#6 – Reflection on Self-Access Learning Tasks

Time flies. It is nearly two months after I opened this blog and put effort on improving my English. I do not see typing this entry as putting an end to my self-learning process. On the other hand, however, I realize it is just a beginning. I still have a long long way to go.

Life is an ongoing process. We are like pushing by an invisible hand, urging us to move on. Sadly, we can neither slow down the speed nor just stop there. Fortunately, however, we are able to grasp more and more opportunities to learn while ageing. Taking this course is definitely a golden chance for me to practice my English in a more comfortable way. At least, I do not need to keep doing thousands of past papers in classroom. On the contrary, I am capable of planning my own learning tasks and schedule as well.

Pondering on my results after these two months, it is pretty positive. Of course there is still room for improvement, but trying to be on schedule and striving for improvement step by step are of vital importance. I am satisfied that I can achieve my goals and it turns out that I acquire better skills in every domain because of my diligence and determination.

As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow. I will continuously exert myself to ameliorate my English. Fighting!!!! .\____/.

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#5 – Oral task: Chat with my family in English on every Saturday

I discover that communicating with others in English is quite effective and practical concerning ameliorating oral English. I found my parents felt a bit awkward to talk in English at first, but gradually they became more relieved when speaking English. Owing to determination, I believe that the result will be quite fruitful.

Here is the conversation between me and my mum last Saturday when we were talking about my school life.

“Mammy I feel like I am growing up these days.”
“Well, since I’ve graduated from secondary school, time flies and everything changes so fast that I can grasp nothing but just adapt to the new environment.”
“This is the process of learning and growing. Sometimes you encounter failures, but always remember what I’ve been telling you: Don’t let go of yourself even when you fall down and hurt so bad.”
“In fact, I am not sure whether I can make good friends in the university. Everyone has his or her old friends, and so do I. I think it’s hard to make everyone loves me.”
“Why do you want everybody to love you? It’s somewhat impossible.”
“You know, acceptance is of great importance to me…”

The next day, I saw a piece of newspaper clipping related to my concern on my table. It told us not to keep catering to others and neglect who you really are. I bear in mind the key message and deeply treasure this tiny gift from my mum. ❤

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#4 – Oral task: Learn from blogs and viedo clips

I found Mr. Siu Hoi Yat’s blog quite interesting which covers multifarious topics related to English learning. He often updates his blog and shoot videos to teach the audience how to practice oral speaking.

I have been browsing his blog for a long time. He educates the audience how to familiarize themselves with English in a more effective and amusing way. He encourages us to spend a few minutes every day on English, getting ourselves used to English learning in daily life. I admire his ways to attract his audience to learn, for instance, he usually holds competition for English translation in his blog and Facebook. This kind of competition is both entertaining and educational while the competitors and audience can be inspired. After Stephen Chan Chi Wan proclaimed that “真的假不了”, Mr. Siu organized a competition to translate this line to English, and “You cannot falsify truth, nor verify lies” is the champion.

Besides, Mr. Siu uploaded videos to Youtube, named “How to get rid of Chinglish”(如何擺脫港式英文口音). For example, he teaches how to differentiate “steak” from “stick”, “right” from “ride” and how to pronounce “button” and “apple” in a more natural and native-like way. I always follow him to read the words aloud to improve my accent and his padegogy is quite interacting.

I quite admire Mr. Siu’s belief, “I don’t teach; I share.” Have a look at his blog if you are available!

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#3 – Listening task: It’s video time!

What can I do if I have an hour break between lessons? Should I lie on the bed or idle away the time by playing online games? Instead, I choose to fully utilize the time gaps in my daily life, grasping every second to do something meaningful. When I am having my lunch in the hostel, I usually watch “American’s Next Top Model” at the same time.


Some may assume that it is simply a real man show, presenting beauty shots of pretty girls. It provides me, however, with an effective way to learn English and understand more about the American culture. The video clips uploaded in Youtube are without any subtitle, and the people speak so fast that I have to pay lots of attention to them. I am not quite familiar with the slang, but I almost understand 90% of the content. Moreover, watching the girls feeling awkward to get along with others or scoffing at the self-centered ones, fixing me the perception of the American young girls. I notice that some of them always over-estimated themselves while some are so timid to stand out to express, which is extremely diverse. This type of real man shows really reveals human nature.

My favourite - Ann!

I have already finished watching cycle 15 last month. At the moment I am waiting for cycle 16, enthusiastic at who will have the hope of becoming American’s next top model!

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#2 – Reading task: “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”

A good book is like an old friend, telling you truth, touching your heart. That’s why I love reading, not only because it improves my comprehension skills and reading speed, but also because it shapes my perception of life.

I finished reading the novel “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” in early March. The book introduced me a wonderful story of Eddie, which inspired me a lot. The stories between Eddie’s father and his wife impressed me most. The author thoroughly portrayed the relationship between an apathetic father and his son, who was desperate for his father’s love and attention. I especially love these lines:

“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.”

 As for Eddie and his beloved wife, Marguerite, a wave of sadness washed over me when reading their story. He treasured her much more than everyone could tell, but she left him alone when she yielded to brain cancer in her 47. She, however, was the fourth person he met in his afterlife. I’d like to share the author’s description of lost love with you:

“Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it. Life has to end. Love doesn’t.”

 Losing your loved ones is like being separated from them by a long fence. Nothing in this world can let you savor their smile again. So please, cherish the moments you spend with them on earth.


A good book always makes you indulge in thoughts. After finishing the book, I was at a loss of word, pondering long and deeply on whom I will meet in heaven.

All in all, I strongly suggest this book to you. (Haha Allen you should definitely read it!! 🙂 )

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#1 – Listening task: A game of reciting lyrics

Although listening is not my chief concern, I decided to try something interesting to release my stress when I almost succumb to death because of numerous readings and course work. I believe watching English movies without subtitle helps improve listening skills because when doing so, you stop reading hastily but concentrate on listening carefully. From my point of view, the theory can probably be applied to listening to a song without lyrics.

In order to make the lesson more interactive and funny, my English teacher in F.5 played a game with us. She gave every one of us a piece of worksheet, in which the lyrics of a song were written but some keywords were missing. We had to listen to the song thoroughly and filled in the blanks with the correct words. The game not only aimed at improving our listening skills, but also our familiarity with several uncommon vocabularies. I found the game very innovative and impressive, so I did the similar thing.

I chose some of my favorite songs and played them in Youtube. Despite the fact that I hummed those songs very often, I didn’t know the exact lyrics. I made an endeavor to write down the lyrics on a blank sheet when listening to the song. For instance, “Because of You”, which is sang by Kelly Clarkson and “A Whole New World”, which is a famous Disney classic, were the songs I opted for. As it is quite an effective way to practice my listening skills, I am ready to do it again in the future. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Because of You :)I really love it, A Whole New World

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#0 – Needs Analysis and Study Plan

Have you ever heard of the song “First of May”? The melodious song tells an old adage, time flies. Yes, time really flies. Few years ago when I was just a little kid, the Christmas tree in our house was, to me, a giant. But at the moment, the twinkle star on the top does not seem so unreachable. I realize I have grown up, and I am already a university student now.

Due to the stark fact that life is short and time is limited, I recognize that I should grasp every single chance to gain ground. Becoming a university student, I have only 3 years to strive for academic improvement before my career starts. As English is my weakest subject when comparing to others, I promise to myself that I will definitely seize the opportunity to make strenuous efforts on improving English in these 3 years.

After finishing the Self-Access Learning Tasks (SALT), I discover that I need to work on reading skills and concentration. The result awakes me to exert my strength on improving my reading skills. I love reading English books. But it always annoys me that I read English novels at a slow pace. Sometimes I keep repeating one sentence in my mind and cannot move on to the next line due to a diversity of external factors. For instance, I cannot quite concentrate on my readings when somebody is talking in the vicinity.

When it comes to concentration, the result reflects that I should improve my study skills because I am not capable of sitting and studying for a long time without feeling tired or distracted. I doubt if this is really the case. Let’s put it this way, who can sit still for more than 3 hours without any entertainment or rest? I used to arrange my schedule according to my needs and desire. For example, I manage to study for one hour and take a rest for 15 minutes afterward. I believe this arrangement makes studying not a grueling and harrowing job. After all, you have to figure out the best studying ways for yourself.

In spite of the result, I assume that I ought to improve my speaking skills. I am sometimes quite diffident about speaking English in front of people, especially those who speak fluently and flawlessly. This can be attributed to the fact that I rarely speak English with others in daily life. It is no doubt when it comes to using English to communicate, I am tied into knots. I reckon I should stave off those butterflies from my stomach! .\__/.

English is of great importance nowadays. Becoming a bilingual is just a basic requirement. In order to make improvement in English, I would like to set some smart goals and gradually achieve them. To boost my reading speed, I decide to finish reading 2 books by the end of the second semester. Quite a number of novels were bought but I have not started reading them yet. I choose “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” as the first book to start with. It is a classic novel, written in simple language(251 pages). I aim at finishing it by March and start reading the second one, “The Time Traveler’s Wife”(518pages). Much longer though it is, the story is impressive and appealing. I plan to finish it within 3 months. I should also make a reading schedule and get around to reading during free time-slots between lessons and every night before sleep. Hopefully I will learn more innovative vocabularies, meaningful mottoes and a diversity of sentence structures from the books. As a whole, read more will undoubtedly enhance my comprehension skills and reading speed.

As for improving my oral skills, I find a blog of Mr. Siu Hoi Yat very useful and amusing. He teaches people how to speak English in a more natural and even a native way. I will endeavor to watch all his tutorial video clips in this month and keep browsing his blog every day. In addition, I will chat with my parents in English every Saturday to make myself more comfortable in speaking English in daily life.

In an attempt to enhance my overall English level, I will spare 30 minutes to 1 hour to watch English videos every day. I may borrow movies from the UC library or simply watch English videos clips in Youtube. I believe watching English movies without subtitle helps me concentrate on listening to the characters’ dialogue. Also, this is a chance for me to understand more about foreign cultures.

To conclude, I have made all my goals simple and flexible. I refuse to over-promise because overestimation may just lead to disappointment. The workload now is appropriate. I will ponder on my goals regularly and the SALT work will be completed by the end of this semester. All in all, you sow and reap. I am confident that if I fulfill all of the above goals with determination, I will surpass the previous me and acquire fruitful results in improving English. : )

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