Can I see a sample reflection journal?

We encourage learners to use the Reflection Journal Rubric and the course content to guide their Reflections, but we do have a few examples of well-written responses to help guide you. 

Remember that because each journal question is different, there is no prescribed word limit.  Try your best to connect your thoughts and answers to the classroom and English language teaching in general.

Here are some samples for you to get an idea of what your peers are doing:

Courtesy of Alyssa Di Lazarro

1) An EFL instructor could incorporate the acquisition-learning hypothesis into their teachings by addressing both aspects of the hypothesis during class time. For the learning portion, this would involve lecture-style classwork, with readings, tests and homework. For the acquisition portions, the instructor could design group work portions of class time, where the students must speak English amongst themselves while working. Any activity where the students must speak in English will allow them to become more comfortable with the language subconsciously. 

2) An instructor can ensure that a learner feels safe by making them comfortable in the classroom, as well as with the instructors themselves. This will increase the likelihood that the learner will seek out the instructor for aid or assistance with the work, or any other possible issues in the class. By beginning with ice breakers the learners have a chance to get to know one another as well as the instructor, leading to friendships and a more relaxed atmosphere. Combining this with humour and addressing the students by name allows the learners to get to know the instructor, and makes them feel more comfortable in the class. Classroom routines and seating arrangements let the learners have stability in the classroom, which gives a more relaxed atmosphere as it diminishes the stresses of the unknown. By incorporating dual language resources the instructor allows the learners to still retain the comfort of being able to use and refer to their L1 language, while also learning English. Finally, by incorporating positive language and words of encouragement the instructor can encourage and prove to the learner that they are making progress, which can aid in their self-esteem as well as motivating the learner to want to carry on and continue expanding their grasp of the English language.


Courtesy of Rochelle Jacob, Unit 1

1) Student 1 possesses more Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) language skills than Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) (Second Language Acquisition- Jim Cummins), her "iceberg" does not go too deep. There is more to her "iceberg" above the waterline. The fact that teachers are seeing that she is making very little progress in her academics is that she is better at social interactions and does not possess the appropriate language skills to participate in an academic setting; a result of her limited formal education. Her CALP skills need to be developed.

2) Student 2's "iceberg" has an L1 above the waterline (BICS) and an Academic L1 below the waterline (CALP) as she can effectively communicate both socially and academically in her native language. This student will now have to acquire a second language with the knowledge of her first language (languages share similar patterns) where both will interconnect under the waterline; Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) (Second Language Acquisition- Jim Cummins) in order to have L1, L2 and Academic L1, L2.


Courtesy of Benjamin Murray, Unit 1

1) As displayed in these sentences, there are many difficult areas that can be encountered while learning English. One example of this can be seen with polysemes or words that have at least two different meanings, such as with 'winds' or 'invalid' as mentioned in the sentences in this prompt. It can be confusing to have to remember that a single word can be used to mean more than one completely different idea. This is something that absolutely must be pointed out to an English language learner, so as to avoid some major headaches down the line. Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs are also areas that can be very tricky for someone learning the language, and sometimes even for those of us who speak it natively. Homonyms describe words that have the same pronunciation and spelling, but have different meanings. Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings. Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and meanings. To make sure nobody has an easy time with the language, these words are not even seldom used, but actually pretty common. As an English language teacher, it is important to try to stress the different ways in which these words can be used so as to not leave students confused and unsure about the meaning, spelling, or pronunciation when they come across a homonym, homophone, or homograph.

 2) When it comes to sentences like this one, where there are more than one possible meaning or interpretation, it is extremely important to stress as an English language instructor that contextualizing the sentence is key to understanding the meaning. The sentences that come before and after would be able to key the students into the exact meaning of the potential problem sentence. Was a man cooking some fish for his lunch? Did the following sentence describe him sitting down to eat? Or was it someone feeding their fish? Or perhaps even a piece of writing about the life of a school of fish. A single sentence with no other contextualization may not be enough information to make the decision on the exact meaning, and students must be made to understand the importance of interpreting meaning based on the surroundings.