It’s been nearly two months since I started attending the M.A course. There are only four subjects and two of them are concerned with listening, speaking, and reading. The other two dealt with linguistics and translation.
Since most of the class work involves reading the textbook and rarely require note taking at first , I was lazing around by reading novels and watching dramas instead of revising on the lesson taught. But, now I have so many to catch up wtth :(. I have to write so many notes for many chapters. I’m trying to tackle Translation subject first. Then, I’ll work on Linguistics. Although both are based on theories, compared to Translation, Linguistics is much easier to understand. Maybe of my lack of interest in the subject, I have difficulties in comprehending the texts in Translation.
Although the other subjects are relatively easy (for me), I still need practice in note taking in listening activities. In the exam, one of the task involves writing a summary of a listening extract after listening for only three times. Knowing that it would be played by a cassette player (with those unclear and lousy cassette tapes) in a room rather than in a language lab, I need to practice ahead. So far, I’ve borrowed a listening activity book from AC, but I would need to practice with British English listening materials, not American English.
If these pressure are not enough, the professor announced that the M.A students would have to sit for TEFLAC, which is a Myanmar version of TOEFL, somewhere around December. I know that I can pass that exam easily, but still I have to practice ahead with the TOEFL books, which I don’t want to do since I have little time to spare. I have given up on reading novels (and I’ll only read the one assigned by the book club) and I haven’t watch much TV lately (includes kdramas, jdramas, and movies).
At the moment, while I’m not writing down notes, I’m practicing my reading skills with “Reading and All That Jazz” textbook, which I rented from the library. I prefer that book over the textbook used in my class for Advanced Reading subject. I absolutely detest that old book which has been published in the 1980, thirty years ago from today. Some of the ideas mentioned are so outdated (with extracts from journals/magazines published in 1977) and I dislike having to read these texts over and over again. Beside, it won’t be in the exam anyway. I rather practice summarizing skills or cloze passages. which are surely included in the exam. The textbook I’m using at home was published in 2007, but it was only added to the library collection in May this year, so it’s still in pretty good condition. (Oh. how I hate those books which have been written in by those inconsiderate people.)
A few days ago, my classmate asked me whether I live my life in a schedule because whenever she sees me, my nose is always stuck in a book, even when the teacher is absent from the class. I don’t really know why people consider me as a hard-working type just because they see me reading all the time. I always feel uncomfortable when they ask me what I do to improve my language skills because I have never really given it a thought until now. Are these all due to the amount of time I spent living in the States? I don’t really know, but I do know that I like reading novels, listening to music, and watching movies and TV series. So, I just told them to watch more movies and especially American TV series. I don’t know if that’s a useful advice or not. Since I don’t listen to much English music anymore, that’s all I can advice them since they are lazy to read English books. Some say it’s difficult for them to read English novels so they only read those abridged versions. For me, I try to keep the word ‘impossible’ out of my dictionary. It’s actually the willingness which counts the most. Nobody taught me to read English books, although I was encouraged by my teachers (like making me write weekly book reviews). It was the interest in popular fictions that kept me going, not for academic purpose.