Monday, March 04, 2013

MA course reflections

I finished my MA coursework last semester, except for one class that I'm taking this semester (Practicum), which is more like student teaching + reflection. Last night a classmate asked me what my favorite course in the MA program has been, and it got me thinking about that honor as well as other distinctions. Here are all the classes I've taken (six core courses and three electives).

ELT 511 - Linguistics for ESL Teachers
ELT 510 - Research Methods and Academic Writing
ELT 523 - Bilingual Education (elective)
ELT 694 - English for Specific Purposes (elective)
ELT 501 - Advanced English Grammar (elective)
ELT 551 - Language Testing and Assessment

Favorite course: Advanced English Grammar. I KNOW. I am as surprised as you are.

Most difficult course (workload): Curriculum Design. SO MUCH WORK.

Most difficult course (depth and breadth of subject matter): Bilingual Education. SO HARD.

Easiest course: Linguistics for ESL Teachers. I have a whole undergrad degree in Linguistics, so. But it wasn't inherently an easy class. People without English language/Linguistics backgrounds have told me that this was a very difficult course for them.

Favorite experience(s): I have two of these. Getting better acquainted with the Sharjah Police Academy in English for Specific Purposes and Curriculum Design, and then designing and carrying out my very own child language experiment in Language Acquisition.

I am eternally grateful for: that one time in Research Methods & Academic Writing when the professor had us free-write for a while and I came up with what eventually became my thesis topic (intercultural competence).

Most fun research paper: my YouTube video project for Methods and Materials.

Largest class: Bilingual Education. I can't remember how many of us there were but it was somewhere around 15.

Smallest class: Language Acquisition, Curriculum Design, and Grammar each had only five students. Nice.

Course that has had the most relevance to my everyday life: Bilingual Education. Really. It helped me investigate schools for Miriam and it comes up all the time with my neighbors/friends and their bilingual kid challenges.

Courses that have had the most relevance to my teaching (so far): Probably Curriculum Design and Advanced English Grammar.

Worst class schedule: Research Methods & Academic Writing. Thursday evenings, 5 - 8p. Remember, Thursdays here are like Fridays in the US. Not fun.

Best class schedule: English for Specific Purposes. It was a summer course so we met six hours a week, on Saturdays and Tuesdays. I took that class when the girls and Jeremy were in the US so my time was all my own.

What else? My professors have been American, American/Yemeni, Moroccan, Egyptian, British, and Jordanian. My classmates have been (as well as I can remember) Emirati, Egyptian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Omani, American, Polish, Lebanese, Syrian, Pakistani, Iranian, Kuwaiti, Pakistani/Yemeni, Jordanian, Afghani, and maybe others I can't remember.

I've had a great experience with this MA. Aside from Practicum, I'm working on my thesis proposal, which for now involves reading, reading, and more reading. There are stacks of articles all around the house. I am slowly working my way through them...and then my thesis supervisor hands me another stack. Onward!

1 comment:

Kathy Haynie said...

Kudos to you for completing all this coursework. Good luck with the thesis! Looking forward to updates on that process. That is really cool that your largest class had 15 students.

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