Here is the transcript of the audio recording above so you follow along or if you couldn’t tell what I said:
“Hello, my name is Mahruf. This is my Overall Learning Reflection for my English class. I am going to talk about how this class has improved my writing, reading, my use of media, and my listening and speaking [oral] skills
Throughout the course of this semester, I have written a lot of material for English, both essays and blog posts. While most of my blog posts were solicited, they showed an improvement in my writing skills. The first post we wrote was an opinion post on any subject we chose. I chose to do a personal opinion post on why I think that PC’s are better than consoles, gaming wise. I demonstrated great skill when writing this being very organized, laying out my points in chronological order and then going in-depth in the body paragraphs resulting in a great level 4 mark. Later in the semester, we were able to do an improved version in an essay format for the opinion post. While most of mine is the same as I felt that it had many aspects of an essay, I was able to improve it including the point-proof-explain method for my body paragraphs that I was taught for the first time in this class. I felt that it was a great way to support the argument I was proving in the essay by proving the points I was making. Another example of my improvement in my writing was my Word Wizard assignment for my literacy circle for To Kill a Mockingbird, in which I chose 5 words that I found interesting or I didn’t know and I had to describe the meaning of the word, in my own words, and how it was relevant to the story. I had to choose words from the first 6 chapters, so most of the words were about how the characters were developing which allowed the reader to understand their personality more, but this did allow me to learn how to connect what the book was saying and what it meant and be able to express it with writing it down. It also helped me understand the characters better as well as the context. One area of improvement that I would need to make would be in creating a better thesis for my essays, as I still struggle to do this.
Now I will explain some strategies that I use before, during, and after I write. Before I write, I plan what I am going to write about and what my audience is so I know how to write it to appeal to this audience. This helps so when I write I know how it will be written and what will be in it so writing it flows smoothly and allows me to finish it quickly and effectively. During my writing, I read over what I wrote so far to make sure there are no mistakes, such as spelling and grammar. After I write, I ask a friend to read over my finished copy to make sure that it makes sense and that there are no mistakes that I missed. The most helpful strategy would have to be the planning as it is what the writing is based off of, so without a good plan there wouldn’t be a good essay. One step I could take to be a better writer would be not ramble on for 100 words which leads me to get off topic which is one of the most important parts of any writing assignment.
Now onto the next part, reading! Before I read, I think of what has happened so far in the book so I understand what is happening when I start reading. During my reading, I try to visualize what is happening in the book so I get a better understanding of the scene. I also find the definitions of words I see in which I don’t know the meaning of, this allows me to understand the scene and allows me to learn a new word to put in my vocabulary. After I read, I try to predict what will happen in the next part of the book. The most helpful would have to be finding the definitions of words I didn’t understand as it helped me understand every part of the book and made sure that I understood all the information that I read. One improvement that I could make as a reader would be to not always re-read, as it wastes time, and to rather read slower to understand the book more clearly.
Now that we covered reading, let’s talk about media. More precisely, let’s talk about the various forms of Romeo and Juliet media, as this was the most studied topic of the semester in my class. We looked over the graphic novel, the book, and the multiple movies. For the films, the actors/actresses showed more than what could be read from the book. They showed body language and emotions that helped me understand what was happening well than what the book told me. This goes the same for the graphic novel. One thing I noticed in the films [is] that they change from the book, which I disagree with. In the book, I noticed that it provides definitions for words on the side so that you can better understand the dialogue that is spoken in the book. The most helpful strategy would have to be to look past the words and to look at the emotions and the body language that are visually provided as they will speak more than words could. One improvement that could be made as an interpreter would be to look at all aspects of the media and to not focus on just one.
Finally, the last part which is oral. In our dramatic presentation for Romeo and Juliet, my group used many visual and audio aids to clarify ideas. We used many props for the audience to understand who the character was based off what they were wearing or what they were holding. We also had music playing the background, even though it did not match the scene at times, it did help for when there was silence so the audience was not bored. One of the most difficult things about presenting would have to be memorizing your lines for your character. One strategy would be reading a line or two from the book and then trying to saying it without the book. This helped me memorize my lines in just a day and helped me have more time looking at the audience rather than my script. In our literature circle discussions, everyone should have a say and should be listened to. One helpful way that this was achieved was through the use of a discussion leader to make sure that we were on track and that everyone was listening when someone was speaking. One way to make sure that everyone has spoken would be to go in a circle and that there is an amount of time that someone has to talk so that there is time for every role.
Overall, I have improved as a writer through the use of new methods, as a reader through my expansion of my vocabulary, as an interpreter through focusing on looking beyond the words, and as a communicator through my memorization. I understand where I have improved and where I still need to improve. If I improve by these steps than I can be prepared for grade 11 and my future education. Thank you for listening.”
Here are the links to the blog posts I have referred to in my learning reflection.