was very informative and insightful. Many issues and facts about quantitative and qualitative research were explored and explained briefly by Dr.Jessie. Only during that class I know about the differences of writing research hypotheses, research problem, etc, in accordance to the type of research, might it be quantitative type or qualitative type.

To me, that particular class act as a very helpful medium to mediate my understanding of what research is all about. : )

22. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - December 2, 2011

REFLECTION 5

2nd December 2011

The date of 2nd December 2011 marked as our first session of lecture for this month. In this session, Dr. Jessie showed the whole class about the course requirement and the mark allocations for them, because she felt that some of us are still feeling unclear or rather vague on the tasks that we need to execute for this subject.

Dr. Jessie then mentioned about our second presentation, where all of us need to work with our own group, whereby an article need to be chose and critically analyzed. The analysis then will be presented in front of other groups for further discussion. I am feeling quite anxious about the presentation as I don’t know how it will turn out like. : S

23. PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - December 4, 2011

REFLECTION 5 (02.12.2011)

Going through the objectives and the course outline made me to reflect that I have learnt a lot via this course. Most of the explanations were very familiar, nevertheless some of the inputs were truly new. Undeniably this is what we call learning as a lifelong process. I started realizing that the more I learn, the least I know. For instance the explanation on variables really gave me a shock upon knowing that apart from independent and dependent variables, there exist others as well such as moderating and confounding variables which were pretty alien to me. Anyway, knowledge is added in which at least I could figure out the family of variables based on the diagram shown by Dr Jessie clearly as I am a visual learner most of the times. Though such, extra reading is badly needed as this is going to be part and parcel of the learning process of being a varsity student as well as an educator.

Being a teacher, I must be aware of the educational issues being argued around as to make sure that I am not behind the times. Knowing that teaching and learning process is inevitable in the educational world, as a teacher I realised that I must always have a wider and active networking among friends as to make sure that we are at par with the paradigm shift of policies made and the implementation taken place. Reading the articles for the assignment purposes has really opened my eyes of the current issues being debated worldwide such as fluency Vs accuracy, grading Vs non grading, L1 Vs L2 and so on. Rather than merely reading, it is always better for us to bring the matter to open discussion as to which a clearer picture could be viewed based on the opinions and arguments put forth. In a way, the classroom led discussion suggested by Dr Jessie would be a great platform for us as teachers to sense the pros and cons of the issues which will be debated in the week after.

24. LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - December 4, 2011

We had done a pretty decent job as a group for our group presentation. Our topic was about ‘interpreting classroom research’. To me, this would be a viable research to be conducted by school teachers or lecturers as observations, field notes and video recordings can all be part of the data for analysis and reflections. We can research various methods or techniques of teaching and learning in our classroom since teachers are also researchers and should be reflective practitioners. But, interpreting observation data may be a tedious process as we need to find out what the data means to us and how we can use the data for further improvement and analysis. Through observational instrument, questionnaire and action research, we can learn more about the needs, level and learning styles of our students and maximise teaching and learning in class. I also learnt about categorizing and putting items in table forms, for example in designing classroom observational instrument.

Although there were minor glitches during our presentation, overall, I was rather satisfied with the outcome as we had done our presentation systematically and smoothly. In my opinion, we could have been more specific and clear with our instruments on what to do with the observation instrument. As a group, we should have asked more questions and got more feedback from the class to ensure they were on-task and understood what we presented. Another point to note here was that we should have stuck to the time allocated and only presented what was necessary and summarized what we had read in a more concise manner.

Apart from my own presentation, I learnt a lot from other groups’ presentations regarding SLA research too. I had a feeling that each and every one of us had become experts in our respective topics through this exercise. Although I was still rather blur about the differences of all the research methodologies, slowly but surely I could make sense of what was discussed and presented in class. I also enhanced my understanding by seeking help from peers and through Dr Jessie’s detailed explanations. However, upon reflection, I am truly aware that just listening to class presentations is not enough. To have a better picture about the calculations, statistics, the various modes of research and their underlying principle, data analysis etc, I will read more journals and books as well as discuss questions and issues with my dear classmates.

LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - December 4, 2011

This is my third reflection…..

PUSHPA A/P KANDASAMY - December 5, 2011

Hi, Patrick Lee, I totally agree with you that we really put a lot of effort in completing our presentation. This is a stepping stone for us to learn from mistake so that we can do our best in upcoming tasks. What is more important here is that a good team spirit and supportive skill in helping one another and learning from our friends. We shall always believe in this -‘Practice makes Perfect!’

25. Safiatun Baharom (PGP 110009) - December 4, 2011

Reflection 3

Safiatun Baharom (PGP 110009) - December 4, 2011

opps sorry accidentally posted the comment before uploading them

26. Safiatun Baharom (PGP 110009) - December 4, 2011

3rd Reflection
Friday 2nd Nov. I felt that the two lectures in my SLA class this week has given me a lot of help in understanding the steps in doing research. The six steps i.e. identifying a research problem, review of literature, purpose of the research, collecting data, analyzing data and writing the report were explained by Dr Jessie in depth. By the end of that class we had to do an exercise which is stating the topic, research problem, purpose statement and research question of our paper. It was a beneficial exercise for everyone. I think it really made the whole class and I think of the research that we are doing. Some of us had to rework on our topics and research. But it’s okay I felt because it made me realize my mistakes. (But the whole night I was awake thinking of how to rework on my paper…. He he). I guess doing research is not so easy after all. They were a lot of enduring process that I have to go through. I hope that I will able to go through this Master course in two years.
I would also like to thank Dr Jessie for discussing some of educational issues and controversies in her first part of the Friday’s class. Some of the issues she mentioned are issues needed to be discussed or maybe researched on. Maybe this would bring the changes in the teaching of second language in Malaysia. Besides this, she made us think about our role as teachers. What is our philosophy in our teaching? What is our goal in teaching? The questions that she posted to the class I think made everyone think. And when she asked the floor what is our philosophy in teaching, some were not able to answer. It was very kind of her to share her own experience teaching in her country too. It’s true as what she said in her discussion a teacher must have a philosophy. Plus you also have to incorporate the theories you have learnt in your teaching. After all these years of teaching, I wasn’t relating to what I had learnt in my courses as a base for my teaching practices. I think everyone just teaches. Along the way I have forgotten to relate what I have learned in SLA in my courses in my degree years. It’s more to complete the syllabus and making sure that student passed the paper.
But I do believe in teaching and learning of the target language should be in a fun way. I tried to make my class fun. And since singing is my favourite past time, some of my lessons will include songs and even nursery songs. I remember using Richard Marx, Bette Midler, Lemon Grass, Louis Amstrong, Celline Dion Justin Bieber songs in my English class. A sweet memory I had was when I was teaching a rural secondary school. The students were very passive and would not participate in class activities. Their attitude towards English was negative. But when I started to use nursery rhymes, songs in the first few weeks of my teaching, they became less shy. Some of the students tried to speak and they could show me a smiling face when I entered the class. Then my teaching lesson became much more fun as students were more active in class. Of course they will use English and Malay with a Javanese dialect in the class. But I don’t mind. They love learning English and will always be waiting for more songs from me.
To sum up, Research in SLA is an interesting and beneficial course as it really relates to the second language teachers. I hope and pray that I would be able to grow and mature in my teaching and maybe to be a good researcher as well in the future.

27. LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - December 5, 2011

Reflection 4
The major headache of our SLA module is the never-ending datelines to remember and meet. First, it was the 14/10 for the annotated bibliography. Then, on 28/10, we had to submit our proposal. I was very worried that I would miss any of the datelines especially the submission of the proposal.

To be honest, this was my first attempt at preparing a research proposal. It did scare me and I panicked a few times when faced with a problem, not knowing what to do and how to solve my problems in preparing the proposal. I encountered some dead-ends when doing my proposal. For instance, I did not know the difference between ‘Statement of the problem’, ‘research problem’, ‘Research questions’, ‘background of the study’ etc. I asked help from my peers but they were equally in the dark about these terms. I did read through many journals and articles to get a better idea but I still could not figure out the real differences. To me, these terms meant almost the same things to me.

Apart from these confusing terms, I had trouble organizing my proposal as I did not know what to put in the proposal. Dr Jessie guided us with a few websites on how to organize and structure our proposals. These were indeed helpful in formulating my proposal. But since the template provided were different from one another, I did not know which one to follow. I just chose the model that I felt most comfortable with and stuck with that hoping that I had organized my proposal correctly. While working on the task, Dr Jessie’s words kept reverberating in my mind. She had been reminding us time and again that ‘We learn best while doing. It is not easy but you will learn how and what to do on your own’. These words of wisdom form her kept me moving and not giving up. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. At first, I was skeptical about my own ability to produce any desirable work for this module, but I kept motivating myself. I tried to be an independent learner who practised discovery learning when thrown in the deep-end. At last, I managed to produce an ‘acceptable’ work to be handed in at the end of the day. I must say my work was not perfect but I was generally satisfied with it.

Last week, Dr Jessie gave us a couple of lectures that cleared the air regarding the terms used in research methodology that baffled us all. She showed us many examples and cautioned us against making the same mistakes again. I was enlightened suddenly and finally had a much clearer picture. I was able to complete the missing pieces in the puzzle. I vowed to do a better job for my interim draft and final work after getting proper guidance. Dr Jessie, since you were a self-proclaimed constructivist, I knew where you were coming from. You threw us into the deep-end and expected us to swim albeit with much struggling. You did not want to give us the fish, instead you forced us to learn to fish and lastly you taught us the right way to fish. Thank you, Dr Jessie!

28. Connie Sim (PGP 110021) - December 6, 2011

Reflection 1
Research in SLA- This was the first identified course the moment I looked at the list. There were various reasons I highlighted the course first. One, it is a compulsory subject. Two, I had always wanted to learn the proper way(s) of solving the insurmountable problems I face teaching English in the ESL classrooms. Three; of course, it fits into the timetable. Enough said, I registered myself into the course and then, there I was sitting in the class with thirty other newly-made friends on 16th September 2011. An ever-smiling lady walked into the class and introduced herself as Dr Jessie. Then, she provided us the course outline and the course requirements. One of the requirements mentioned is group presentation on one of the chapters. Now, there was this unusual uneasiness accompanied by butterflies in my stomach. I could hardly recall the last time I spoke to a crowd. (Obviously, this is not taking into account all the countless teaching that I have to carry out in the classrooms. Here, I am referring to a formal speech or a presentation.) Well, I should have included formal presentations into part and parcel of my life. After all, what is the course I enrolled for again?
My group members consist of Prashena, Ghivitha and me. I consider myself lucky to be in this group. We work smart, help one another out and are never calculative. Tasks were delegated and no one ever laments about her work load. However, I did face a problem after all – Facebook-ing. I am never an active Facebook user. In fact, I had trouble logging in to my account. I had unfortunately forgotten my password! I had to go through heaps of hurdle to retrieve my account. (Of course, this is the history.) It surprises me that Facebook is indeed a useful tool for the learning process. We used Facebook to chat, discuss our group presentation, attach files for compilation as well as conduct our peer evaluation. At the same time, words of encouragement are exchanged and comments were posted out tactfully and constructively.
To create a Powerpoint presentation to explain our topic was not as easy as I thought. I had to read the topic a few times before I was able to summarize the important points. I also decided that I may need to read more extensively in order to clear all the doubts that slowly clouded me. The extra mile that I took indeed paid off when the process of creating the slides became easier after that. I could also present my part more confidently and was ready to answer if my classmates pose any questions. I strongly felt that we did an excellent job and am very proud of our piece of work despite some of our weaknesses. We vow to learn from our mistakes and yearn to be better the next time. To me, the process and the product of the learning process are both equally important.

29. LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - December 6, 2011

For this final reflection, I would like to share what research means to me. I could still remember vividly that when I was in my undergraduate years, research was like a ‘taboo’ subject as most of us were fearful of the ‘unknown’ and ‘unexplored’. Research was packaged to be something where only geeks and nerds would indulge themselves in. It was something that no ordinary people would dare to give it a try. Most of us shunned this topic, even our lecturers warned us against the dangers and ‘hazards’ of research. Words like ‘headache, heartbreak, tedious, troublesome, delusion, confusion, exhaustion, writers’ block and going haywire’ were the words that had gone through my mind when Dr Jessie asked us to recall what research meant to us.

Doing Masters in UM was one of the biggest decisions I have ever made. Once I came here, research was no longer the taboo word. It was like the ‘in’ word or the trendiest word buzzing on our ears. Like it or not, I reluctantly accepted the fact that I could not run away from this anymore. Research is actually part and parcel of every student and education practitioner’s life. Since I am a student now, I’d better shrug off my phobia and start bucking up to meet the never-ending challenges ahead. Dr Jessie was the first lecturer to introduce research to me and what it meant to her personally. Since she was speaking from an experienced practitioner’s point of view, I could only listen in awe and imagine if I could be like her one day.

There are many various types of research, namely quantitative, qualitative research, experimental research, co-relational studies, comparative studies, case studies, ethnography etc, each with its own distinctive features and functions. I took a long time to absorb what was being taught and presented by my peers. I was sure I was not the only one having difficulties understanding all these. I had way too many questions that I did not know how and where to start probing Dr Jessie. In Dr Jessie’s class, she kindly explained all the methods and processes of research. She entertained all our queries and tried her level best to educate us. I had to admit that everything was all too abstract to me and I was overwhelmed by all the terms, steps and instruments. However, I knew that I was made of sterner stuff and would not throw in the towel just yet. I knew that with more practice and experience, I would get a better understanding of the concepts and the underlying principles of research.

Dr Jessie had said not once but twice how important research was to us and to the world. She had even suggested that a landmark research could influence people and compel the government to change education policies. These were her inspiring words that sparkled my eyes and transformed my views about research altogether. Although I have my fossilized past concerns in me, I now have a renewed mission-to succeed in producing groundbreaking research for the betterment of education in Malaysia. One small step, one giant leap. I have to start somewhere by hook or by crook. So, armed with the SLA theories and research methodologies from Dr Jessie coupled with my personal background knowledge and experience, I will try my best to come up with quality research work for my Masters and hopefully for my PhD studies after this.

Thank you, Dr Jessie for trying to make research seem ‘easy’ and ‘practical’ for us. To be frank, I still have too much to learn regarding research, specifically education research but I dare say I already had a pretty good foundation after one semester with you. I believe doing research keeps one alert and sharpens our mind as we have to think rationally, critically and solve complicated problems while working on our research. On hindsight, research is not as terrifying as it is painted to be after all!

LEE HUAN YIK (PGP 110012) - December 6, 2011

Reflection No. 5

30. Nabila Anwar - December 7, 2011

Nabila Bt Noor Anwar PGP110026
Reflection 4

After a long wait, this day finally came. It was the due date for our proposal. I’ve been staring with this work for quite a while, re-reading, editing, and linking the literature review just like putting in pieces of jigsaw puzzle together. This is it the outcome of my masterpiece of work. Well couldn’t say masterpiece exactly but this a piece of work that I did with my very best effort therefore it is like a masterpiece to me.

This is also the starting day of the presentations. Although it wasn’t exactly my turn to present but I was really looking forward for the presentations. Like I predicted, it didn’t fail to make my day. The reporters did a job well done. Giving us clear explanations provided with examples and hands on activity for us to engage in the class really gave a much clearer picture on the topic.
Now I know that there was more than survey and experimental research. Personally I find classroom research very interesting as it is an issue that we teachers had to deal with every single day.

The subtopic error analysis really fascinates me as it is really related to the teachers every day issue. How to correct the student’s error? Which method is the best when correcting the students? These questions popped up in my head searching for an answer.

The reporters who was responsible for this topic was awesome yet it made me quite nervous with the thought whether will I be able to be like them, will my presentations be half as interesting as theirs would be. It has been a while since I did any presentations so I’ll know I’ll be pretty nervous. Just do your best and hope for the best.

Reflection 5
The day for my presentation came at last. Reading the book itself is not enough so my groups gathered a few data from the net and other reading sources. But one funny thing is everything was told differently and soon we end up being confused. What a topic. In the end we came to a conclusion and sum up everything based on our very own understanding using the text book as a guide.

Just standing in front gives me the creep. Personally, I think my group did quite well minus the projection of the slides that was quite hay wired and a few vocalic pauses. Something that interests me is that our topic soon became a heated discussion. Everyone was trying to understand the differences of experimental and quasi experimental and relates them to their research to see whether they were in the right track or not. Well I’m not an expert in this topic yet due to the various information that we gathered, and we can’t came up something that might be incorrect so I showed my course mate the book and explained my points of view to them. Then they came in with their own view that they received from other classes that they took this semester. Looking at how lost and puzzled we were Dr Jessie came in and explained to us. Then it became clear to us and answered all our doubts. Thank you Dr Jessie.

Personally it is interesting to know that most of the researches done are quasi experimental seeing that it is very hard to do a real experimental research due to randomly selected group. All in all this quite an interesting topic as we are introduced to all the kinds of research that exist and can be carried out in Second Language

Research and one thing for sure after all the presentations I would not say that I fear research. It was the most fearful subject during my undergraduate years maybe due to the fact that it is something very new to us and now after taking this course it had given me a lot of valuable insight about research in second language. After all research is important in education, with research teachers were able to come up with different and useful methods in teaching as well as understanding this interesting yet complicated world of education.

31. Princess Lina - December 8, 2011

Reflection 2
After submitting the Annotated Bibliography, it was then the due date for the Research proposal. Everything was chaotic. While doing the research proposal, I was also getting ready for the group presentation. It was never an easy task completing the Master’s program while you’re still working. Before I started with the research proposal, I never knew how it is done in the first place. So, what I did was I went to the library in UM and read up some examples of thesis that had been done by the past year students to get a feel of how a good and proper thesis would be done. It was hard for me to grasp what was it all about but I never gave up. I got some help from my friends whom had completed their Masters, to help me in understanding what thesis is all about. Finally, I managed to finish the proposal. It was such a relief but I was also feeling scared as I was not sure whether I had done I correctly.
As one of the groups were presenting their topic on Classroom research: interaction analysis, I was indeed interested by the examples that they have given and the explanation they provided during the Q&A session. It was indeed an interesting topic even though this topic was presented by two groups. This topic covers on how the teachers and learners interact in the classroom, the methods that’s involved in collecting data for classroom research and how you actually analyze them. The presentation of this topic did not only help me to clear up my doubts and but also helped me to understand better about the topic.

32. PRASHENA NAIR A/P PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - December 8, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)
Course requirements 3:
Commentaries on previous class discussion

FIRST REFLECTION
23rd September 2011, was my first day attending Research in Sla class. To be honest, I was in a combination of blended feelings because I knew that this is not going to be an easy journey of education since I enrolled myself as a part timer in the postgraduate studies as well as managing myself lecturing in college and since I’m not from the Tesl background because my first degree was in Literature in English. So, I’m basically a newborn infant to the education contour given that I have missed countless terms and approach which are related and taught during the undergraduate years (education). But, since I’m a confident and courage’s person, I believe that I’m able to face challenges despite discerning my effort which will be rewarded at the end of my studies.
Consequently while waiting for our research in SLA lecturer on the very first day, I did mingle around with my co-mates, discussing about the paper that we have decided to enroll ourselves. Finally, after waiting for like about 10 minutes, here comes the elegant lecturer, DR Jessie. During the first class itself, Dr Jessie epigrammatic enlighten us about the learning outcomes (applying principals and theories), critical understanding (major issues and theories) along with insights using the cognitive and linguistics approach. Dr Jessie also elucidates about the course requirements which we will be applying for this course. We were also given a task to read chapter 1 & 2 (Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers, 2009) whereby I was a bit petrified because it was beyond my expectation. Subsequently, realising that this is a research class, I took the task valiantly and decided to read the book. In addition to that, we were also assigned by DR Jessie to work on the first assignment which is our annotated bibliography. DR Jessie was indeed kind enough to provide us useful links (links on guidelines for writing project paper) as a consequence, it rally round me to read those thoughts, perhaps improving my knowledge on the particular approach. On the other hand, I did explore a lot since I was working on this assignment because I’ve to rummage around for journals related to the research topic. As I was reading the journals, I realise that I’ve learn a lot and I could feel that I am a transformed person for the reason that after reading about three journals, I as a student able to analyse the insights of the journals. Thanks a lot Dr Jessie for giving us the urge to explore journals by ourselves and not spoon feeding us whereby the outcome will be pretty passive since students tend to take things for granted

33. PRASHENA NAIR A/P PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - December 8, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)
Course requirements 3: Commentaries on previous class discussion

SECOND REFLECTION
Week 3
30th September 2011, was my second class and eventually I could sense that I’ve learned quite a lot after exploring the journals and at this point of time, I may perhaps feel that I am way confident in facing the class erudition. Basically, DR Jessie explained to us on the three theories (second language acquisition) which are the behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Personally, I enjoyed the class due to the teaching approach. DR Jessie took the initiative to endow us with slides and videos in order for us to capture the theories in-depth and comprehensively. Upon manifestation, I prefer cognitivism compared to behaviorism and constructivism. The reason is simply because; congitivism is a design behavior whereby it’s a processing model in response to behaviorism. Since I’m teaching young adults which are the undergraduate students range from 17 to 21 years old, hence congitivism is an approach in which getting student as in whole to participate in class whereby the teacher guides the students on the meticulous topic in which a teacher provides charts and diagrams which facilitate learners to immerse in a challenging and fearless environment. On the other hand, students encompass an independent studying environment in which they are competent to organise information and concepts linking to prior knowledge. This will therefore enhance students’ capability and competence in approaching the subject matter. Hence, cognitivism is worth considering since the large scale of a class which occupies about 30 students. And from time to time, as a teacher, I’ll be bombard with questions from the students. In a nutshell, cognitivism is a perspective approach since it creates an essential leaning which connects teacher and student is a circle interaction.

34. PRASHENA NAIR A/P PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - December 8, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)
Course requirements 3: Commentaries on previous class discussion

THIRD REFLECTION
Week 4
10th October 2011, cognition and language development. Profoundly, the scheme explicate about the aptitude approach deals and dwells in a semantic learning using the cognitive development. The processing stage is a set of communication between teacher and learner or learner and leaner. The relationship governed reconstructs learner traits in approaching questions, strategies and learning styles in a dynamic and reflective loom. This is indeed an essential technique of learning because as a teacher, it is significant for me to analyze learner traits so that I’m able to acquire a learner’s ability based on the faculty of language (L1 to L2), grammar as well as social interaction within a conversation among teacher and learner.
28th October 2011 until 25th November 2011 Report on the book by numerous groups whereby each group reported on the chapter assigned. Hence, this is indeed an active and dynamic research activity performed by us as in a group, thus permit the class to comprehend the chapter in a wide-ranging approach. Hat’s off to the entire group.
In one piece, handful thanks to DR Jessie. Dr, you have guided us throughout the semester and we are grateful to have u around. I utmost my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

35. PRASHENA NAIR A/P PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - December 8, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)
Course requirements 3: Commentaries on previous class discussion

FORTH REFLECTION

I personally think, as in a group, we have perfectly come up with our group discussion. Our topic was about ‘designing your own descriptive research’, chapter 5. For me, the sense of this chapter was indeed an awe-inspiring subdivision since we are in a research class and it is vital for us, as a researcher to be acquainted with the research methodology. Basically, I took the part on explaining about the types of questionnaires which then helped me a lot in preparing, designing and fabricating data’s to be collected for the interim draft. To be honest, I’ve ascertained and explored a lot while doing research for my presentation. I then realise that as in a questionnaire, there are a number of approach to be considered in order to collect the data in a qualitative form. Yes, you are right DR Jessie. As a post grade, we as an individual got to be mind-blowing in order to read and explore stuffs by ourselves because this is the only mode to help us in understanding an issue in-depth. I’ve read a number of journals independently without waiting for our lecturer to spoon feed us as what the conventional method during our undergrad years. TQ DR for the mesmerizing guidance in which i’ve realise that learning autonomously is a life long method of studying.
Eventhough there were some inconsequential predicament during our presentation, i was rather happy with the overall presentation as i could feel that i manage to deliver the presentation deliberately although i was a bit nervous as to say when i was presenting, i did spoke quite fast, thus this had been a minus point for me. But, i know, as a human, we can’t run away from the emotions felt at that particular point of time. Anyway, thanks a million thanks to my group members for the cooperation and collaboration given during the process of preparing and finalising for the presentation.
Apart from dealing with our own group’s presentation, i did learn a lot from the other groups too. Essentially, it gave me a sense of discernment as each group was specialist enough to deliver their chapter assigned to them. The approach of delivering, Q & A session as well as explaination from DR Jessie gave me a better understading of the book.

36. PRASHENA NAIR A/P PREBAKARRAN (PGP110011) - December 8, 2011

PRASHENA NAIR D/O PREBAKARRAN (PGP 110011)
Course requirements 3: Commentaries on previous class discussion

FIFTH REFLECTION

REPLACEMENT CLASS FROM 3PM TO 8PM was indeed an important beep in the research of SLA class. Although i was late for the class due to my hectic schedule in college, i somehow ecstatic to knock together for the class. To be honest, this is an essential day since i’ve learnt a lot from the beginning until the end of the class. The first part of the class was dealing and dwilling with theories on research methodology. It was preety awesome when it came to the episode of variables simply because i was totally in a confusion dealing with variables. DR Jessie was indeed kind enough to project the slides and explained to us about the two different variables which consists of theoritical framework as well as the conceptual framework which is the research paradigm. Adding up to that, i’ve also learnt about the independent and dependent variables. To sum up, i think this is an awe-inspiring lecture class. Eventhough our hands were paining and aching because we were copying notes down from the slides, but i think it paid of well because knowledge is the key of success. The final part of the class was indeed advantageous to us because DR Jessie assigned us to fabricate on our research problem, purpose statement and dealing with our research questions. With much guidance and support from DR Jessie, i could identiy and take a broad view of my reseach questions. I am able to dwell with the grueling i was undergoing for a week. TQ so much DR Jessie 

37. Princess Lina - December 8, 2011

Reflection 3

Finally, it was the day for us to present our group presentation, Group 3. What a relief, after weeks of group discussion and meetings. A few days before, I got back my proposal and was not very happy with my marks. I approached Dr Jessie and ask if I could redo my proposal and annotated bibliography back and she approved it. So, I was back doing my annotated bibliography and proposal again from A to Z. Hours of time spent on the Internet looking for material and journals that’s related to the research title. Luckily this time, I manage to find relevant ISI journals.
On 30th November, Dr Jessie reminded us that we still owe her one more presentation which is on article. All of us in the class were shocked as we thought that it was really over and the final task was to actually complete the research journal. Oh, no, group meetings again and will I have the time to complete the interim draft on time. Oh, no, I actually have two presentations and an interim draft on the same day. There’s a saying, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, and I believe, how tough it’s going to be, I can do it.

38. Ghivitha a/p Kalimuthu (PGP 110004) - December 14, 2011

Reflection 1
23 Sept 2011- First day of SLA class. I went to class with so many questions running in my mind. How is the class going to be? How the lecturer? How the assignments of the subject will be and how am I going to do the research paper? I am not a research type person. Dr Jessie explained the course requirements and I became more confuse and more scared. Will I be able to fulfil the requirements of the course? Dr Jessie gave us the first assignment which is annotated bibliography. She asked to find 15 ISI Journals which is connected to the research I want to do for the course. I told myself that no more Facebook and story books.
As, Dr Jessie explained what we need to do, I got panic as I not yet decide the title of the research. So how am I going to find 15 journals? The question keeps bothering me. I took time to decide the title of my research. At last, I selected my research title. Then, I started to find the articles that relevant and have connection with my research title. Again, I face another problem in completing the assignments as most of the articles that relevant with my research title were done before year 2005 and some are not ISI Journals. So I decided to border my research title so that I can get relevant articles.
Reflection 2
Second lecture- In second lecture, Dr Jessie gave a lecture on theories of SLA. The theories like behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism. I learned the theories during my undergrad years. The lecture was like looking back to what I have learned before. It is a good lecture as it helps me to remain back what I have learned. The video showed by Dr Jessie is very informative as it explains more about the theories. After the lesson, Dr Jessie explained more about the annotated bibliography. Dr Jessie helped me in forming the title of my research paper. Later, she explained we need to find articles from ISI Journals. Half of my articles are not from ISI Journals. It means I have to redo my assignment. I have to search for articles from ISI Journals. I took two days off from work so that I can search the articles at the UM Library. At last, I was able to find the articles from ISI Journals that relevant to my research.
I was happy because I able to finish my assignment on the time and fulfil Dr Jessie’s requirement. However, when I want to submit my paper, Dr Jessie told me that the bibliography must be arranged alphabetical order. I really got panic as I did not arrange my bibliography in alphabetical order. Fortunately, Dr Jessie gave me time to do the correction and submit the assignment again. As soon as I reached my home, I do the correction and upload the bibliography in Dr Jessie’s website. Thank god!!!! I feel so relief!!!
Reflection 3
Third lecture- In today’s lecture, three groups presented about Introspection research: Verbal Protocols and Classroom research: interaction analysis. It was good presentation because the presenters present the points clearly. It helped to get ideas about this to topics and it may help in when I want do classroom research because it explains every single thing about doing classroom research.
The presentation helped me getting new information about the topics as the presenters explained in simple ways and showed the important points of each topic. Before the presentation, I do not understand about the topic. After hear and look at the points given by the presenters, it helps me to understand the topic better and answered my doubts.
Reflection 4
At last, it was my group’s turn to do the presentation. My group’s topic is Descriptive statistics research: survey analysis. We will be doing the second part of this topic. Three of us keep communicating and discussing about our presentation through Facebook as we are busy with our work. We keep updating our progress in preparing for our presentation by mail and Facebook. The technology really helped us a lot in preparing our presentation.
At last the time come and it’s our turn to present. I am really nervous as the last time I present in front of class was my undergrad time. Now I can understand how nervous my diploma students will be went they have to present in front of the class. As Preshena, who is first presenter is presenting her points; I am nervously waiting for my turn. As I am so nervous, even my baby stopped kicking me. I have a lot of things to share with my friends but as I am so nervous, I forget most of them and just explained the main points. Our group presented our topic well. However, we still need to improve in certain parts. We learn our mistakes in this presentation and this will guide us to do better in next presentations.

39. Anita a/p V. Sivanesan ( PGP110010) - December 14, 2011

Reflection 3

This should have been my first reflection, since it is on my annotated bibliography assignment. This assignment was handed out to us on the first day of our lecture of SLA by Dr. Jessie. I spent the first two weeks at the UM library from 9 – 5 pm. trying to gather articles on my topic which was on ‘listening’. Since, Dr. Jessie didn’t want any articles before 2005, it was not an easy task. I used to read the articles late at night. Finally I was very pleased with myself that I managed to find 15 articles. I even completed the annotation, and thought that was it. Then on the 3rd week, Dr. Jessie wanted us to only get articles from ISI journals. I tried to find out whether my articles were of ISI journals, but to no avail. I encountered problems looking for the ISI journals list on the UM web page. I even tried to search through google, but was not successful. I was actually going out of my mind, looking for the ISI list and at the same time doing the proposal for SLA research, which I didn’t have any idea how to go about doing. Whatever articles that I thought that may not be of ISI, I deleted and started looking for on line journals which Dr. Jessie said were ISI, such as the TOFEL Quarterly and the Asian EFL Journal. I managed to get a few more articles to add to my list. And then I submitted my paper.
Then we were asked to justify why some of us had included non-ISI journals in our list. I wasn’t sure which of my journals weren’t of ISI. But, I just put it aside, because I was quite busy with my proposal assignment and our class presentation. Then two weeks back, she reminded us again. So I thought let me look again. And what you know, I managed to locate the ISI list this time around with much ease. The whole list was there. I wondered how come I didn’t come across it on my first attempt, a month back. For those of you who would like to check your list, you can go to this website http://www.ippp.um.edu.my/?modul=Research_Output
I was very lucky that 12 out of my 15 journals were listed in the ISI list. The ones that were not listed were The Iranian EFL Journal, Education Studies and Language Testing. The reason for including these articles from these journals were that they were about improving listening skills towards enhancing listening competency which is close to my study.
The good thing that came out of this whole exercise was that, I could narrow done my topic of research and gained more insight on my research topic. Thank you Dr. Jessie. Your assignment not only helped me in my SLA assignment, but also in my Research in Education assignment whereby I had to prepare a 30 page proposal (of the three chapters). All the articles I had gathered earlier and my readings helped me a lot in these two assignments. I now feel that I have more input and enhanced knowledge of my topic. I owe it all to you, Dr. Jessie. Thank you, very much.

40. SHARILA CHRISTIE - December 17, 2011

NAME : SHARILA CHRISTIE
MATRIC NO: PGP 110003

Reflections 1

The first SLA class started on the 23rd of September 2011. I was happy but at the same time I did not know what to expect. I am only equipped with little knowledge of TESL I gained from one year teaching diploma I did back in year 2008. Furthermore, I did my degree in business studies and I am a former banker. My main intention to do MEd in English Language Education is to gain valuable knowledge on teaching methodology and to enhance my teaching skills and my students learning towards English Language in my school.
Meeting my lecturer, Dr. Jessie on the first day was a pleasant thing as she was very friendly. Firstly, Dr. Jessie explained the course outline which has 3 course requirements. The first course requirement is on individual assignments (4 tasks) followed by second course requirements group assignments and third course requirement commentaries on previous class lessons. The first task of the first course requirements is doing 15 annotated bibliography based on ISI journals. Here my confusion started as I know nothing about annotated bibliography and ISI journals and how to look for it. However, the list of SLA journals and links given by Dr. Jessie has exposed, guided and helped me to look for articles related to enhancing writing skills from ISI journals.
After explaining the 3 course requirements, Dr. Jessie also touched on some theories of SLA that we would be learning on coming lessons and what research is all about. In the beginning I had little understanding on the word ‘research’ but my understanding became clearer with the explanations and examples given by Dr. Jessie. Here are some knowledge I gained from this lecture. The purpose of doing a research is creating new knowledge; making a claim to knowledge; testing the validity of new knowledge claims or ownership and generating new theory. Besides, research also explains the means of achieving the purpose and significance of what has been achieved.

Reflections 2

September 30th 2011 was the second lecture of SLA. Dr. Jessie put up some video clips and explained the three theories of learning which consist of Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Constructivism. In this lecture I have learned the three theories in detailed. Besides, the video clips were interesting and has arouse my interest to know and study the three learning theories further. By viewing the video clips I had better understanding on the mentioned theories. I would like to say thank you to Dr. Jessie for sharing the video clips and power point slides with the class. In fact, this lecture was a real beneficial for me as a teacher.
Here are some brief insights I gained from this lecture. Behaviourism focuses on learning through stimulus-response method whereby the input will be given by the teacher. The teacher gives input through repetition and reinforcement. The learning activities are more towards stimulus and response from students. The teacher also gives reward and punishment through reinforcement activities.
As for Cognitivism, learning happens when knowledge is transfer from short term to long term memory. In this theory, the teacher plays a role as a connector and repeater. The learner would locate and produce new information from the prior knowledge. Projects and presentation are some of the activities carried out in this learning theory.
Constructivism focuses on social interaction and discovery learning. Emphasis is given on both cognitive and social skills of the learners. In this theory, the teacher plays a role as a facilitator, model and guide the learners. Learners pull from their past experience to new ideas. Usually activities like project and presentation are carried out in groups for this learning theory.
Then, on the 7th of October which was the third lecture, I learned more theories of SLA. In this lecture I was more exposed to behavioural approaches and implications for ESL learning. The learners pronounce words in English in the same way as they learned to utter the sounds to their first language through imitations. Individuals are differ in L2 proficiency due to learners trait which include intelligence, aptitude, learning style and strategies, motivation anxiety and self-esteem. Then, according to cognitive approach, adult should acquire L2 just like children do – ‘pick up a language’ by Krashen. SLA theory of Krashen has 5 components of hypotheses which consist of ALH, MH, NOH, IH and AFH. Then, I learned on 3 different view of languages which are innatist, structural and communicative and 3 approaches to language learning which are the natural approach, stimulus-response and social interaction. On the whole, this lecture had exposed me to more theories of SLA and many new terms which were quite interesting.

Reflections 3

I uploaded the first assignment of 15 annotated bibliographies related to writing skills on the 14th of October 2011. In the beginning, I only managed to find 7 articles of ISI journals and the remaining was taken from ELT journals not realizing that it was not an ISI journal. Later, Dr. Jessie requested the class to submit all 15 articles based on ISI journals or else give justification on why articles from non ISI journals was taken. Therefore, I resubmitted my annotated bibliography with all 15 articles taken from ISI journals on the 24th of November 2011. The lesson I learned from this task is that it had made me to read various articles on enhancing writing skills. Eventually, I had learned a lot of things after reading and exploring the articles related to writing. I gained valuable insights and new ideas on how various research had been conducted to enhance writing skills. However, most of the articles I read were not directly related to my research topic which is self-assessment in writing: enhancing writing skills through success criteria among primary ESL learners. Although, I could not get articles similar to my research topic but I did learned something. In fact, this task had made me to learn on how to write annotated bibliography using APA format and also introduced me to ISI journals.

Reflections 4

Research proposal was the second task of first course requirement. This research proposal should be written only in 4 pages. I uploaded my research proposal on the 28th of October 2011. Later, I realized that I could have elaborated more on the methodology part in the proposal. Therefore, I reposted my research proposal on the 29th of October 2011 with more elaboration on the methodology part without exceeding 4 pages. This task has taught me on how to write a research proposal precisely.
Presentation or report on the book by 9 groups whereby each group reported on the chapter assigned was carried out from 28th of October 2011 until 25th November 2011. Personally I think that this course requirement two has indeed helped the class to understand the chapters in depth and better. It was a good way or approach to learn the chapters of the book as the power point slides from all the group presenters was attractive, interesting and very informative. Besides, the question and answer session was a good thing whereby everyone could clear any doubts on topic presented.

Reflections 5

I personally think that the replacement class on the 30th of November 2011 from 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm was indeed one of the most important lecture of Research Of SLA classes. This is because Dr. Jessie has given detailed explanation about variables which consist of independent and dependent variables. Besides, Dr. Jessie further explained the differences in Quantitative and Qualitative research.
This lecture was very informative and insightful for me. I have learned many issues and facts about Quantitative and Qualitative research. I was also introduced to new terms like Grounded Theory Research; Ethnographic Research and Narrative Research and its meaning. There are various approaches that can be used in Research design for quanti and quali research. For example, experimental, correlational and survey are commonly used in quanti research meanwhile ethnography, grounded theory and narrative are usually used in quail research. This lesson has also taught me in depth about quasi-experiment and non-experiment; pretest and posttest which is related to my research design. Besides, I also learned on how to write research problems, research questions and hypotheses in accordance to the type of research.

41. Connie Sim Siew Yung (PGP110021) - December 18, 2011

Reflection 2
On the first class, we were asked to indicate the first word associated to “Research” that popped into our minds. The first word that I thought of was “Daunting”. “Stressful”, “time-consuming” and “difficult” are some of the words that flooded my mind. However, I quickly shrugged it off, telling myself to be more positive. Additionally, at that point of time we had to write the word on the board, I thought that sticking to something more positive would be a better idea. Thus, I settled with the word Project.
I endlessly reminded myself to stay positive all the time. Unfortunately; when I started to look for articles for the first individual assignment (web-based annotated bibliography), I began to become more and more pessimistic as I realized how taxing this task is. I started to feel anxious about having to complete this assignment. The cliché of “Nothing good comes easy” rang in my head every now and then. It kept me going and indirectly, supported me when I felt like giving up. It was really difficult to look for related articles, not to mention ISI-cited journals. I was hooked on to the computer for long hours and browsed countless journals and yet the number of saved files, zero. In the end, I decided probably another way would be to look through each journal, and injected some patience and passion into what I was doing. I guess it paid off when finally I managed to find a number of articles. There were two in particular which I thought would be extremely useful for me to use as a reference to design my research.
To indicate that I read all the journals thoroughly will definitely be an understatement of the year. Yes, I read through but not thoroughly. The statistics part for any quantitative research conducted was the most difficult to get hold of. It was really through sheer determination and repeated readings that I figured out something out of nothing.
Up till now, there are still many things that I do not understand about statistics in some of the journals that I read. I vow to learn more about statistics in the near future in the hope that I will not be so handicapped in statistics.

42. Connie Sim Siew Yung (PGP110021) - December 19, 2011

Reflection 3
I am always slow in my pursuit and often wonder when I will arrive at the finishing line that has yet to be set. Thus, a decision has been made; I must attempt to complete the interim draft on the original due date, 2 December 2011.
I hate to admit that procrastination often claim its victim in my case. Although the research has been carried out, data has been collected and compiled; I have yet to start on compiling everything part by part. I am far from being lazy. I just do not know how to organize all my findings. It is definitely more difficult than I could imagine. Dr Jessie said, “Research is not easy but it is something you can manage.” Every time I wanted to quit, I remember this piece of advice. Additionally, I constantly reminded myself not to give up as “winners never quit and quitters never win”.
My sister’s statistics book served as a guide. The search (for information and the steps that I may need to analyse the data through Microsoft Excel) appeared to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are tonnes of related information. It was difficult to figure out which one I should apply. It was really tedious. However, I was glad I took this assignment seriously. I really learnt a lot by doing this assignment. Honestly, I was somehow skeptical about Dr Jessie’s Constructivist Theories at the beginning of the semester. It is no longer so now. I could not agree more with Dr Jessie. It is through this way I really learnt and most probably is the best way to learn. In fact, I believe more independent but guided learning needs to take place.

43. Anita a/p V. Sivanesan ( PGP110010) - December 20, 2011

Reflection 4

Well it’s that time again to put my thoughts in paper. Hmmmm, how about the writing of the proposal? That’s a good place to start. When I first started this course, I found myself groping in the dark. You see, I had not done a thesis in my first degree, therefore I had no idea what a thesis was, and how to go about doing it. When my friends started talking about variables and hypothesis, it was all ‘Greek’ to me. I started having doubts whether I’ll be able to manage this course.
As time passed, my confidence also grew. After reading the articles that I collected for my annotated bibliography and also Dr. Jessie’s suggestion of “How to write a good paper’, I had a glimpse of an idea of how to go about writing my proposal. But mind you, I was still not sure. But thankfully this semester, I also enrolled for Research in Education, where I gathered additional input about research, to add to my existing knowledge of what I derived from my SLA class. This is what Krashen calls as the i+1 theory. Then after discussing with my friends, I finally wrote my proposal. And what do you know, I got an 8. Wow! I was really surprised. This means that I was on the right path.
I would truly like to thank Dr. Jessie and Dr. Zawawi for helping me understand what research is all about. Dr. Jessie’s way of letting you go and find it out for yourself, was actually a rewarding experience. Even though I felt frustrated at the beginning, because I could not fully understand the concept of research, I still did not give up. The rewarding experience is when you can figure out for yourself and through the guidance of others of what you once did not know, is now crystal clear.

Reflection 5

After handing in the proposal assignment, it was time for the interim draft. At this time, I just had a brief idea of what my methodology was going to be, but I had not narrowed it down. I just wrote a brief outline of it in my proposal. But Dr. Jessie’s lecture on Educational Research was a big help. I gained much insights of the steps carried out in writing a good paper. From her lecture, I saw where my weakness was in my proposal writing. Even though I was only supposed to do the data analysis and the discussion part to add to my proposal, I was not satisfied with my earlier paper. Therefore, I changed a little of my introduction, added more citation to my literary review and revised my methodology. From Dr. Jessie’s lecture, I understood the difference between an experimental research design and a quasi experimental research. I also understood the meaning of intact group and random and non-randomised sample. The difference between a qualitative and a quantitative research was also clearly explained by her. From this, I got an idea of how to carryout my research. I was going to carryout a quasi experimental non randomised group research. I was going to triangulate my data by incorporating both the qualitative and quantitative methods into my research.
The next step was looking for audio listening cassette or CD to carryout my test on listening comprehension. I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find one to suit the level of my primary school pupils. I found listening audio CDs for pre-school children and also for those taking the MUET exams, but nothing for my Year 5 kids. I was getting panicky. What if I don’t find any audio cassettes, how am I going to carryout my test? Luckily, on my third day out looking for the listening tape, I came across a CD on children’s stories. After scanning the content, I found something that will be of interest to my pupils. That was a story of a boy called Peter and a wolf. I was quite lucky because, even though it was school holidays, extra class was being carried out for the Year 5 pupils, whereby it enabled me to carryout my test on listening. That’s when I decided on my actual methodology.
Now, about the data analysis….. I had no idea of how to go about doing it. Thankfully, after talking to Dr Nabeel, my statistics lecturer, he told me that when comparing between two means, I had to do a t-test through the use of SPSS. Getting the SPSS was another story altogether and was not an easy task. Finally, I managed to do a t-test, analyse my data, interpret it and conclude my findings. Through this process, I even learnt how to go about doing a reliability test for both my post test and my questionnaires. I’m truly thankful to all my lecturers for their guidance, patience and support in helping me complete all my assignments this semester. I acquired a wide knowledge and gained much insight into the processes involved in writing a research paper. From nothing, I at least know something now.

44. Connie Sim Siew Yung (PGP110021) - December 20, 2011

Reflection 4
One of the assignments that I enjoyed the most for this course is writing reflections. It makes me reminisce all the classes that I sat through, the process of reading the chapters before class, the presentations I listened attentively to and the group discussions I had with my friends.
Learning is something immeasurable; I was not able to indicate if I learnt something or nothing at all. However, in the process of writing these reflections, I realized I have learnt more than I expected. It is not only about the knowledge but the soaring spirits, sheer determination and Dr Jessie’s endless guidance that brought us this far. Her intervention was only when we really needed them. This has taught me to be more independent than I thought I could be.
“Friends in need are friends indeed.” This is the most accurate line I could think of to describe my friends. When I was on the SOS mode, my dear friends did not hesitate a second to help me out. Additionally, I would also be more than happy to help out if I could.
This semester would not have been more pleasant and smooth-sailing without each and every one. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the lecturer, Dr Jessie and all my course mates.

45. Safiatun Baharom (PGP 110009) - December 21, 2011

Reflection 4

We were given extension in doing our interim draft. Thank so much Dr. Jessie. And thank you Cass for having the guts to ask for extension on behalf of the class.
When I had to rework on my paper, I felt so worried and down. I chat with Cass that night and she tried to calm me down and suggest me to consult Dr. Jessie. I slept around 1.00 am and I woke up at 5.00am getting ready to settle my house chores before making my way to UM. I wanted to reach early as I didn’t make an appointment to see Dr. Jessie. I was happy to hear her voice as I approached her room. After the consultation I had with Dr. Jessie, I sat down and rework on my research questions. I cannot change the whole thing as I would not have the time to complete the interim draft.
The next challenge is to write about the findings of the study. I have to analyze the data that I gathered from the questionnaires distributed to the students and teachers. The questionnaires using the five items Likert scale on the approaches must be analyzed as soon as possible. But, the biggest problem is we don’t know how to run the SPSS program. Luckily, my Statistics lecturer will be teaching the class on how to use the program the following week. So, everyone was waiting for the class. Unfortunately, there was some technical problem during the class. We only managed to learn how to key in the data. But at least, I know how the program looks like after hearing the famous SPSS program from day one I entered this Masters program.
Lucky for us, our Research in Education lecturer taught us how to run the SPSS on Friday night. It was a relief for everyone. But it was not easy though. I had to make calls here and there as I was using the program. In fact my friends and I went to see our lecturer to ask further clarification on how to analyze the data. After that I was happy that I can start writing my report on the findings.
I’m so glad that I managed to finish my draft on time. Soon, I will be getting the feedback from Dr Jessie regarding my draft. I just pray that I can rework as quickly as I can as the exams is just around the corner……

46. PREMALATHA P.CHELLADORAI - December 25, 2011

Premalatha P.Chelladorai
PGP110028

Reflection 1
23rd September 2011, sitting outside of the lecture room, I was wondering if I have made the right choice that is to study masters at University of Malaya. Having a few minutes for my self, I realized the reason am here- I need to upgrade myself, I need to be an example to my children, as everybody learns from somebody, and finally I do not want to be left behind in the field of education.
On the first day itself I added some new friends to my list of friends. Talking to them I further realized that everyone was there with an aim in heart. Next was the tasks that was assigned for us. Dr.Jessie explained the task that needed to be done throughout the semester. The tasks and the course though heavy but are interesting.
During the lesson, we were introduced to ISI Journals and Dr.Jessie’s blog. These are something very new to me. I am very sure that I am going to get a lot of input throughout the semester. This further enlightened my reason for continuing my studies at this point of time.

Reflection 2
25th November 2011 was the date given to us for our presentation. The topic that we choose was Correlational Research: language learning / teaching attitudes. My group members and I sat together, discussed the topic and the subtopics, and then divided our task. I was appointed to present on Pearson-moment correlation coefficient. I, being weak slightly in Mathematics, had a hard time trying to digest the gist of the topic. I am not mistaken, I would have read the chapter more than 10 times.
Reading many times and still having a hard time to understand, I decided to approach one of my collogue, who has been teaching Addiional Mathematics for more that 15 years and also is a ‘Guru Cemerlang’, to clarify my doubts. She was kind enough to spare me about four hours during a weekend to explain my doubts. She was a big help and thanks to her, I gained some understanding and some confidence to present my part of the task.
When we have all worked on our part, we met up and completed our power point presentation. Though it was quite taxing as I had another presentation, for Research in Education, on the same day, it gave my group members and I an opportunity to understand one another better. Moreover, preparing for two presentation at the same time was pressuring but once both the presentation was over, what a relieve it was.
Preparing or the presentations, I am aware of my chapter quite well and have lear.nt the importance of teamwork as well.

47. Rimla Changi (@rimlachangi) - December 25, 2011

Reflection1
Amazing how I went through the entire semester without writing or reading any reflections!! Found out in class on Friday that I have to do 5 reflections!! And good ones at that! An interesting topic was raised in class on Friday when a few of my classmates presented on an article written by a group of USM students in using Facebook as a way to teach, encourage and enhance students’ writing skills.
During discussion I could see that Dr Jessie, was extremely into this idea. She informed us that she herself has two Facebook accounts and uses one to interact with students and another for her personal use. I then realized that Dr Jessie is pro using contemporary methods in enhancing students’ skills. Unlike other lecturers or even some teachers, she does not hesitate to use technology as a means to educate her students.
In one of her classes, she mentioned that everyone is born with the ability to learn. How they learn, is what makes them different. Their speed, retention of new ideas, ability to re-use these ideas and even create new ideas is what should be our goal as teachers. Dr Jessie does exactly that. A thorough constuctivist, Dr Jessie does not spoon feed but guides us in our work and makes us use our brains. I feel this ‘reflections’ is also one of her ways to get us to enhance our writing skills. Not a big fan of writing or studying, amazingly, here I am abiding by her rules.
I may not be a good student but hope to be a good teacher someday. Last week, I used the song ‘terrified’ by Katherine McPhee to ease my students into talking about things that they are terrified of. I gave them my email address and asked them to write to me everyday and tell me about things that they are terrified of in their everyday life. A student of mine, a mere 10 year old girl wrote back saying she is terrified of her grandmother. Hillary (not her real name) said that each time her grandmother visits her house; she hides in her room and doesn’t come out till her grandmother leaves!! She poured out her story and I realized that because she was pouring out her emotions, her writing skills had improved!! I’m so proud of my little girl! I keep relating that incident to this assignment. Yes, Dr Jessie, this is a great way for us to improve our writing skills. But the best part is that this is a great way for us to use what we learn in our class to improve and reflect on our teaching styles. Dr Jessie is an amazing role model and hopefully whatever she has taught me will not go to waste. Now…if only I could manage my time a little better, I might just be able to finish all my assignments….

48. Rimla Changi (@rimlachangi) - December 25, 2011

Reflection 2:
Our first presentation was a chapter from our textbook “Doing Second Language Research” by James Dean Brown and Theodore S. Rodgers. They have written a wonderful book aiming for students to not just understand how to do second language research but providing examples and exercises to improve. The chapter we were presenting on was called “Descriptive Statistics Research: Survey Results”. Gwen, Juli and I divided the chapters and I got the first part of the chapter. At first, I was a little scared because the chapter was not only very long but an important one. Then later I realized that though a long chapter it was essential when doing our data research. Unfortunately that very day, after picking my mother up and returning home, I got into a car accident due to no fault of mine. The quarrelsome lady was screaming and shouting on the street and my mother and I being foreigners in this country had to shell out RM 250!! Anyway, I arrived late to class and was not able to present my part but my group mates were kind enough to present on my behalf. Grateful to my group mates for taking the reins, I was glad I had them as my team members. They are extremely kind, generous and patient with me. Having two jobs that start at 8.30 in the morning and finish at 7.30 at night does not provide me ample time to study let alone finish my assignments. I enrolled in an easier course in the beginning but had to switch to SLR for a glitch in the university’s system. Therefore, I enrolled late, started late and am still struggling to cope with this module. I envy all my classmates who are able to work study, take care of a family and also finish their assignments!! Iron ladies and gentlemen I call them!! Either way, I suppose having a gentle and kind lecturer makes up for all of this. Though strict in what she wants from us, Dr Jessie is kind and understands our situation. Perhaps, she has been through a similar one, I know not. Reflecting back now what I do know is that, even though I missed my presentation, that chapter turned out to be one of the most essential one for my research. Without it, I would never have been able to complete my research or make sense of my data. Hopefully Dr Jessie, will be pleased with the results.

49. Rimla Changi (@rimlachangi) - December 25, 2011

Reflection 3:
Had some time before dinner so decided to finish off another ‘reflection’. In my country, we tend to have very late but big dinners. Reason for our overweight I suppose but we love it anyway. In my earlier reflection I spoke about my research. Though difficult to do it was indeed an eye opener. Most teachers including my mother, who has been a teacher for nearly 30 years, always starts her classes with what we call a ‘Lead-in’. The lead-in as the name suggests is a way for the teacher to slowly and gently guide the students into the lesson. It requires students to use their prior knowledge that they may or may not have accumulated over the years. It provides students with pre-loaded materials that help them to remember their prior knowledge and makes life a lot easier for teachers as they do not have to work extremely hard to get students to relate what they are learning to their everyday life. Students are able to understand faster and easily as I and countless other teachers have experienced. So what happens, if we do not provide them with a lead –in or give them pre-loaded materials? Do they not access their prior knowledge then? That is what drove me to do my research. To find out how my young learners access their prior knowledge when I don’t have a lead-in or provide them with pre-loaded materials. I found some interesting results that only after reading my research can one find out.
I didn’t have as much a difficult time as I had envisioned in getting my data. I used my classes as a means to get my research done. I used it as part of their coursework. I started by explaining that I needed help with my research and them being as innocent as they can be were eager and enthusiastic in helping their “Auntie Rim”. They finished sooner than I had expected. Did the ultimate best and asked me a number of innocent questions as to why I was still studying? To them, you finish studies when you start working. Reflecting back, I am not sure why I’m studying. I sometimes think, getting a TESL degree was not a requirement for teachers earlier in the years. My teachers didn’t have a TESL degree and some of them were the best in my country. My mother herself doesn’t have a TESL degree and she has been teaching for nearly 30 years!! Does that mean that I will be a better teacher than my mother after getting my degree? Is my degree equivalent to her years of experience of is it the same? These questions plague me and sometimes I feel that I don’t need this degree. Then I realized that TESL isn’t just a degree to teach us how to teach. It teaches us how to improve our teaching skills. It helps us to keep with the times and assists us in making learning a more interactive experience for our learners. Reflecting back, I think, I made the right decision in taking up this degree. Though ‘old is gold’, I would like to keep up with the times and innovate my style of teaching just like other great lecturers have been known to have done.

50. Rimla Changi (@rimlachangi) - December 25, 2011

Reflection 4:
Juli, Gwen and I had an interesting topic to present on the 16th of December. We presented on a topic talking about the use of Pocket Electronic Dictionaries (PEDs), its functions, uses and most importantly whether it should be allowed in EFL classrooms. When reading it, I could see that the researcher did not support the idea and that is perhaps why I was also against the notion of allowing my students to use it in the classroom. I however, have very little choice in this matter as it is a rule in ELS (where I work) not to allow PEDs to be used in the classrooms. PEDs according to the place I work are a distraction and a complete waste of time. During exams we actually take away all their PEDs and phones to make sure that they do not use it to cheat. I understand that rule but not allowing it in regular classes can be a bit too harsh on students especially for those of a lower level. My students mostly come from the Middle East with a few from China, South Korea and South East Asia. Their language proficiency is appraised before they can enter ELS. Most students enter into Level 100 which is the lowest in our center and this and Level 101 is the level that is the most difficult to teach. These students are extremely dependent on their PEDs. They constantly speak in their L1 and have the hardest time in explaining and expressing themselves. Therefore, I ask myself a thousand times, isn’t it cruel to take away their PEDs? Are we doing more bad than good?
There however, is a subsequent change in the dependency as a student moves up the levels. In a level 107 or 108, most students don’t even bother using the PED. They mainly use it for a quick reference to see if they are correct in assessing a certain vocabulary. Whereas, someone in the intermediate levels like Level 105 is still dependent but only to cope with the pressure of completing their work. Shouldn’t PEDs be allowed in these levels at least, so that students can make the proper use of it?
With this in mind, I approached my Academic Director and gave her a copy of the article. I asked her to read it and maybe come up with some other ways that could be used to allow our students to use the PED. She informed me that more than the Academic department of my institute, it was the teachers themselves who felt that the PED was a nuisance. I then realized that the PED posed as a threat to these teachers who were not informed of this new way of teaching our learners. They, just like the researcher of the article “The Portable Electronic Dictionary: Faithful Friend or Faceless Foe?” felt that this small little device was taking over the role of a teacher and although it was the next best thing for a student, it was a teacher’s biggest enemy. Though I agree to some of her thoughts, I also do feel that this small device could be used to benefit both the teacher and the student. My Academic Director has promised to bring it up in the next meeting and I do hope that these stringent rules against the PED will change soon.
As for my personal experience, I do find that the PED a bit of a distraction especially during the Reading and Writing classes of the lower levels. Students are more concerned about finding the meaning of a word that trying to understand the context of the sentence. Some use it for spellings during writing. Point is, no matter what they are dependent on them and trust it more than their teacher.
I was like the others before, totally against the PED but Dr Jessie’s one question totally disarmed me. Would I use it if I was learning a new language? Yes, I would. With that in mind, I changed my decision of not allowing the use of PED. Instead, I monitor it now and give my students around 10 minutes before the writing assignments to find as many vocabularies as they possibly can. This lowers their inhibitions of writing and they are more confident when doing a written assignment. Amazingly, they also remember the vocabulary they have used. It also saves a lot of my time in explaining certain things to them. I don’t just stop there but get them to use these words in their everyday life or during class discussions. I’m seeing an improvement and hope that this continues. Once I have gathered enough evidence, I will approach my Academic Director once more to get her to look into this matter. Hopefully, this new method will benefit future students.

51. Rimla Changi (@rimlachangi) - December 25, 2011

Reflection 5:
I finally reached the last one! Amazed at myself for getting it done! The semester is finally over with no more lectures this year. I really could use this break to get some studies done. No time for me to study when I’m working, this is the only time I’ll get to do any sort of quality work. Next year I’m hoping to do a better job in time management. New Year’s Resolution!!

I can’t believe that this semester is almost done. Most importantly, I can’t believe I’ve survived thus far. With my lack of effort in studies, and arriving late for lectures, I thought I’d be thrown out for sure. Phew! Luckily that has not happened yet. Crossing my fingers!!

We have one last assignment left to complete. The very last 3000 words article! And then…we’d be assignment free but have our final exams on Friday the 13th (January!); the most inauspicious day to sit for an exam. Though, not very superstitious, I still feel that a person should count all their lucky stars for an examination. And here are my classmates and I, sitting for a difficult exam on a difficult day. Let’s just hope that we all pass.

Our last assignment requires us to brush up on our previous draft and get it journal ready. Though a simple task, I’m sure most of my classmates will be losing a few nights’ sleep to get it done. Considering, I’m an owl, my sleep is definitely gone but I do hope none of them lose their health over it. Good luck to us all!

Let’s recap on the number of things we have done for this module- annotated bibliography, proposal, reflections, interim draft, two presentations, a final article and an exam. When I complained to my sister about the amount of work I was given, she shrugged and said “No one said that Masters would be easy!” True that! Now here I am, spending my holidays in catching up on a few months’ overdue work. Well life could be harder couldn’t it?

I realized why Dr Jessie kept us under such a pressure. It is for us to not lose momentum of our learning and let go of our intimidation of research. Don’t know if it worked for my classmates, but I can safely say, for me it didn’t. I’m still terrified of it!!

So why is research terrifying? Mostly because it requires us to do a whole lot of work with focus and determination. You have to be driven to get your work done, focused on what you are researching and put in the most amount of work. Not sure if I did what I just mentioned but I do know that this isn’t the end as the biggest research is yet to be completed. Now why would that not be terrifying??

As I reflect, on this semester, I can say that it has been an educational and fruitful one. I was under pressure but I managed and survived it. I even used what I learnt to improve my teaching skills. That’s all that matters, isn’t it? And now I’m hoping my other subjects would be the same. Maybe not have as many assignments but hopefully as enlightening as this one has been.
And with that, I finish my reflections. An amazing but difficult semester. Kudos to my classmates for surviving it and to Dr Jessie for teaching it so well. Hope all of us pass with flying colours.

52. siti afsa bt. abd ghani (PGP110019) - December 26, 2011

SITI AFSA BT ABD. GHANI (PGP110019)

REFLECTION 6

The last class…..

23rd December 2011, marked as the date for our last class for this semester. The class started with a good kick start by a presentation from Anita’s group on the issue of ‘PPSMI’, which is a policy on the implementation of teaching science and mathematics in English. This issue has ignited the interest of our classmates, including me. Anita then probed us with a question, a simple yet difficult question to answer. She asked the class whether we prefer both subjects to be taught in Bahasa or English. As expected, there are a set of differing views on this matter, but most of them said that they prefer that both of the subjects taught in English. I think that this answer was a subconsciously derived answer, as being English teachers; we are more biased to English language. That discussion was an eye opener for all of us and it was interesting to hear views from each other.
After all of the presentations ended, Dr. Jessie then gave us a pep talk on what we had learned during the semester, the bittersweet moments, etc, but there is one phrase that she said that still lingers in my mind, that is ‘strive for excellence’. : )

53. Safiatun Baharom(PGP 110009) - December 26, 2011

Reflection 5
Last Friday was the last day of my Research in SLA class with Dr. Jessie. How time flies. I didn’t realize that the semester has ended for me. It’s true like what Dr Jessie mentioned in her last lecture, we started the course at very fast speed, we didn’t learn to walk but we were running from day one we entered her class.
This course has taught me a lot. It has taught me skills I need to know in doing a research. The tutorials and discussion were very helpful to me as a student and also as a teacher. I have used what has been taught in writing my paper. I wasn’t sure whether it is the best, but I have tried to put my effort in it. And the discussions (I really like the discussions on issues of teaching) made me reflect on my teachings.
Another thing I learnt in this course is overcoming my fear of asking for help. As this course progressed, I realized that everyone helps each other out if someone has a problem. And working as a team is very important sometimes to maintain your sanity. Friends and course mates were important as they gave feedback and help if I needed them. And I think I have also overcome my shyness in getting close to the lecturer. I feel that at this level, I must overcome the fear of asking for help from any of the lecturers if I have problem.
I have enjoyed this class because it opened my eyes to who I really am as a person. I have become more confident and goal-oriented. My organizational skills have improved greatly. I am looking forward to the rest of my varsity life as a master’s student. And I pray that I will go through it successfully.
In conclusion, I would like to add that I have really enjoyed the experience of this class. It has been good for me to learn first-hand on the correct way of how to do a research. Thank you Dr. Jessie for your help and patience.

54. Julidiawati Saidon - December 28, 2011

1st day of class. Everyone in the class looked intimidating to me. They look like teachers/lecturers with many years of experience in teaching. I feel out of place & not equipped to start my masteral journey.

But as we introduce ourselves, I came to know that there are many other classmates who are as new as I am in the teaching field. There are even full-time students in the class.

As Dr Jessie explained the course requirement, I was worried if I can juggle my work & studies. I’ve registered 3courses this semester and this is my very first class.

We are required to come out with a research by the end of the semester, which is more or less 4 months! So our 1st assignment was to read 12-15 journals.

Reading that much of a journal had given me an in-depth understanding of my chosen research area. When I was doing the annotated bibliography, little did I know that it’s actually the small steps towards writing my own research paper. I thought that it was just one of the assigments to expose us to searching and reading journals.

Only when I was writing the proposal that I realize, I can actually recall which journals contain the required supporting details for my own research paper and it was very useful for my literature review. Dr Jessie is indeed a constructivist! Thumbs up for the lesson!

55. Gwendolyn Gail Yong - December 28, 2011

REFLECTION 1

I wondered what my first day of Researh in SLA class would be like. I’ve learnt SLA before during my degree days but it made me think SLA but this time with research. All sorts of things went through my mind: Why research? What has research got to do with SLA? All my questions were answered in the first class of Research in SLA.

If I’m not mistaken, this is my first time having a foreign lecturer which I thought will be interesting. And so, Dr. Jessie explained to us the outline of the course. As we were going through it, I felt that this is going to be a tough subject. All I see was research research research!! I had a long gap from studying and now I have to burry myself in books and papers again.

During the first few weeks of lecture, it was more of a revision of what I’ve learnt back in my degree days. All the theories were revised which I forgot entirely. But, it was a good thing that I had to go through the topic again because if I were to read them myself, it would take me a while to do it.

After all, I was excited to be a student again. I truly miss being a student.

REFLECTION 2

My group had to present a chapter from the textbook we were using. My group presented on Chapter 5 which was about using survey research method in doing SLA research. After going through this chapter, I found that a survey research method was not as simple as I thought especially the when it comes to analysing the data and putting them into tables, graphs and charts!!!! With all the formulas and calculations it was rather confusing as I am really weak in Mathematics.

Yet today, with the help of SPSS, the analysis and calculations of data was made simpler. Using survey research is also a method best to use for doing a quantitative research.
It has been a while for since I presented in front of a group of people (apart for my students), I was nervous. But I believe with good preparation the feeling of being nervous would be a positive one. Also working as a group was important too. As one of my group members was late, I had to present her part. But since we worked as a group, I had no problem presenting her part 

REFLECTION 3

I remembered the days when I had to prepare a proposal during my degree days. And I thought it was that simple to follow how I did the proposal. I was wrong. I learned that at this level, everything was a whole lot different and ways to prepare a proposal was more formal (and difficult too!!). My lecturer insisted we find ISI journals because these kind of journals are highly rated with quality and also from well known journals (or should I say 1st class journals…hehe). It was quite a challenge to look for ISI journals that were related to my topic. I spent days and hours on the internet and also at two different libraries just to widen my material sources.

After finding more than 20 journals, I found that there were only 12 journals that were related to my topic although my lecturer wanted 15. And not all the journals were ISI because some of the non ISI journals were related to my topic which I somehow believe it was useful. Time given was 2 weeks to complete the proposal which I think time was too short.

I managed to complete my proposal and I was relieved that I’ve completed it. But I know after this proposal, there are more to come which is the interim draft and also the final draft which requires more work and time. How I wish things were simpler as before.

REFLECTION 4

My group had to do another presentation which was to focus on an issue. My group chose an issue about the use of PEDs. From the presentation, I have discovered that there are advantages and disadvantages on the use of PEDs. Members of the floor actually gave some good points and feedbacks about the topic.
In my opinion, the use of PEDs would be handy if you’re on the run. It wouldn’t be practical if one would have to carry a book dictionary around. When I was in Form 3, my BM teacher insisted that we brought a ‘KAMUS DEWAN’ dictionary (none other than this one) to school whenever we had our BM lesson. And this technique actually helped me improved my vocabulary and I scored an A for my PMR. To tell you the truth, my BM was a disaster since Primary 1 till Form 2. But because I had a great teacher in Form 3 till Form 5, my BM was almost perfect (my BM has deteriorate after SPM :p). Anyway, I believe from what I experience in school for my BM class, this could be done the same in the English class.

At the end of the presentation, my group concluded that it would be acceptable to have PEDs in an EFL classroom but not and ESL classroom.

REFLECTION 5

The last day of class didn’t feel like it was the last. Other remaining groups had to present their part on an issue since not many groups presented the same week as my group. Many interesting issues were discussed and the most interesting one was the Mathematics and Science in English.

Majority of the class agreed that the two subjects should remain taught in English. Since the change of medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science, a statistic has shown that students were able to converse in English compared to those who did not go through the change or went through the change in between schooling years. One of my classmate shared her experience that she was shocked to see that her students of Primary 3 from the lowest class was able to converse in English compared to her previous Primary 5 students. If one has seen this change, I believe more would see this change especially the MOE.

One of my classmate disagree with the maintaining of Mathematics and Science in English and thought it should be change back to BM. Her opinion was in support for students who are already weak in the two subjects and to learn them in English would be even harder for these students. In my opinion, I was weak in Mathematics but was fairly okay in Science. But I learnt these two subjects in BM and still I find it difficult. But if I were to learn Mathematics and Science in English, it would be harder for me because I have learnt all the terms in BM before and to learn the terms in English would just confuse me more although I have the advantage of being good in English. I see there is no language barrier to learn Mathematics and Science in English. For students who went through the change since Primary 1 had fewer problems and many had scored well in this year’s PMR.

And so as a conclusion, I believe it should remain in English for the benefit of the country.

56. Julidiawati Saidon - December 28, 2011

Reflection 2
It was the day of my group’s presentation!! Since we had one session cancelled, my group’s turn was postponed to that week! My group members and I did the necessary preparation for the presentation. We were supposed to explain the mathematical part of presenting research data.

Being language people, numbers are not something we can grasp in a breeze. But having my group members’ support, we managed to help each other understand the chapter.

However, during presentation, one of our group members were not able to reach the faculty on time as she had gotten into an accident. It was a relief to know that she’s fine. But it meant that we were left with only two members of the group to present the topic.

It turned out that most of our classmates had understood the topic already and thus were able to answer the exercises that we included on our slides.

Another assessment covered, and it turned out that we understood the chapter better when presenting because we read the chapter over and over again just to ensure that what we presented are correct.

Group presentation is a great way for us to mingle around with each other, learn to co-operate, as well as learn from each other!

57. Julidiawati Saidon - December 29, 2011

Reflection 3

Portable Electronic Dictionary (PED), the one thing that students nowadays love carrying to class. It is the little dictionary without pages, light in weight, may be colourful, some with pronunciation feature, phonebook function or even games. Although the price is not cheap, students prefer using the PED rather than the traditional book type dictionary.

So, my groupmates and I have decided on the issue of using PED in classroom. We presented on the issue, which generates lots of perspectives on the use of PED in classroom. The advantages and disadvantages of having PEDs in classroom are clear. However, there is a thin line on whether or not PED is beneficial for students’ learning of the subject.

Personally, my stand is that PED is more beneficial for students in an EFL classroom, whereas ESL students will benefit more from the use of traditional dictionary. This is simply because EFL learners need the security of knowing words that are alien to them. As for ESL learners, they should take advantage of the many ways to explore the traditional dictionary. Although it lacks in terms of speed, students are able to memorize the spelling of new words and at the same time find out its meaning.

58. Julidiawati Saidon - December 29, 2011

Reflection 4

It’s the busiest time of the semester!! When most of my classmates are having their school holidays, I am juggling between marking loads of student’s assignments & finishing up the interim draft.

The deadline to key in students’ marks at my workplace is the same as when the draft needs to be submitted. I’m thankful that Dr Jessie is kind enough to extend the submission date for this task.

So, despite of all the difficulties and time constraint, I managed to pull it off. As a first semester postgraduate student, I believe that this is the most challenging time for me. Studying for master’s programme is new to me. So does juggling between work and study. I kept reminding myself that this is only the beginning and that I have to stay strong in going through the path that I’ve chosen.

59. Princess Lina - December 29, 2011

Reflection 4

At last 23rd December 2011, it was our final class for SLA class. But it’s not over yet. After submititng the interim draft, the date to submit the final report has been postponed by our lecturer. Thank you, Dr Jessie. On the 27th December 2011, I made an appointment to see Dr Jessie, to discuss the result of the interim draft. After the long discussion with Dr Jessie, I finally understood on how to go about the final paper. At first, I was lost and confused on how to start with the final paper but after reading through the example of writing an article a few times, finally, I got an idea of how to go about writing the article.

I would like to thank Dr Jessie, for all the advice and guidance that she has given us throughout this course.
Thank you again, Dr Jessie…

And guys… Good luck for the final exam..

60. PREMALATHA P.CHELLADORAI - December 31, 2011

Premalatha P.Chelladorai
PGP110028

Reflection 3
It was the time to hand in the interim draft and I was traveling. I had no choice as I had booked my tickets to travel to India with my family even before I applied for this course. So , if I were to cancel the trip, it would have been a big disappointment for the whole family as very one was looking forward for the trip. So I decided to work on the assignment while traveling as the due date was on 9 December 2011 and I was traveling from 30th November to 15th December 2011.
Since Dr.Jessie advised me to work on a new proposal, I had to task to be done at the same time. First of all I contacted me friend who is teaching at SMK Taman Kosas to get a few students that I needed for my research and I was at the school on the 28th and 29th of November to record their reading and to carry out a questionnaire. I had not much time to do anything else as I left for India the very next day.
Traveling with family members was fun but trying to finish the proposal and the interim draft with the very little source that I had as difficult. Moreover there wasn’t internet access in most of the outskirt places. Any way, I tried to finish the task as it was due as I mentioned earlier.
We planned to be back in Chennai on the 9th December as early as 5p.m (India time) so I could send my draft but due to heavy traffic because of riot, we only reached the hotel at about 9.45p.m that is about 12.15 Malaysian time. I rushed to the reception and pleaded to them to allow me to use to internet but to my disappointment I was only allowed to use it the next morning. I waited the whole night and at 9.30a.m the next morning something told me to check my mails first before sending the draft. What a relief! I read Lina’s message that said “Akka, the interim draft is due on the 16th of December. The first thing that I did was, thanked GOD and sent a thank you message to Lina. Now I have a few more extra days to finish the draft! Thank you so much Dr.Jessie for being so understanding.
Something that I have learnt here is that if we are committed to do something, a few other sacrifices need to made.

61. PREMALATHA P.CHELLADORAI - December 31, 2011

Premalatha P.Chelladorai
PGP110028

Reflection 4

23rd December – this was the last day of the semester. E sat back and listened to another five presentations by our classmates. Then it was time to listen to the feedback of our interim draft. Dr.Jessie patiently gave us her point of view on our writings and then briefed us on the final paper, that is the requirements needed in a research paper, which means I have a lot of corrections to be made in my research paper.
The input that I gained from Dr.Jessie’s lecture was , firstly, a research should have a title which describes the content of the research. Through the title, a reader would be a able to decide if it is a good piece of writing or not. The title is like an advertisement to attract the reader to read our writing.
Then we need an introduction, which would clearly state the problem being investigated, its background study and why it is important to conduct the study. It is also important to investigate what others feel about the topic that we have chosen. Here I understand that I need to specify clearly the rational of my study.
Next I need to explain on how I am going to conduct the research that is the procedures that would be taken to complete the paper followed by explanation of the results obtained. Here I would need to explain every information that was gained in the study and what each of it means. Finally, a conclusion and acknowledgement is needed.
Though the steps look easy but it is a tedious work. I realize that every part of the research is important and needs to be done carefully if I want to present a good research paper. Thank you so much Dr.Jessie for sharing this input with us.

62. PREMALATHA P.CHELLADORAI - December 31, 2011

Premalatha P.Chelladorai
PGP110028

Reflection 5
The semester has ended with bitter sweet memories. Though we meet only on Fridays from 3.00 – 6.00p.m and not much of socializing, I could feel that the bond within the group was strong. A few examples would be – Cassandra keeps telling me “Don’t worry Akka. It is a simple matter” or she would ask, “Are you alright Akka?” What a relief this is knowing that despite having a lot to do, someone still cares for you. Then it is Connie who never forgets to ask me – “How are you Akka?” every time she sees me. Next come Lina and Aishah and also Judy and Gwen who patiently waited for my return from India to do discuss on our presentation. Then it is Prashana and Ghivitha who have little, little things to share in between the class. This is just to name a few. The list is longer as every one did make at least a little contribution to my self confidence and realization of my aim to be there. I know I have made a few good friends and a few ‘little sisters’.
Next, thanks to Dr.Jessie, I have gained a lot of extra knowledge on writing a good research paper and the importance of being précised in writing from the beginning till the end of it. And I also admire Dr.Jessie’s patience. She is always ready to meet any of her students although an appointment is not fixed and explains clearly in that short time that we have. She never says ‘no’. If she is in the room, with lots of work to be done, a knock on the door, means your doubts are cleared. I told myself that I too need to be like her. Sometimes when the students come to my staff room and I am busy trying to finish some task, I remember saying to them, ‘Can you come back in a short while?’. From now on I told myself, I will entertain them first then carry on with the task.
Thank you so much everyone. Now it is time to prepare for or final exam. Good luck!

63. Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - January 3, 2012

Cassandra Jothi Krishnan
PGP 110022

Reflection 2

Interim draft….our next assignment which was the most crucial one before submitting the final paper. Going about doing the draft has actually made me learnt many new elements in a research. Writing a research paper is never an easy task. There are many things that should be taken into consideration. Citation…citation…citation…is the most important thing one should know in writing a research paper. When I was writing my paper, I encountered many citation problems. I wasn’t sure of how to cite what other researchers justify in past studies, how do I quote that statement in particular and how do I write the reference in the bibliography. Writing the correct way of reference for bibliography was still unclear even with the existence of the APA format examples which I’ve downloaded from the UM web portal. However, that didn’t hinder me from completing my draft. After running up and down the library to the faculty to seniors to lecturers, I finally have a clear cut picture of how I should cite or quote others in my research and also how to write the reference in the bibliography. I taught writing a research paper is easy. What you have to do is just copy and paste what others have said and…BAMMM…. There you are your own research. Eventually, I was wrong. Writing a research paper is about studying an issue which you don’t know the reasons of it happening and pouring everything you have studied, read, tested out and observed in your own words with other researchers’ justification in related studies. Learning how to write a proper research paper has really helped me tremendously especially when I need to write my master research in future:

“ Marson Bates, 1906-1974 ( an American writer)
Research….. is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing”

“ Wilson Mizner, 1876-1933 ( an American dramatist and wit)
…If you steal from another author its plagiarism: if you steal from many, it’s research“

64. Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 4, 2012

SITI SARAH BT. MUHAMAD AZMI
PGP110008
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

In this short self reflection commentaries, I will evaluate, comment, and self-reflective on the class as a whole. I like to evaluate the learning experience in this course and all the tools enabled me to use in writing my research paper, a techniques and thought I was completely ignorant about before I took this course. What fascinated me a lot in this class is the interaction between the students as a group and the lecturer, as well as the interaction among the students themselves.

I did learn a lot of techniques that I would use in writing a research paper later in the rest of the semester, and through my study while working on this course, I learned how to use the library in getting sources of information to make my research more convincing. We can use the “Internet” and its various websites to support our information. Last but not least, I learned how to write correct English as far as vocabulary and grammar are concerned, and how to organize our cited works or bibliography. As a whole, the class was an excellent way to learn all the above necessary tools. Summing up, it was a great learning experience, and I would like to thank our lecturer Dr Jessie Rubrico, who worked hard in showing us the ropes.

Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 13, 2012

This is my first reflection Dr. Jessie.

65. Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 4, 2012

SITI SARAH BT. MUHAMAD AZMI
PGP110008
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

My strengths in this distance learning format is my ability to set goals and be disciplined enough to reach those goals by the deadline. I kept a small notebook and wrote down each day what I needed to do in each class. I also tried to break down longer tasks into smaller pieces. I tried to do something every day to reach the specific goal that I required. This class forced me to become organized. Being able to organize will help me in everything I do in university and at work.

I know that my ability to write and express my ideas, thoughts and knowledge has grown stronger. I have always struggled to put my thoughts on paper in a manner that is coherent and correct according to assignments given in this SLA course. Organise your thoughts or provide more support and examples. These are the things that I have worked on and improved throughout the semester. The research proposal I wrote when I first started in this SLA course were bland and short. In these early papers, I would just restate what we learned in class and what I had found in my research. I did not formulate my own ideas and did not know how to support them with the works of others.

The classes I have taken the past couple weeks have really help me shed that bad habit and write better papers with better ideas.

Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 13, 2012

Second reflection.

66. PRAVENDRAN MUTHU ( PBGS 110023 ) - January 5, 2012

PRAVENDRAN MUTHU
PGP110023
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Reflection 1

September 23 2011, it was my first day attending SLA class. I was quite nervous and excited during the first class because it’s already more than one year since I read any books or did any revision on my TESL programme books. During the class Dr.Jessie explained about the course outline and it seem to be very tough. So many questions running through my mind and that’s where I realized Masters program is not easy and lots of effort need to be put in to make sure I pass through this subject. . We were given homework on our very first day of the course to read up chapter 1&2 from the textbook Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers (2009) and also to start looking for 5 articles for our first assignment, annotated bibliography. At the beginning we didn’t manage to find the book because the book was not available in the library and it was out of stock in the bookstore. Dr Jessie was kind enough to lend her book for us to photocopy. Thank you Dr.Jessie.

Reflection 2

It was our third class, as I remembered. Dr. Jessie and the whole class were discussing on the issue of educational theories. Those theories are behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism and humanism. Actually I enjoyed the class so much because there was an ongoing debate between the classmates on which approach seem to be the best approach. Besides that, it was a flashback of what has been taught during my undergraduate’s studies. At first everything seemed to be blur because it’s already more than one year I read about all this theories but as the lectures and classroom discussions went on, I could recall some of the things I’ve learnt earlier. I would say that some of the questions that Dr. Jessie’s asked really make me think of the teaching approaches I’m using to teach my students. DR Jessie also took the initiative to endow us with slides and videos in order for us to capture the theories in-depth and comprehensively. From my point of view, I prefer cognitivism compared to the other three theories because I am teaching young adults which are undergraduate students from 17 – 25 years old. This is because, through cognitivism teacher guides and facilitate the students during the learning process and learners feel more comfortable and fearless in learning a new topic. Besides that, it enhances students’ capability and competence in approaching the subject matter. As a lecturer, I practice cognitivism theory in my class and I always see students participating well in the classroom. Seriously, I would like to thank Dr. Jessie for delivering an effective lecture which makes me understand those theories more in depth.

Reflection 3

Finally today is my group presentation. Our presentation was based on chapter 7 ( Quasi-experimental research : vocabulary learning techniques ) from the textbook Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers (2009). Basically, this chapter is quite tough because it involves lots of calculation and it’s very confusing as well. It took us some time to prepare the presentation because the topic was hard and all our group members were also busy preparing other assignment as well. Some of us are working and it was really hard for us to meet up each other. I would like to thank my group members because they were committed to their task and we manage to deliver a good piece of presentation. Something that interests me is that our topic soon became a heated discussion. Everyone in the class was trying to understand the differences of experimental and quasi experimental and relates them to their research to see whether they were in the right track or not. They asked us so many questions until all of us became confused and we could not give them a finalized answer. Finally Dr.Jessie explained and cleared the doubt that our classmates are trying to clarify. I would like to thank Dr.Jessie to make us understand better on the topic.

Reflection 4

The toughest part in SLA module is preparing the research proposal. This is because, it’s so hard for me to come out with ‘Statement of the problem’, ‘research problem’, ‘Research questions’, ‘background of the study’ etc. Seriously, it took more than two weeks for me to come out with the research topic. Besides that, I have to manage my time to meet with the subjects of my research to carry out the activities that I had planned. I have to travel all the way to Kuala Selangor which takes me more than 1 hour to meet up with my research subjects. I was so released when my pre and post test was finally completed. Since then I have to burn the midnight oil in preparing the proposal. Actually I really enjoyed all the hard times that I gone through to prepare the proposal. I would like to thank Dr.Jessie because she really make us produce the research proposal where at the beginning all of us where blur and we were stuck at a point, then she gives us some guidance, and later towards the end of the semester she gave us a brief explanation on what and how the final masterpiece should be. I learned so much from Dr.Jessie lecture and I believe it will help me a lot in preparing my Final Thesis.

Reflection 5

23rd December 2011, this is the last day of the semester. The class started as usual at 3.00pm. I was surprised where not all our classmates turn up on the last day of our class. There are a few presentations on that day including my group. Once all the presentation over then comes Dr.Jessie with her final feedback about the whole semester. She commented on our proposal and she gave us suggestion on how to improve the quality of our proposal. Besides that, she also gave us an article on “How to Get Published Scholarly Journals” , where this article explains us more on journal writing. Towards the end of the class Dr.Jessie shared her point of view about the class she she’s totally happy with our class performance and commitment. She also shared with us on how to answer the final exam questions. I would like to thank Dr.Jessie for delivering a wonderful lecture, guiding us to complete our assignment, answering our questions with patience during our lesson and giving us a clear point of view on how to produce a good piece of proposal or journal. I am also so happy because through this class I became friends with most of our classmates. Thank you everyone for the great memories.

67. Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - January 7, 2012

23 December 2011…last day of class as well as last presentation for my group. We were assigned to find an interesting SLA issue to present and discuss in the class. The topic that my group had chosen was “Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English”. Initially my group mates and I wasn’t sure of what type of SLA issue should we choose and discuss. Many issues were brought to the table during our group meet. After much consideration and brain storming, we decided on the said issue.

As a whole, I believed that 3 of us, Anita, Safiyah and myself had given our best in presenting our opinions on whether Mathematics and Science should be taught in English which we absolutely and without any doubt agree to the system. As educators who teach English subjects in schools and institutions, we agree that English should be the medium of instruction to teach maths and science in school. The class went into a heated discussion towards the end of the presentation the moment we asked for opinions from member of the floor. Most of us agreed that English should be used to teach these subjects and many reasons were given to support their standing such as it can very well improve students’ English proficiency and the education standard in Malaysian schools could be improvised.

However we noticed that certain classmates were not in favour of the implementation of the system. The reason being is that teachers are not ready and not well equipped with sufficient knowledge to teach Mathematics and Science in English. The debate would probably go on longer with ideas, opinions, and arguments being thrown out during the presentation if Dr Jessie didn’t let us continue the debate in her blog.

In reflection, it was a very daring and smart move to choose the issue as our presentation as it made all us to crack our brains in finding statements to defend own opinions.

68. Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - January 7, 2012

Dr Jessie, reflection dated 7/01/2012 is my reflection number 3. Thank you.

69. Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - January 7, 2012

Reflection 4

One of the tasks that Dr Jessie had assigned us to do which I found stressful at first but helpful at last was finding for ISI journal and produced the annotated bibliography. I had a very hard time locating ISI journals as many ISI journals in certain sites are not purchased or subscribed by the University Malaya’s library. It was very frustrating when you finally found one good article that correlates to your study but all you can do was just reading the extract and membership fees are needed to get the full text. Thus, that made my search of ISI journals even harder. After countless time of searching and finding, I managed to get few ISI journals and some non-ISI ones.
Realizing that the dateline for the submission of the annotated bibliography was very near, I had no other choice but to use the non-ISI journals also to do my annotated bibliography. After writing 15 annotated bibliographies, I realized that, writing annotated bibliography is not a difficult task provided we have all the necessary aspect of writing one in us. I learnt that, writing annotated bibliography could actually assist in writing the literature review of a real research. The samples selected, the design used, the findings and the conclusion are the elements of what we must have in our bibliography. Reading a lot of articles and journals sometimes make me even more confused as there are a lot of words, design, samples and findings that I need to understand. As I am so new to writing annotated bibliography and hardly know what the types of samples and design are, a brief annotated bibliography showed me everything about a study in just few short paragraphs. Besides, it can help me keep track of which study to look at and reread should I need to refer to it in future when writing the research.
Writing reference in APA format has become less confusing after many times practicing writing it in the annotated bibliography.
Therefore, writing annotated bibliography had been useful for me in writing my research paper.

70. Cassandra Jothi Krishnan - January 7, 2012

Reflection 5

All throughout this semester, I have learnt, experienced, shared and enjoyed my journey learning Research in Second Language Acquisition. My first impression when enrolled for this subject was I would probably learn all the learning theories such as behaviorism, humanism and many others similar to what I did in my undergraduate, but I was wrong as I actually learnt many other valuables things by participating in the class.

The importance of annotated bibliography, how to write a research paper, the proper way of writing a research paper, elements must be included in a research paper, and how to conduct SLA classroom research, current issues in SLA are the few very important things that I learnt which will be very useful to me in future. Even though I have little experience in conducting research during my undergraduate, it wasn’t as comprehensive as what I am learning now where every little unseen things are important and essential in a research.

Presentations after presentations, discussions after discussions have helped me, though not a lot but enough to make me appreciate those good friends I have in the class. The group that I have for group presentations; Kak Safiyah and Anita are very helpful in helping me at all times. They made me realized that communication, understanding and tolerance are as important as anything else if you want to achieve something you have dreamt for. Presenting for the first time with them was really nerve-racking but it turned to be fun and to top it off, we actually got the highest rating from other course mates. Thank you both of you.

Not forgetting all my other course mates who made the class lively as we get along well each time. The presentation presented by them such as the Survey design, Experimental design, classroom analysis and statistical analysis were very helpful in helping me understanding as I developed few of the method and instruments into the research in doing especially the experimental design. The questioning and feedback given helped me in developing the proper experimental design for my study. The discussions in the class with Dr. Jessie were interesting as the topics posed are from the current issues happening in Malaysia nowadays.

Lastly, not forgetting Dr. Jessie, who has put up with all our characters with an everlasting smile from her face. All the lectures you gave us regarding research are indeed simple to understand and easy to follow. The patience u showed to us whenever we had after class session where everyone would swarmed around you, ready to shoot endless questions regarding research are very much appreciated as I believe many have stepped out of their confuse zone of writing a research because I know I have gained useful insight on that matter. Thank you Dr. Jessie.

Before I end my reflection of the whole semester, I would like to wish all of you luck in our SLA paper. Good luck aite…

71. Wan Mohd Noraiman (PGP110005) - January 8, 2012

First day I am a master student and first class for Second Language Research. At first everything was fine but when the class begin it the different thing altogether. I feel like I am in a different world, the world of unknown that fills up with thousands of question marks. This research thing is totally new for me. Some of the terms use sounded like an alien language for me. During my first degree day, also in UM, thesis is not a requirement for me to grab the degree. But now it is compulsory for me to learn about it and carried my own research in order to get the scroll. I feel like dying that day. Keep on thinking in what trouble I put myself in. however, as the day goes on, class after class, I think I can make it, but for sure with some extra effort and a lot of sacrifices. With the help from Dr. Jessie and my fellow friends I think that I can continue this journey until the end and I hope rainbow is there for me at the end.

72. Wan Mohd Noraiman (PGP110005) - January 8, 2012

The day is come for my first group presentation. My group members and I are presenting on the topic of Introspection Research. Sound familiar? For me again it is an alien language. Am never heard until the day Dr. Jessie asked us to presenting the topic. How am suppose to present something that me myself unfamiliar with? Well nothing is impossible. With some extra work to read the book and some information gathering from the internet we at last manage to finish the presentation and explaining our topic to the fellow class members. Admit that my presentation skill was not very good. What to expect after 2 years this is my first presentation. In school never did this kind of presentation except in Malay. Well I can’t use English to explain about examination progress to the parents. English not even their second or third language. So, this presentation is a good jump start for me to start all over again and in the same time polishing my presentation skill.

73. Wan Mohd Noraiman (PGP110005) - January 8, 2012

Doing assignment is the most burdensome for me. With pilling of works at the school, completing the assignment is the hardest part for me. But nothing good comes easy. To win something you need to lose something. It is the cycle of the nature. Finally I have finished all of my assignment. Although it is not the best of what I think can do, but at least I know that I have try my best in finishing it. Hope that I can do better in my future assignment so that I can prepare myself for the final thesis that I need to do in my final semester.

74. PRAVENDRAN MUTHU ( PBGS6113) - January 8, 2012

PRAVENDRAN MUTHU
PBGS 6113

Reflection 1

September 23 2011, It was my first day attending SLA class. I was quite nervous and excited during the first class because its already more than one year since I read any books or did any revision on my TESL programme books. During the class Dr.Jessie explained about the course outline and it seem to be very tough. So many questions running through my mind and that’s where I realized Masters program is not easy and lots of effort need to be put in to make sure I pass through this subject. . We were given homework on our very first day of the course to read up chapter 1&2 from the textbook Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers (2009) and also to start looking for 5 articles for our first assignment, annotated bibliography. At the beginning we didn’t manage to find the book because the book was not available in the library and it was out of stock in the bookstore. Dr Jessie was kind enough to lend her book for us to photocopy. Thank you Dr.Jessie.

Reflection 2

It was our third class, as I remembered. Dr. Jessie and the whole class were discussing on the issue of educational theories. Those theories are behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism and humanism. Actually I enjoyed the class so much because there was an ongoing debate between the classmates on which approach seem to be the best approach. Besides that, it was a flashback of what has been taught during my undergraduate’s studies. At first everything seemed to be blur because its already more than one year I read about all this theories but as the lectures and classroom discussions went on, I could recall some of the things I’ve learnt earlier. I would say that some of the questions that Dr. Jessie’s asked really make me think of the teaching approaches I’m using to teach my students. DR Jessie also took the initiative to endow us with slides and videos in order for us to capture the theories in-depth and comprehensively. From my point of view , I prefer cognitivism compared to the other three theories because I am teaching young adults which are undergraduate students from 17 – 25 years old. This is because, through cognitivism teacher guides and facilitate the students during the learning process and learners feel more comfortable and fearless in learning a new topic. Besides that, it enhance students’ capability and competence in approaching the subject matter. As a lecturer, I practice cognitivism theory in my class and I always see students participating well in the classroom. Seriously, I would like to thank Dr. Jessie for delivering an effective lecture which makes me understand those theories more in depth.

Reflection 3

Finally today is my group presentation. Our presentation was based on chapter 7 ( Quasi-experimental research : vocabulary learning techniques ) from the textbook Brown, J.D & T.S Rodgers (2009). Basically, this chapter is quite tough because it involves lots of calculation and its very confusing as well. It took us some time to prepare the presentation because the topic was hard and all our group members were also busy preparing other assignment as well. Some of us are working and it was really hard for us to meet up each other. I would like to thank my group members because they were committed to their task and we manage to deliver a good piece of presentation. Something that interests me is that our topic soon became a heated discussion. Everyone in the class was trying to understand the differences of experimental and quasi experimental and relates them to their research to see whether they were in the right track or not. They asked us so many questions until all of us became confused and we could not give them a finalized answer. Finally Dr.Jessie explained and cleared the doubt that our classmates are trying to clarify. I would like to thank Dr.Jessie to make us understand better on the topic.

Reflection 4

The toughest part in SLA module is preparing the research proposal. This is because, it’s so hard for me to come out with ‘Statement of the problem’, ‘research problem’, ‘Research questions’, ‘background of the study’ etc. Seriously, it took more than two weeks for me to come out with the research topic. Besides that, I have to manage my time to meet with the subjects of my research to carry out the activities that I had planned. I have to travel all the way to Kuala Selangor which takes me more than 1 hour to meet up with my research subjects. I was so released when my pre and post test was finally completed. Since then I have to burn the midnight oil in preparing the proposal. Actually I really enjoyed all the hard times that I gone through to prepare the proposal. I would like to thank Dr.Jessie because she really make us produce the research proposal where at the beginning all of us where blur and we were stuck at a point, then she gives us some guidance, and later towards the end of the semester she gave us a brief explanation on what and how the final masterpiece should be. I learned so much from Dr.Jessie lecture and I believe it will help me a lot in preparing my Final Thesis.

Reflection 5

23rd December 2011, this is the last day of the semester. The class started as usual at 3.00pm. I was surprised where not all our classmates turn up on the last day of our class. There are a few presentations on that day including my group. Once all the presentation over then comes Dr.Jessie with her final feedback about the whole semester. She commented on our proposal and she gave us suggestion on how to improve the quality of our proposal. Besides that, she also gave us an article on “ How to Get Published Scholarly Journals” , where this article explains us more on journal writing. Towards the end of the class Dr.Jessie shared her point of view about the class she she’s totally happy with our class performance and commitment. She also shared with us on how to answer the final exam questions. I would like to thank Dr.Jessie for delivering a wonderful lecture, guiding us to complete our assignment, answering our questions with patience during our lesson and giving us a clear point of view on how to produce a good piece of proposal or journal. I am also so happy because through this class I became friends with most of our classmates. Thank you everyone for the great memories.

75. SITI AISHAH BINTI SAHAIRI (PGP 110013) - January 10, 2012

REFLECTION 1

My life as a student has just started. I can’t believe that I have become a student again after eight years of teaching. ‘Learning versus teaching’ … It reminds me to the discussion in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) class today. The discussion was about theories in SLA – Behaviourism, Cognitivism and Constructivism. When Dr Jessie introduced this topic in our class, she made me think of my own teaching techniques. Somehow I forget about these theories even though I have learnt them during my undergraduate years.

I really enjoyed today’s class as it reflects to my own teaching. With eight years of teaching experiences, I am still dissatisfied with my own teaching and more improvements should be made in the future. At the beginning of the class, I discovered lots of new things from Dr Jessie’s lecture especially the explanation about the theories. Things which are familiar with us as teachers but somehow we forget to apply in our teaching.

This class became more interesting when Dr Jessie instructed us to have a group discussion for this topic. A simple group discussion but indeed, it gave me more insights towards this topic. The comments from other groups were also helpful as I could listen to their teaching experiences. In this class, we come from different level of teaching institutions – primary, secondary and tertiary levels. So when every group gave their views towards the topic, they reflected to their own teaching. I enjoyed this discussion session because we share our teaching experiences indirectly and some of my friends’ experiences can be applied to my teaching later. Overall, this topic is really interesting as it opens my eyes to look back into my teaching style.

REFLECTION 2

“A book review”… It scared me all this while. It started when Dr Jessie asked us to upload our favourite topic for the presentation. My group has decided to choose Chapter 6 – Correlational Research. “What is correlational research?”… It sounds complicated but this question kept appearing all the times. I came across to this research several times while I was doing my annotated bibliography assignment.

When I read the SLA textbook, it answered all the questions on my mind. To be honest, I thought the textbook is boring. However, it turned to the other way round. The book is easy to read and the explanation is simple and clear. Therefore, I can say that the book is really helpful to us and Dr Jessie was right. At the beginning of the semester, she said that the book is easy to be understood and it is true based on my own reading experience. I could understand my chapter the first time I read the book. The explanation and the exercises provided in the book help me a lot for my presentation.

I learnt many new things from the presentation. The process of preparing, presenting and being evaluated are sweet and bitter moments for my group. Correlational research deals with figures. It counts for calculation. I love this topic because I like numbers. That was why I offered myself to present the two types of correlation coefficient namely – Spearman (rho, or ρ), and Phi (Φ). The best part was when I tried to use Microsoft Equation. This was my first time of using this Microsoft Equation and I never use it before. It was fun when my group members and I were exploring it. I saw once my Mathematics colleague used it while she was preparing test for her students but never care to learn. Now, I had to learn it for my presentation. It was a worth-while experience even though it was only a small thing.

Thanks to Allah for blessing us. The presentation went well and marks were given by peers and Dr Jessie. The comments on Facebook were meaningful to us and thanks for the comments. Talking about comments and marks on Facebook, I really like the idea. It encourages us to be more punctual and becomes analytical. Basically, this book review gives us better understanding on this topic.

REFLECTION 3

At last, we had our replacement class today. It was scheduled from 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm, a five hours evening class. At first, I thought this class would be a long class but when it started, I was excited to learn more and more. This is due to today’s topic which was related to steps in research process.

This class really meant a lot for me as all of us were struggling with our interim draft. As for me, I am still confused in certain parts of my research chapters. So, when Dr Jessie lectured steps in research process, it gave me more new knowledge in conducting a research. Deeper explanation was given on each chapter and it is really useful in the process of completing my interim draft.

In this SLA class, we started our assignment with annotated bibliography of ISI journals. It followed by research proposal and then submission of interim draft. When I did all these three, now I realize the sequence of these assignments. They are all interrelated. Basically, Dr Jessie has outlined this course easier. The annotated bibliography helps us in writing literature review for research proposal and interim draft.

By the time the proposal was returned to us, Dr Jessie asked us to start doing our interim draft. So we did our best to complete the draft with our little research knowledge. A million thanks to Dr Jessie for extending the submission date for the interim draft. We would have more time to edit the draft with the new knowledge of today’s class. The way Dr Jessie approached us was a bit different. She asked us to produce the interim draft first, later she gave lecture on research steps. By doing so, I would realize the mistakes I have made and it encourages me to do better in my interim draft.

REFLECTION 4

I have so many feelings while completing my interim draft. It is a long journey process before getting to the end. Besides, I also learnt many new things along the way. The first one is research requires a lot of time. For me, the process of getting the right materials was really challenging – looking for materials on the internet, making copy of related materials, selecting the best materials from save file and extracting information from related articles. If the articles do not meet the standard, the process will be repeated again and it is time consuming.

Second, research teaches me to be more patient. As I mentioned above, it is a long journey process and definitely time consuming. There was time when I got stuck in the writing process and it made me down for a while. But that is a researcher’s life. Sometimes, we get things easily. There are times when we need to struggle for ourselves. Therefore, patience and motivation must go together in order to finish the written work.

Finally, research makes me think clearly. When carrying out a research, I have to be clear with my topic. I must focus and know what I am doing. This is to ensure my research focuses on certain areas and understandable to readers.

REFLECTION 5

Today was the last class of this semester. It is hardly to believe that 15 weeks have passed in a short time period. Time flies. The first few classes, everything in this class was new to me. New friends, new environment and new lecturer but they are no longer new. We have known each other for quite some times a.k.a 15 weeks.

Happiness, laughter and joys… We have gone through these 15 weeks together. For SLA class, the last class means one more submission has to be done. It refers to our final research paper. Dr Jessie will return our interim draft soon so that we can make final edition before submit it.

There is something different with this final paper. Dr Jessie provided us with a new format for our final research paper. Actually it is slightly similar to the format that we have been working all this while but there are certain parts in which we have to include or exclude from our research paper. The format is taken from this article – “How to Get Published Scholarly Journals”. The explanation given in this article is short and simple. It is easy and guides me a lot. I have tried my best to come out with a good research paper and I hope my research paper will be on the right track.

Doing a research paper in SLA class has introduced me to the real research world. I will be doing the same procedure for my master’s thesis soon and the knowledge gained in this SLA class is useful for me in the future. It is hoped that I will be able to produce an excellent research paper with this knowledge.

76. Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - January 10, 2012

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni (PGP 110016)

The thought of going back to studies after 2 years was quite fun for me but when I had to think about being a part time student, I was not sure of how I am going to cope. My fear became worse as my friend and I turned up late for our first class. We arrived 40 minutes late. As I am working, I can only leave to KL at 12.30pm and the class is at 3pm. We were so afraid to go into the classroom but we gathered all our courage to open the door. We saw the lecturer and she smiled at us. She looked at her watch and said “You are 40 minutes late”. We said sorry and sat at the back of the class as the class was full. Though we missed the earlier part, we managed to catch up with the lesson. Most of terms did ring a bell as I have learned them in Bachelor’s Degree. Generally, the first class was interesting. Going back to studies as a part timer was not so bad after all.

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - January 10, 2012

Reflection 1

77. khayaetiry - January 10, 2012

Reflection 1

It was my first class for PBGS 6113, Research in Second Language Acquisition. I was very nervous because some of my friends told me that some of the lecturers who are teaching master students will be very strict and they will eat our head off. My life is a hectic life whereby I go to school at 7.30am and I will always be back at 10pm after all the tuition classes. I was thinking whether I really can cope up with the master classes and at the same time it was my dream to continue my studies in University Malaya. Thanks god I met some of my ex-university friends in the same class. I did not felt that I am alone after I saw my friends. Dr Jessie enters the classroom and introduces herself as the one who is going to teach us the subject. She went through the course content and at that time I had a rough idea what the subject is going to be about. Second language Acquisition was one of the subjects I took when I did my degree. I believe that the subject is going to be an easy one because I scored A+ in degree. I tried recalling all the terms explained by all the researchers. It was still fresh in my mind. Dr Jessie asked everyone to introduce themselves by asking our names, hometowns and working particulars. I felt this ice breaking session was very important whereby it did not only help Dr Jessie to identify us, at the same time it helped me to know all my friend’s name from different areas all around the world. I was shocked to hear that one of them always flies on Friday for classes and return back on Saturday to Sabah after attending her classes. It indirectly motivates me. I got to know Anita who is also from the same area as mine which is Klang. I still remember Dr Jessie asked me the duration from Klang to University Malaya. I told Dr Jessie, it will take approximately one hour. Then, Anita suggested a different way which only takes about 35-45 minutes to reach. From that day onwards, I will take the shorter way from school to reach University. I was thinking that ice breaking was a waste of time and Dr. Jessie just open my eyes by proving it to me that it is an important session for everyone. Dr Jessie asked everyone to read on chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Doing Second Language Research by James Dean Brown and Theodore S. Rodgers. After the class, the whole group members from PBGS 6113 went to the book shop near ‘Perdana Siswa’ to hunt for the book. There was not any single copy of the book with the same edition that Dr Jessie told us. So we were having two thoughts whether to buy the book with the previous edition. Pravin, Afsa, Nabila, few more friends and I went to the library to borrow the book. Perhaps it was not our luck; the book that we were looking for was not there. Probably someone should have borrowed it from the library. We wanted to get the book from MPH bookstore. Due to the time constrain, I did not get an opportunity to get the book. Thank god one of my friends made a copy for me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her here. We ended our class in a happy mode.

Reflection 2

I was too excited and completed my final paper earlier than the closing date. My friends told me that the submission of the final paper is on the 30th of December. Including me, my friends Nabila and Afsa also have completed our final paper. I just wanted to have a look at their work and I freaked out after looking at their work. My final paper was very thick compared to both of them because of my appendix. I attached the entire lesson plans that I carried out with my students in class; pre test, treatment and the post test. I was really looking forward for Dr Jessie’s guidance. Dr Jessie gave us an outline on the format of how our final paper should be and the title of the outline is “How to get published”. It was totally different from the draft that I did because in our final paper format, the literature review part was omitted. I was feeling very unhappy and uneasy with my work. I was wondering whether my work is correct or am I out of track. I made myself strong and went to take a letter from Dr Jessie. I felt I rather ask Dr Jessie about my work rather than confusing myself. I showed Dr. Jessie my work. I told Dr Jessie that my work is thick because of my appendix. She said it is fine and asked me to pass it up to her. I just told her that I will put it according the journal format and pass it to her very soon. She was really cooperating with me. I felt so easy and thanked her. As a teacher, I had to undergo few important things in that particular stage such as observations in schools and extra curriculum activities. Dr Jessie could understand her students’ situation. She was not very cruel with us and she was very flexible with us. I thought that our final draft was our final work but due to the hot topic from Anita’s group on PPSMI, all students need to write an issue on that particular topic. I had draft few points immediately after Dr Jessie told us that we need to post it in our Innovation in Education blog.

Reflection 3

Dr Jessie asked everyone to form a group with three members in each group. Nabila, Afsa, Pravin and I are from the same University during our degree education. We felt that we can work together without any problem. We were so afraid that Dr Jessie will not agree with four members in a group. We just asked her opinion and she accepts our group. She was so sporting. We really like that in her. All the chapters were distributed in facebook and we as in group 5 did not choose any topic and at that moment topic 7 was available. The topic was about Quasi Experimental Research: Vocabulary Learning Techniques. Does it sound so complicated? Yes and it was. We really read through the chapter in depth and at one point I went blank. Nabila really helped me in this work. Finally I can tell and explain the differences of Quasi Experimental and a True Experimental Research. I learnt on variables in this chapter and I can recognize which are the independent and dependent variables. The worst part was the T-Test section. Thank god Pravin safed our life. He carried out the lesson in a very simple way and everyone could really understand his explanation. We have done our best as a group. We worked and learnt a lot in our team. I personally felt that the way Dr Jessie incorporated in class was an effective way because I have learnt what Quasi Experimental Research is but I could not recall what it was until I did my presentation on this chapter. During the vocabulary recall experiment, I changed the Spanish part into French because I had some knowledge on it. Thanks to Gwendolyn to correct my mistake in the translation of yes in French word (Qui and it is not Qui). Overall, I have learnt to cooperate with my friends from this group work.

Reflection 4

I just loved the theory class conducted by Dr. Jessie. The explanations given were superb clear. It is all related to the theories that I have studied before in my degree classes. The question posted by Dr Jessie during the class on the 30th September 2011 was very effective for me to recall whatever we learnt in the class. She asked us to work in groups and there were three questions for us to answer; First question-Brief explanations of the three theories that we learnt. Second question- Which theory has an impact on the group? Third question- What theory do you prefer? Why? The first theory is about Behaviorisms Theory by B.F Skinner. He states that a child learns in a pattern of stimulus-imitation-reinforcement. The reinforcement can either be a positive or a negative reinforcement. Students are believed that they are from a blank or empty state. So the teachers or the parents need to guide them always for them to excel. The teaching usually in a controlled mode and it will be best if it is a teacher centered classroom. Examples of activities that can be used in enhancing the students are by using some coloured flash cards and impart some games in lesson. The second theory was on Cognitive Theory. It is all related to mental process. Processing of knowledge that is from short term memory to long term memory will be explained in depth. Teacher acts as a connector and the attention getter. The teacher should repeat information many times for the students until they can capture it. Students can be asked to link to their prior knowledge and teachers should encourage them to do works in pairs. Last but not least is my favourite theory which is Constructivism Theory. Piaget has put his work in a clear way. Even my group members supported Constructivism. Students are allowed to work in collaborative mode. Teacher only needs to do their duty as a facilitator and a model for the students. Examples of activities that can be carried out in the classroom are in terms of projects, presentations and dialogues. The question posted really helped me to know and memorize all the theories that have been taught by Dr. Jessie. At the same time, I was the presenter for this work, so I should know well what I am saying. It really helped me and until now I can really remember all by heart.

Reflection 5

One of our assessments is to read a journal or an article and present what is the material all about in class. My group members and I really worked on the ‘so call’ last assessment. Thank god it was during school holidays which led me to spend some time with my group members to complete this work. While we were doing our work, we felt that we were out of tract. Something was really missing in that article. The article was about reading skills in the beginning and then it was concluding about listening skills. We almost complete our work and the time was 9pm. The major part, METHODOLOGY, was totally not there and we only realized at the end around 9pm. We started doing our work at around 2pm. Of course without missing chit chatting, it took us to complete our work at 9pm. It was such a waste analyzing an article without a methodology and that was the important part Dr Jessie wants to see and hear. Next day was our presentation and we were feeling very afraid to present our work. Dr Jessie was really upset with our class because she wanted at least 5 groups to present and only 3 groups turn out that day. We felt very bad and prepared with our new article and slides for the next week. This time we were very serious with our work and I told to myself there is no more last minute work. I never wish to do last minute work but somehow it turn out to be a last minute work. I really learnt in this course that last minute work ‘kills’ human fast. We successfully presented our article and that was our last presentation in class. I did not aspect for the semester to end this fast with Dr Jessie and I am looking forward to work with her in upcoming subjects. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Jessie for guiding me all the while in completing my work in this course.

78. Princess Lina - January 10, 2012

Reflection 5

Friday, 13th January 2012, is the day where I have to use all the information and feedback that I have got from the lectures to be tested. I do feel nervous at the same time, since school just started and with all the workload from school, there will not be enough time for me to study all the notes that I have taken from the lectures but I am sure I can do it.

On this day, we also have to pass up a copy of the final paper and the evaluation form before we sit for the exam. It was not easy typing out the feedback form. I spend almost an hour thinking how to find the correct words to type but finally I manages to finish it.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr Jessie again for her advise and feedback regarding my research paper because without her help I would not be able to complete my paper. And guys… Good luck for ur exams….

79. Erin Balqis Qing - January 10, 2012

PGP 110025 Balqis Shi Qingqing

Reflection 2 (30-09-2011)
It was very impressive that Dr. Jessie asked us to watch this video, which had a lot of information about Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructism. I learned pretty much from it and the discussion and presentation Dr. Jessie asked us to do in a group.
I have learned that behaviorism theory is about preparing exercises. It is the result of stimulus. As a teacher we should condition the learners, e.g. give reward and punishment. The object should be clear, which includes foster repetitive knowledge. The materials that teacher can use are flash cards and games etc.
About Cognitivism theory, which is information processing, is the response to behavior and the result of brain process. The knowledge transfers from short term memory to long term memory in this stage. Teacher is an attention getter, connector, repeater and organizer. The students would store information by recalling from the teacher. Learner’s brain is to process, store, locate, response and create. In this theory, the learners must be immersed within challenge and fearless environment. When new information links to prior knowledge, the learner’s brain will become more logical and organized. The material can used by teachers is diagrams etc.
Last but not least, the Constructivism theory suggests that learning occurs when information move to long term memory. Teachers should actively engage the learners to create their own knowledge based on their experiences. The role of teachers is models and guides. The learners will be asked to judge their own process, and then create new ideas with others. The materials can used by teachers are (group) presentation and projects etc.
Dr. Jessie asked us to find the answer by ourselves, think more and present our own ideas. That was very good teaching strategy, in my opinion, because I have learned more when I was involved in the real learning process.

Reflection 3 (18-11-2011)
We (Group 9) did our textbook presentation together with Group 4 on Chapter 2 – case study in 18 November, 2011.
We have prepared for a long time and made appointment with Dr. Jessie to discuss about the group work. It was a really exciting adventure that working with other group members. We discussed, analyzed and even fought for some ideas because of the disagreement. However, we learned a lot through this process. Besides, our friendship became more tight and actually we all enjoyed the experience that when we were working together.
After my friend Sarah introduced the definition, I gave the explanation of how to design and interpret a case study. Then I gave an example from the article we had chosen.
The title of the article was “The Impact of School on EFL Learning Motivation: An Indonesian Case Study”. The aim of the research was to track changes in the junior high school students’ reported motivation and learning activity and to identify internal and external factors which might be associated with the changes. The research sample is a single cohort of students beginning formal study of the language at junior high school in a provincial Indonesian city.
An equal-status mixed-method strategy was adopted. First, a closed and open questionnaire is for the whole cohort twice: 1st time is after the beginning of their 1st semester and 2nd time is after 20 months. After that, a group of 12 focal learners was selected on the basis of the first survey. They were interviewed (semi-structured interviews) for three times: a) at the beginning; b) after 8 months of study; c) 1 year later at the endpoint of the study. At the same time, the researcher observed each of these 12 learners at least twice: a) outside school; b) in the class.
In addition, my friend Pakia presented how to compile case study data, how to analyze case study data and how to report the results.
Last but not least, my friend Siti introduced the significance of case study research, how to reflect on case study research and the conclusion of our presentation.
Four of us did the presentation but all other friends: Mohana, Amy and Hazlinah was doing equally job in our group work.
After the class we have seen the comments from our other friend in FB. I think if we had added one short activity or related video to bring out the topic, and pay attention to our orally presentation skill, the presentation would be much better. However, I think we have learned a lot and really had a good time when working with each other.

Reflection 4 (23-12-2011)
We did the issue article presentation. It was impressed to me that the topic Group 7 gave – whether science should be taught in English or Bahasa Malayu in Malaysia.
It reminded me about another issue – the English language teaching and learning situation in China.
English is a compulsory subject that all secondary school students and university students must take from their Age 12 to 22 in China. But most of the students study English only for passing the exam. English is considering as a foreign language in China, most of the students never use it real life, so after graduation, they just throw it away because English language to them is useless. I think that is one of the reasons causes students’ low interest and motivation in studying English language.
What I am thinking is, the educational system should provide multiple choices for students after given them the Basic English language knowledge. If students can choose whether they want to study about English or not when entering the higher secondary school or university, that will be better. If they want to study English and choose English-related career in the future, or they have more interest in English language and culture, then they can choose this subject. On the other hand, if some students feel English is too difficult and useless to them, and they won’t choose any English-related job in the future, then they can drop this subject and focus more on what they are interested in.
The same to Malaysia, I think the educational system should provide a chance to ask students to choose, whether they want to study science in English or Bahasa Malayu. The higher secondary school can provide both English and Bahasa class for science, and the exam paper can be bilingual. It is practical, and the most important thing is, we should listen to students’ opinion: what is in their thoughts and what do they truly like. This is an appropriate way to raise learners’ motivation and the efficiency to study.

80. Di Siti Shi - January 11, 2012

Siti Shi Di

PGP 110024

Reflection 1:

Before entering the class, just read the course title, I thought this course is a challenging one, and in fact it is really not an easy one for me~ haha~ I still can remember the first day I attend R in SLA class, after everyone introduce themselves, I suddenly recognized that actually so many classmates are English teachers in schools with lots of teaching experience, unlike myself, with little experience in teaching, which makes me stressful very much at the beginning. However, during long time studying together, we shared knowledge and experience under the guide of Dr Jessie in the class, which makes the class a very relaxed and informative one. And referring to our first assignment, annotated bibliography, for me, it’s my first time to know and get familiar with writing an annotated bibliography. Totally have no idea about the focus area. Fortunately, Dr Jessie gave me lots of helpful suggestions to clear my mind and advised some book resources for further reading. After that, I just spent one day on collecting the bibliography in the library cause under Dr Jessie’s help, I’ve already got the clear outline and objectives to fulfill the task. From then on, I tend to more confident to complete this course.

Reflection 2:

I very enjoy the theory radio Dr Jessie played in our second class, which shows and explains three big theories in SLA: behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. As my first glance, I just realized that I have learnt it before, but cannot remember it clearly. At that time, Dr Jessie’s explanations help me recall my previous knowledge. Besides, I like this video as it is very informative as it explains more about the theories, from each theory’s meaning, their usages, to the way of conducting each one, etc. In the third lecture, three groups presented about Introspection research and Classroom research. All the three presentations are good as the presenters’ statements are clearly and with points specifically, which help me understand the two types of research well. Dr Jessie asked us to evaluate and give marks to each group presenter. This way trained our evaluation skills and provided a chance to make reflection on our self and other groups’ presentation.

Reflection 3:

In our task 2, group presentation, our group’s topic is Case study research (Chapter 2). Before the presentation, we were not sure PPT content and format and Dr Jessie gave suggestions and answered our questions and said to us that ‘no need to worry, just try best to explain’, which comforts and relaxes us very much. The members of our group discussed several times and the last time is before the real presentation outside the classroom. We believe we well prepared, however, I’m still nervous as my last time of presenting in front of people was one year before. And I made a very big mistake that I forgot to explain the useful examples in the article I already prepared, oh, my~ However, it doesn’t influence the understanding of others towards our topic, and we received most responses from our dear classmates. And finally, Dr Jessie satisfied with our presentation generally, although, a lot of limitations in our presentation need us to improve. Anyway, we believe we can do better next time.

Reflection 4:

Experiencing several setbacks, I’m finally finished my final paper. Actually it is not totally well-off as I changed my focus area several times, from the effect of reading strategies on vocabulary acquisition to brain storming and writing strategies. Another reason is that it is a little late to find local students to complete the survey, thus I changed my sample to secondary school students in China and mailed my survey questions to them to get the quicker responses. In the last class, we presented issue of our group. After listening to Dr Jessie’s evaluation towards our group issue, we just realized that actually the issue we focus on is not a real issue. And Dr Jessie suggested that based on the article we found, what issue should be discussed. Except our group issue, I also interest in the issue group 7 posted – whether using English as the instruction language in Maths and Science teaching in Malaysian secondary school. My opinion is that I support teaching Maths and Science in English cause it contributes to the globalization, but after all, it is a big change, both teachers and students need a period of time to adjust.

Reflection 5:

The R in SLA class has gone to the end so fast. Thanks to Dr Jessie’s informative guiding and delivering, through this course, I get more familiar towards doing research in SLA area and learnt how to conduct annotated bibliography, proposal and how to make an improvement towards a good presentation. Besides, Dr Jessie’s blog provides us a forum to discuss and exchange ideas about the issues and to reflect our own study process. And I’m so pleasure to share the wonderful learning time in our all 15 classes with each one of you, my classmates~!
.

81. Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - January 12, 2012

Reflection 2

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni (PGP 110016)

At the end of our first class, my friend and I spoke to our lecturer, Dr Jessie. We explained to her the reason for being late. We were glad that Dr Jessie could understand our situation, but she told us not to be too late every week. There were few course requirements to be met throughout our course. So I started working on my first assignment which is ‘Annotated Bibliography’. For this task, a lot of readings need to be done. Firstly I had problem in selecting a topic as I had too many topics in my mind. Things became easier when Dr Jessie said that the journals should be ISI indexed. That narrowed down my topics as not all the journals that I had were ISI indexed. Though it was difficult, I brought myself to read all the articles. Upon reading, I had to come up with a summary of the journals and the reference in APA style. Somehow I managed to complete the first requirements. Well done, I told myself.

82. Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - January 12, 2012

Reflection 3

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni (PGP 110016)

The next requirement was a group presentation. All the groups were assigned with chapters from the textbook ‘Doing Second Language Research by James Dean Brown and Theodore S. Rodgers’. Our group was assigned to do Chapter 2. Our topic was ‘Case Study’. We were also asked to review one journal which is related to our topic. As my group members were also my colleagues, so it was easier for us to meet and discuss. All of us prepared slides for the presentation and decided that Siti Sarah and I will present. During our discussion, we realized that doing a case study is actually interesting. Our presentation date was on the 28th October 2011. As it was two days after Deepavali, Mohana and I were on leave. So we left early from Ipoh as we did not want to turn up late for our presentation. Prepared for the presentation, we left to KL not knowing what was awaiting us. On our way, nearby Lembah Beringin, my car started to jerk. I knew something was wrong with my car, so I pulled to the road side and my car suddenly stopped and I could not start the engine. We were stranded on the highway. Though I was concerned about my car and our safety, we were more worried about our presentation. So I called my group members Siti Sarah and Balqis to inform them about our condition. I also asked them to inform Dr Jessie. I still had hope that we could fix my car and reach in time but it was hopeless. We missed the class and the presentation. Our group member told me that Dr Jessie said we could present the following week. Thank you and sorry Dr Jessie.

83. Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - January 12, 2012

Reflection 4

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni (PGP 110016)

After having extra time to prepare for our presentation, our turn to present finally arrived. We reached UM two hours in advance to make sure everything falls in the right place. We were prepared. The truth is, no matter how prepared I am, I am always nervous. When I’m nervous, I tend to talk fast. So we started our presentation. My group mate started with the introduction. My part was the findings. We related our presentation to our article. Our article was on Indonesian case study where a group of Indonesian students’ way of learning English was observed. It was an interesting article and very relevant to our topic. Though I was nervous, I managed to finish the presentation. The feedbacks that we get from our classmates were really helpful to improve our presentation skills. The comments given by them were very constructive and helped us to see our mistakes such as not having activities in our presentation.

84. Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni - January 12, 2012

Reflection 5

Pakialetchumy a/p Antoni (PGP 110016)

I had few more tasks to be completed. Writing a research paper was never easy back from my Bachelor’s Degree’s time. In this class, with the guidance of Dr Jessie and fellow classmates, things were made easy. I managed to write my first draft. However, my biggest challenge was not writing the draft but being a part time student. It was very difficult for me juggle between my work and studies. We had another presentation. This time I was more composed. Our topic was Internet in Education: Facebook. We chose this topic at it was very applicable to our work environment. We were satisfied with our presentation as we received feedbacks both from Dr Jessie and our classmates. Some felt that it is not appropriate to use FB in teaching and learning while others felt that it is a good platform for the students. The next thing we had to work on was our final draft and of course our final examination and that brought us to our last class. Overall, this class was indeed an eye opener for me as it taught me the right procedures of a good research. Till we meet again, thank you for everything Dr Jessie and fellow classmates. Good luck for the final examination.

85. Mohanambikay a/p Pandian - January 12, 2012

Mohanambikay a/p Pandian PGP 110015

Reflection 1

Back to square one, here I am in University Malaya to continue my journey as a student AGAIN. My first class is Research in Second Language Acquisition with Dr. Jessie Rubrico. As usual I was determined, motivated and nervous all at the same time. And guess what?? I’m late to class! Since I’m travelling from Ipoh, I had to rush from my office to class with my friend. Hopefully this won’t continue throughout the course. As I entered the class, I was puzzled, not knowing what had happened and what is going on but since some of my friends reached earlier than me I managed to catch up with them. I did not know head or tail about the course, but after listening to Dr. Jessie’s explanation on the course requirements I had a clear picture on where I have landed. A very detailed explanation on the course requirements and her expectations helped me to depict the journey which is not going to be easy for me. Dr. Jessie’s warm smile encouraged me in many ways. I admired her serenity which actually made me feel comfortable and confident in attending her class. As a start, we were assigned to read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of Doing Second Language Research by James Dean Brown and Theodore S. Rodgers. Again full of dedication I headed to the book store at ‘Perdana Siswa’ to get the book. To my disappointment, they don’t have the book there. Knowing the situation, Dr. Jessie offered her help by lending us her book for us to photocopy. All of us managed to get the book, so now we are down with the book for a productive week ahead.

Reflection 2

It’s all about journal this time around. 15 ISI indexed journal summarized as our first assignment, I had a hard time in identifying the ISI indexed journals. I searched high and low for ISI indexed journals and I managed to find them. All this while, I never knew that one should look for ISI indexed journal for literature review. I have done my term paper during my degree years but none of supervisors emphasized on ISI indexed journals. Dr. Jessie guidance helped us a lot in understanding the importance of ISI indexed journals. Each journal was summarized, reading all those journals were indeed fruitful. Repeated engagement with the journals helped me to develop my understanding of what the article presents.

Reflection 4

Here we are in the presentation week, waiting anxiously for our turn. Preparing for the presentation was indeed taxing. I faced some difficulties in comprehending the chapter especially the table and relating it to our journal article, “The Impact of Schools on EFL Learning Motivation: An Indonesian Case Study”, turns out to be the hardest part. I read the journal and Chapter 2 many times. I just couldn’t get the point, so I seek help from my group mates who actually managed to explain to me about the table. Dr. Jessie’s group assignment really helped us in comprehending Chapter 2; my group mates who were very supportive helped me a lot when I needed them. Finally we managed to come up with PPT to be presented in the class. Armed with the PPT we marched into the class to produce a presentation which will help our classmates to get a better understanding on Chapter 2. I guess we manage to pull it off just fine.

Reflection 5

Another group presentation in Dr. Jessie’s class, this time around we are required to present a journal or an article. Our group chooses to present about Facebook. Reading the journal gave us a lot of insights about Facebook and how could we use it in our teaching and learning process. Dr. Jessie shared some of her valuable opinion on our topic. Finally we are done with all our presentations. Dr. Jessie summed up the class by discussing an article on “How to Get Published Scholarly Journals”. This article is really helpful; basically it serves as a guide in producing a good piece of journal. Today we have reached the end of our wonderful journey with Dr. Jessie, a journey which was fruitful and informative. I enjoyed every second of Dr. Jessie’s lessons. Her guidance throughout the course is much appreciated. I have learned a lot about proposals, ISI journals, teaching and learning theories and many more. I am very much thankful to Dr. Jessie for guiding me throughout this course. Thank you for all your advice, guidance and knowledge.

86. M Komathi a/p Marappan (PGP110017) - January 12, 2012

Reflection 1
Third week of class: Discussion of educational theories

At the mention of these theories, I was initially pretty distorted. It has been almost 2 years since my undergraduate years. Though I have learnt all these during my undergraduate studies, the names and explanations were just a little hazy and a bit out of reach for my memory. Dr Jessie’s interesting videos and visual presentations were very helpful in recalling these theories and their applications. After that particular class, everything is back in my fingertips again. I can now easily remember the similarities and differences between constructivist, behaviourist, cognitivist and humanist school of thoughts.
The more memorable part of the lesson was the discussion in which were required to choose one theory to be the basis our teaching. Here I would like to refer to one of my favourite educational blogs that I follow constantly. It is entitled “Re-educate Seattle: ideas for changing the way we think about school” by Steve Miranda. http://stevemiranda.wordpress.com/. In his entry dated 21st March 2010, he says that there is no one right way of teaching because the different parts of our society needs different approaches. I agree with him because our students are individuals with their own styles of learning; each individual is uniquely different. Thus, this calls for modification on the teacher’s approaches with different groups of students if necessary. As teachers the most we can do is to choose one approach that would cater for the majority of the students in a group. More interestingly, Miranda says that learning ought to be asymptote. Now, asymptote is a geometrical jargon. It refers to ‘the part of the curve that gets ever closer to the line as it moves towards infinity, but never touches it.” The idea sketched by the author here is that we need to continuously re-evaluate our ways of teaching because our world is continuously changing. My stand in this matter is that we teachers may have our preferred way of teaching but we need to reconsider it every time we meet a new group of students and must hesitate to make changes to cater for that group.

Reflection 2
First Presentation of Group 8 – Introspective Research

My group presented the topic “Introspective Research.” Before the presentation, we read the chapter individually at first, then, gathered to discuss and clear any doubts we had. While reading the chapter, I realized there were a few of repetitions of the same things that come under several different sub-topics. For instance, the word introspective is repeated under different synonyms in different sub-topics, which brings us back to the same context again. Simply put, the chapter explains a brief history of what introspection in research is and how to use. Next, we divided the chapter into three parts to be presented by the three of us. Finally, we gathered again once more to practice it and to ensure the flow before presented it to the class. Our objective was to deliver the content of the chapter to help our friends to understand it and do it within the given time frame.

My last presentation in front of a group of adults was about two years ago while I was an undergraduate. Back then, I knew my audience well and had a general idea of what to expect from them in response. This time, I am still in the process of getting to know my classmates and did not really know what to expect from this group of audience, not to mention my presentation skills that have gone rusty without use for a couple of years. This was also because my group was presenting on the first day. I was yet to know what my classmates expect in a presentation, what attracts their attention or how they would react to what we have prepared for them.

Despite my nervousness, the presentation went well. At time I was not sure if my audience understood what I was trying to deliver, as they raised no questions. However, the short hands-on activity proved to be helpful for them to get the key concept of our presentation. We received questions from our classmates as they were putting to use what we have been preaching on for more than 30 minutes. There was a part we were unable to answer some of Dr Jessie’s questions. This was the cause negligence on our part for we have depended too much on the book alone and did not consult other sources in understanding the chapter.

All in all, I felt that it was a standard presentation. We managed to carry out all that we have planned within the given time frame. We were able to deliver what we gathered to our friends who may have read chapter. It provided a chance for me and my group members to share what we have read and understood from the chapter as well re-polish my idle presentation skills once more. I believe I will be able to deliver an improved performance in my next presentation.

Reflection 3
Second Presentation of Group 8: Research Proposal – To study the effect of phonological awareness on Year 1 pupils’ reading ability.

For my group’s second presentation we chose to use my group member Aiman’s Research itself. Even before this presentation, we have been helping each other with our researches. We decided that Aiman’s research was the most suitable to be presented among the three we had, as it is related to a current national issue; the implementation of the syllabus for the Year 1 students. Thus, we were not only planning to present the research but also open the issue for discussion.

The implementation of the KSSR (Kurikulum Standad Sekolah Rendah, which can be translated as the Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools) was implemented beginning last year starting with the Year 1 students. Previously the KBSR (Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah) syllabus has been instigated in the teaching and learning in the primary schools. The KSSR Year 1 English syllabus places a significantly higher importance in the teaching of phonology, which carried almost no weightage in the KBSR syllabus. This leads to lesser amount of time being allocated for the other language components. Thus, it has caused dissatisfaction among some teachers. Aiman’s research seeks to investigate how phonology affects the pupils’ reading skill. If it is proven that the awareness in phonology contributes significantly to the reading skill of the pupils, the dissatisfied group of teacher will have to re-evaluate their stand in this matter. It will help them understand the reasons for the focus in phonology and thus, accept the new syllabus in their teaching and learning.
The research results indicated that about 30% of the pupils did not show improvement in their reading ability even after the received related phonological awareness. This finding however is applicable to rural school such as this one only. Even so, it raises questions regarding the relevance of placing such a high level of focus on phonology.

Phonological awareness is important, nevertheless favouring one area while treating lightly of the other areas of a language is not advantageous. It will only produce an imbalance in the language skills acquired by the pupils.

I believe Aiman’s research has an important role to play in answering on of the many questions raised by the local teachers in the implementation of this new syllabus. It is a good thing that our research might one day serve as a basis for changes in the policies. Researches such as this one are certainly useful in that way. Policies that are made based on proven researches and not based on political reasons will definitely benefit the people of the nation. Another such issue that was raised in the education field recently was the implementation of the teaching of Science and Mathematics subjects back in Bahasa Melayu again. This is also a move by the government which is suspected to be largely motivated by political reasons. However, we have already posted our views of this issues separately.

Reflection 4
Presentation of an article by Group 1- The Use of PED

This presentation was the most interesting one for me throughout our entire semester of this class. As an audience, I was very captivated by the title. When we say “research” we tend think of it as a heavy project involving imposing issues; otherwise, our study will not have much to contribute. However, the truth is not so and this article proves it. It is a simple matter encountered by many teachers. Analysed deeply, it reveals the pros and cons of the use of an educational tool.

PED (Portable Electronic Dictionary), which serves as a handy tool for many students to look up meanings of words is frowned upon by many teachers. Through the discussion many feel that it is a distraction and insufficient device. Very few favoured its use in their classes. However, I say that we should accept it as part of learning experience for the students. Like one of my classmates said, “if they learn something at all from the PED, rather than not referring to dictionary at all, then why not allow it?”

It is true that the PED is not perfect, but nothing is. If the PED provides only scarce information or explanation, then, the paper dictionary is too heavy. We can complain about the PED and the students will continue to complain about the paper dictionary. As it happens, these students are our clients. At the end of the day we need to consider what the best is for our clients. If they are adamant with using PED, then we design our lessons to include the PED. It is just like using the computer laboratory in once a week during the English lessons for the younger students. It is a lot work to get the whole bunch all the way from their classroom to the computer laboratory and then settle them down with a computer each and make sure that they are not updating their Facebook status while we are teaching them. We do not just stop doing it because it is complicated. We find a way around the problem to still teach them successfully.

If the teacher is dissatisfied with use of PED, then she can allow the use of it with certain limitation. The students should be allowed to use the PED but not encouraged to be entirely dependent on it.
Another solution to this would the use of online dictionaries. Since many students, especially adult students have hand phones with internet access or laptops that are portable, the teacher can encourage them to use a certain online dictionary that the teacher finds adequate. This can also solve the portability issue like the PED.

Reflection 5
Final week of the semester – Final Assignment

When I submitted the interim draft, I thought that it would the draft of our research paper. However, I was surprised to find out that we have more learning to do; this time on writing a research article. I realized that every assignment set by Dr Jessie requires us to master something new but they all are a part of one long process. In writing the interim draft my challenge was to elaborately describe my research details. On the other hand, in producing this research article, the challenge will be even mightier. I will have to contract everything into one compact article while still maintaining the flow and contents. Like Dr Jessie said “make every word count.” However, Dr Jessie’s notes about how to write the article will be a handy guide in creating this piece.

At the end of the class, Dr Jessie said that ours is one of the classes that were able to meet her requirements. It is certainly a compliment and I feel proud to be a part of this group. About 4 months with this group has left me with a lot of memories. As this is the first semester for us in this course, we have been helping and learning from each other. It is a great fun to be student again. Learning something, I am glad to put my brains seriously back in the business where it belongs. Thank you for teaching us Dr Jessie and thanks to all the classmates. I wish all the best to all the classmates for our coming examintions.

87. Wan Mohd Noraiman (PGP110005) - January 13, 2012

1. First day I am a master student and first class for Second Language Research. At first everything was fine but when the class begin it the different thing altogether. I feel like I am in a different world, the world of unknown that fills up with thousands of question marks. This research thing is totally new for me. Some of the terms use sounded like an alien language for me. During my first degree day, also in UM, thesis is not a requirement for me to grab the degree. But now it is compulsory for me to learn about it and carried my own research in order to get the scroll. I feel like dying that day. Keep on thinking in what trouble I put myself in. however, as the day goes on, class after class, I think I can make it, but for sure with some extra effort and a lot of sacrifices. With the help from Dr. Jessie and my fellow friends I think that I can continue this journey until the end and I hope rainbow is there for me at the end.

2. The day is come for my first group presentation. My group members and I are presenting on the topic of Introspection Research. Sound familiar? For me again it is an alien language. Am never heard until the day Dr. Jessie asked us to presenting the topic. How am suppose to present something that me myself unfamiliar with? Well nothing is impossible. With some extra work to read the book and some information gathering from the internet we at last manage to finish the presentation and explaining our topic to the fellow class members. Admit that my presentation skill was not very good. What to expect after 2 years this is my first presentation. In school never did this kind of presentation except in Malay. Well I can’t use English to explain about examination progress to the parents. English not even their second or third language. So, this presentation is a good jump start for me to start all over again and in the same time polishing my presentation skill.

3. Doing assignment is the most burdensome for me. With piling of works at the school, completing the assignment is the hardest part for me. But nothing good comes easy. To win something you need to lose something. It is the cycle of the nature. Finally I have finished all of my assignment. Although it is not the best of what I think can do, but at least I know that I have try my best in finishing it. Hope that I can do better in my future assignment so that I can prepare myself for the final thesis that I need to do in my final semester.

4. At last it is the last class for this semester. I have being through a lot of thing this semester. I am also experiencing a lot of new thing throughout this semester. I need to admit that this class had taught me a lot about research. Dr. Jessie has successfully guiding us in knowing and experiencing the research. Here I want to thank her for all of her helps and efforts in teaching us. I hope that with the knowledge that I gain from this class I can finally design and carry out my own research. Again, it is most challenging, burdensome, enjoyable, complicated and knowledgeable journey and I love it.

88. Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 13, 2012

SITI SARAH BT. MUHAMAD AZMI
PGP110008
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Reflection 3

In this course I guess you can say you write a lot of papers, but later along the line when you go back and revise your papers, you will see how much better you could have improved your paper. It helps to revise. That is why Dr Jessie still allowed second chance for us to improve our research draft. Another activity that I thought was very helpful was the peer evaluating in classroom during group presentation. Only because we treat our classmates like they are our audience, which in this case they are and they reflect upon our performance to see what their opinion towards our performance during the presentation. I also thank my classmates for giving me feedback on what I need in order for my research paper to be not just any old paper, a great paper.

89. Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 13, 2012

SITI SARAH BT. MUHAMAD AZMI
PGP110008
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Reflection 4

When I was taking this course, there were a couple of times I struggled and one of them was when I had to choose the research topic for my research paper. It was really hard for me to come with just a topic because somehow this is my first trial to write a research paper in second language acquisition for my master degree. All in all I made it possible to get it done, although there quite a several times that I changed my research topic. I just had to think outside the box. What I also struggled with was how to conduct the research and how to analyse the data collected. Another thing is to write the research paper. Oh God. When I first started out it was bad, but I got to the point where I hate doing the assignments last minute and I just started getting back on track and turning things in on time. I learned how to prioritize myself and put what is most important first on my list of things to do. And the worst thing is I need to divide myself accordingly: work and study. Although it was just too stressful, but honestly, it pushed me to do my work on time. And I need to have motivation that will keep me going fine in this course. I just need to have a desire to achieve my goal and in this case that is passing this course. During this course, not only did my classmates reflect upon me, I also reflected upon myself. Peer reviewing and own self reflection I thought was a great activity because it helped me figure out what I need to do to change accordingly and fix the errors. I hoped to learn a lot more in PBGS 6113 but I feel as if it wasn’t enough. That’s quite alright though because I’m sure that this course will offer me more to learn about.

90. Siti Sarah Bt. Muhamad Azmi - January 13, 2012

SITI SARAH BT. MUHAMAD AZMI
PGP110008
PBGS 6113 RESEARCH IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Reflection 5

PBGS 6113 DONE!!

Hopefully and pray to God I will pass this paper…
Throughout the semester I feel I have grown as a writer, a reader and an active participator in SLA class. I thoroughly enjoyed the class been conducted and I had and always looked forward to what activities and ideas Dr. Jessie would introduce to us. I will really missed PBGS 6113 because I was exposed to a lot of new methods of research paper writing and a lot of new information and knowledge for me on how to produce good research paper. I really appreciate all the help Dr. Jessie has given me over the course of the semester and I hope she thinks that I have improved as well!


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