Good writing skills are necessary for effective communication. However, it takes time and practice to write well. Quoting Jeffrey A. Carver, we have to “Practice, practice, practice writing. Writing is a craft that requires both talent and acquired skills. You learn by doing, by making mistakes and then seeing where you went wrong.” (“Advice to Aspiring Writers”, n. d.). Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to practice and develop my writing skills in this very helpful class.
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First, I would like to point out that I really liked the position of our instructor. As learners, we were always offered support and information, challenging us to examine for ourselves and decide independently which road to take. We were guided very gently; our instructor was never too pushy with us, always understanding and ready to assist. I believe this way we learned to fess up and not avoid personal responsibility. We learned that it was our personal interest and therefore our direct responsibility to use every opportunity efficiently, get as much as possible out of every class, and fulfill the assignments thoroughly. We learned to work for quality and result. There was no noticeable power imbalance between learners and the instructor, which, in my opinion, really helped us maintain an atmosphere in the class, which was relaxed, friendly, and highly favorable for the learners’ endeavors.
Writing practice in this class helped me learn and dissect my ideas. I think the educational tools used in class were very helpful in reaching the learners’ potential as unique and valuable writers. Thus, our very first individual task in the class was to write about our personal identity in order to introduce ourselves to the class and make acquaintances with our peers and the instructor. This helped the learners to integrate in the learning process as an active and effective learning community, and added greatly to developing a mutual relationship of support and co-operation inside the class. We had ongoing discussions about how we felt about learning and writing, about our struggles and achievements in those fields, along with the challenges we were facing. We searched for possible angles and approaches that could help us improve and overcome the difficulties we faced. We learned how to aim our creativity in the right direction, fight narrow-mindedness while cultivating originality and generating innovative thinking. Such precious outcomes of the class are hard to be overvalued.
We learned to look for our strong points in writing and use them effectively. The class was delivered to us in social context, which contributed to the learners’ self-disclosure and continuing socialization. We worked both separately and in groups, learned to view things differently and develop new writing skills and strategies. The discussions inspired by the class instructor were very useful and insightful. They really allowed the class to open up and efficiently exchange ideas and thoughts along with constructive comments and valuable feedbacks. To me it is one of the most valuable features of the class because I understand the importance of being able to take comments positively and develop the right attitude towards constructive criticism. Furthermore, knowing that someone takes interest in what you write and how you write it, and that that person is going to read and reflect upon your writing makes it worthwhile and inspires you to write better.
The instructor inspired constant interaction in the class. I found this very stimulating for different parts of my mind. We used a variety of techniques to help us generate ideas. Amongst those techniques was brainstorming, collaborative writing, enriching the core set of our learning materials with video and audio resources, etc.
Having built an effective learning community, we were exposed to many opportunities to improve our writing communication skills. Class time was a combination of instructors' talks, individual exercises, and group work, and especially designed set of class activities and assignments we were working on helped us get a new outlet for our minds, feel more connected to ourselves, and gain more confidence in social interacting and networking. The whole process of learning was learner-centered, challenging and supportive workshops were designed to help us energize our writing and advance our craft with feedback from our peers. We were going through this upgrade together, and it was nice not to feel alone in our attempts to achieve something. Not only did I get to personally reflect on and learn from the class activities, but being in a community of learners, I also learned about what others got from these experiences. I find this very inspiring and motivating. Furthermore, this class forced me to become more organized and deadline-driven, which eventually will help me in everything I do in college and at work.
Besides, we were constantly encouraged to use the class time productively. The course was delivered to us by means of discussion, not lecture, which helped me gain an understanding of the nature of the debates as a basis for forming my own critical position. Thanks to practice I have had in this class, I am now able fully to follow and actively to contribute to discussion. I am now able to demonstrate critical analysis of ideas, apply acquired knowledge, I improved my discussion skills, and I have learned to express myself through writing as well as discussion. The topics suggested in the class were to be explored through the relevant examples familiar to us, learners. I believe, it was essential, because it helped us develop a stronger connection and maintain personal interest in our work.
My confidence as a writer has grown and I really appreciate it. In closing, I would like to add that I have really enjoyed the experience of this class. Having accomplished many useful things, I believe that this new valuable experience will have a lasting impact on my life and personality.
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