Summer Week 5-6

Classes have been going well. The students (who have survived) are very keen to study grammatical points as well as conversational phrases. I have been feeling less stressed about teaching the beginners course because this is the second round of teaching the same contents for me. Also, the students are nice, honest and frank, which has facilitated our interactions.

For the upper beginners course, I have found that there is a huge difference between the students’ skills. Some are obviously at the intermediate level with good literacy skills, some still cannot read symbols. As the week goes on, the differences become clearer. I came to use romanised materials and focus on how they can enjoy pair activities while feeling relaxed.


Week 23

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I had a supervisory meeting to get feedback on my work. My supervisors pointed out a problem with a structure of the chapter and gave me much advice. As a result, I need to divide the literature review into two different chapters and narrow the key theories down to one point in each. My supervisors have recently shown some concern that my focus is still too broad, and I have been also told that, in English academic writing, it is crucial to help readers by making the points as clear as possible. Based on these points, I will revise my research protocol and literature review for the next two weeks.

Next week, I will fly to Japan, stay for two days in Tokyo and come back to the UK. This trip is going be very tiring, but I am very happy to go to Japan for the first time in six months! I have been asked to help with some jobs from my old company in Tokyo, and I would like to help them. And, I will probably have a sushi dinner with my friends.

On Saturday, Luca gave me a bunch of flowers for the first time, along with a box of doughnuts!

My goals for Week 24:

  • Revise the research protocol and the literature review
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Safely travel to Japan and come back

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Week 22

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I got really behind my personal deadline for writing the draft. I was distressed about my incapability to deal with it, and I spent the whole week reading, writing and editing. I can describe my Week 22 as ‘a traffic jam’ caused by work I needed to do for the ethics applications, the research protocol, a chapter of the literature review and teaching two different classes. I was stressed out and had some arguments with Luca about our personal issues. That made my mental stress worse! We made friends again though.

Eventually, I finished editing my draft on Sunday night and submitted it the following morning. I managed to deal with everything at the last possible moment. It was such a heavily congested path, so I’m relieved it’s over.

My goals for Week 23:

  • Submit my ethics applications to the committee
  • Enjoy teaching
  • Take a day off
  • Bake muffins
  • Prepare for a workshop
  • Enjoy dinner with my new friends on Friday