A List, The Bloggies @UOW, and Gratitude

Thank you for making this little page Bloggies’ Best BCM Blog x

 

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(The Specs is there in the background)

 

  1. The Specs has won Best BCM Blog at today’s #BCM110 and #BCM112 Bloggies Award at UOW, and I still can’t believe it. Well, not just yet.
  2. I’m not good at delivering award acceptance speeches. I can write on the spot, not speak on the spot…
  3. And no matter how true the above is, I still can’t find the words to thank Sue – my lecturer – and Renee – my awesome tutor, as well as the teaching staff, for this chance. It might be a tiny achievement, it means so much to me.
  4. I started The Specs hoping to find my voice heard. And I received so much more, I got friends supporting me on Twitter and WordPress and Instagram, despite the fact that I’m utterly shy and borderline incompetent in socializing. Thank you for your sweet support and your kind words.
  5. In that clumsy acceptance speech, I said how this little achievement has made me a little more confident. It does, it does. I set out not even dreaming of being a nominee, seeing how I’m not a native speaker and an international student. And now, I’ve been proven wrong. And never have I felt this grateful for being wrong.

Now that I’m quite sure that I’m a decent blogger/writer, I’ll try to make this my “thing”. Just wait and see guys.

Mia

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(artwork by me for the occasion)

 

[BCM212] Interview – Ideas from an Expert

An engaging conversation satisfied my curiosity about language learning and teaching in Vietnam as a cause of language barriers.

After a week analysing results from the survey and focus group, I have finalised my interview scheduled and met up with Q.N., a Vietnamese Ph.D. student in education at UOW.

Back in Vietname, Q.N. is also an English teacher, having his own English centre while lecturing at a university. He has been abroad for years, in between periods of teaching in our home country, having studied in Europe and now Australia. Altogether, these things build up his solid combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, which was evident in the way he answered my questions. Continue reading “[BCM212] Interview – Ideas from an Expert”

[BCM212] Focus Group – Hearing from the Other Side of the Conversation

The domestic students’ perspective on the issue of language barriers for internation students and for themselves.

This research has definitely been anything but a smooth ride.

As you could see from my plan and proposal, I initially intended to run a focus group with 6-8 Vietnamese undergrads at UOW, to clarify and explore insights found in the survey. But oh boy did things go out of control…

I sent out around five emails and private messaged another ten people, hoping to recruit at least half of them to the focus group. Yet I had to cancel it, since only one-third of them could participate, and even so, we could not settle for a meeting to run the session.

I thought that part of the plan was left out for good, and as much as I hated it, I was determined to move on over the cancellation and catch up with the rest of my schedule. However, out of some impulse earlier, I had written a back-up plan in case plan A went awry. It was a list of questions exploring the issue from the perspective of domestic students, and fortunately, in one of my BCM212 tutorials, there was just enough time to run a quick 20-minute focus group with the participation of about 10 tute-mates, the majority of which are domestic students. Continue reading “[BCM212] Focus Group – Hearing from the Other Side of the Conversation”

[BCM212] Survey – Some Very First Surprises

Some surprising data from my survey

In the past two weeks, my survey (created using SurveyMonkey) has been circulated via online platforms (Facebook, Twitter and BCM212 Moodle Forum) to recruit participants. Although 32 is a small/tiny number of respondents, most of the answers were highly informative AND surprising. Continue reading “[BCM212] Survey – Some Very First Surprises”

A Toddlers’ Business

Learning a new language when you’re a grown-up is like being a toddler once again, trust me!

Not-so-new news, I’m taking up another foreign language – le français!

It all started when I found out I could declare a minor in my Bachelor course (Communication and Media Studies), and as I was looking through a long list of possible minors on offer, I spotted French. Four FREN subjects, one for each semester, and I can even plow harder and do an extra one in my last session! What’s not to like? Continue reading “A Toddlers’ Business”

[BCM212] Ready to Roll

And the real battle starts tomorrow

Quick update: the link to my survey is HERE

Hi,

It’s me again, updating on how far I’ve gotten in answering the question: How do language barriers influence the academic and social life of Vietnamese international undergraduate students at UOW?.

For easier approach, I’ve broken that huge question down to several smaller ones, e.g.

  • What aspects/skills of (Australian) English are the most challenging for students?
  • What challenges students in learning in English at uni?
  • What challenges students in conversing and building social relationships in English in their daily life?

Of course, these are broken even further down into survey, focus group and interview questions. Continue reading “[BCM212] Ready to Roll”

All Degrees Matter

“My point is that, all degrees matter. Anyone doing a degree studies in details something that the rest take for granted.”

Long story short, I was curious about why some certain degrees (mine included, and if you haven’t known, I’m doing a Bachelor in Communication & Media Studies) are mocked so much while others are so highly praised.

And then I came across this.10 useless degrees

This article is, well, nonsense. The writer made his/her point by playing down the actual ways in which the teaching and learning of these degrees work. To me, if this article were speaking the truth, the only degrees worth learning are ones in STEM fields.

And that is not how the world works. Continue reading “All Degrees Matter”

Prepare for Trouble and Make It Double

What to do when you’re cornered by public speaking and group work at the same time

What to do when you’re cornered by public speaking and group work at the same time? Continue reading “Prepare for Trouble and Make It Double”

How Son Doong was saved by a public sphere

A virtual public sphere brought about real change in Vietnam

by William Holland
The 18th-century coffee house

The public sphere” is a concept developed by Jurgen Habermas in 1962, referring to a metaphorical “18th-century coffee house”, where the middle-classed gentlemen would meet to discuss popular issues of the day. It was supposed to ideally be an open space separated from the government where citizens can debate about common concerns; however, it did not quite live up to those expectations (Turnbull 2017). Continue reading “How Son Doong was saved by a public sphere”

He Asked for My Hand (Then Broke It)

He gave me a ring when he proposed/He gave me a broken bone for nothing at all


poem2

The lines echoed in my head when I was browsing through a list of powerful images raising awareness of domestic violence (DV) and stopped at this picture, a part of the series His Presents by Martin Lever (UAE) (2008) for City of Hope:

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This image is a powerful example of Semioticsthe study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation – which probably is the backbone for the most efficient social campaigns. Continue reading “He Asked for My Hand (Then Broke It)”