English Weekly Journal : Week 17

Hi!

I think it’s better if I post my journal for week 17 now since I’m still in the mood. I still have homework to do later, like biography, biology, and chemistry. Let’s fight procrastination, shall we?

Week 17 felt really short for me, not sure why. We had text type quiz and TOEFL listening quiz too. Plus, the teacher gave a short brief about what will we do for the next 2 weeks.

On Monday, the first English session for the week, we did another TOEFL listening practice. The main highlight of the day was the text type quiz, though. The teacher gave us a few minutes to do a last minute study on text type from the summary paper we made the other day when other groups were doing their presentation. Honestly speaking, I can’t memorize anything so I’m low key expecting an average result this time. The problems were about the characteristics or key points of each text types.

On the second session, on Wednesday, we had the TOEFL listening quiz. I don’t know why, but I scored a good result for the listening quiz this time. I think it was because we had practice before on Monday. I’m still not used to it, though hehe. Let’s just hope I can keep this up.

For the next two weeks, we will still have the listening practice as usual, if I’m not wrong. But two weeks from now, we will have a speaking test in the second session of week 19. Each of us will do a 3 minutes speech in front of the class. We can’t bring cue cards or anything and I’m honestly worried (I’ve always had a hard time with memorizing). The teacher said it’s good to use the Bing Bang Bongo technique to keep it structured since it’s a planned speech. I chose the topic ‘To me, success in life means . . .’ for my speech. Not sure why, I guess I just found it interesting. Now, I have no idea what to talk about, though. I’ll search for it later. I feel like sleeping right now 🙂

Week 17 was very hectic for me. Thank God I survived through it. Thanks for reading my journal and have a nice day!

 

 

English Weekly Journal : Week 16

Hello!

It’s the end of the week and I have plenty times to work on my late journals hehe. If I’m in the mood then I’ll post about week 17 directly after this. Well, it’s time to work! Chop chop!

From what I remember nothing much happened in week 16. We had the same old TOEFL listening practices, which I had a hard time with, and a simple activity to learn about topic sentences. Oh, and the text types group presentation session too.

Just like the previous practices, the TOEFL listening practice was still hard for me. I’m not sure whether it was because the room was small so the sound was a bit “stuffed” (okay how am I supposed to explain this, let’s just say it’s kind of resounding(???)) or was it because I probably had problems with my hearing. I don’t know, let’s just hope I can do better in the next quizzes to come.

We also did a small activity to study a bit about topic sentence. Topic sentence is the sentences that talks about the main idea of the paragraph, usually it’s in the start of the paragraph, the first sentence. It is important to learn about topic sentence, because using it in writing a long article is a very big help for the readers to summarize the whole piece without needing to read it over and over again. It was quite fun, we were given few problems about topic sentences from a website, if I’m not wrong. I’ll search for it again later, when I have time, to practice my skill.

I had the presentation for the text type this week too. Believe it or not, my partner was absent for the whole week. She was away on a camping trip (?) to Jogja. In the end, I had to do the presentation alone and since I didn’t really understand the characteristics of character portraits, I didn’t talk much hehe. Oh, when other groups are giving their presentation, we had to write the points of each text types on a piece of paper too.

I had so many things to do that week that I can’t really remember much today hehe, sorry. Have a nice day everyone!

English Weekly Journal : Week 15

Hi!

For this week, we continued working on the Small Change article, listening quiz, and started a new topic about Text Types.

If you read my posts starting from around 5 to 6 weeks ago, you might wonder why we haven’t finish working on the article yet. The thing is, writing an article is not an easy thing to do, more like writing in general. It’s not only brainstorming and the you write it down. There are steps you need to do to make it a perfect piece of writing.

To make a perfect-planned-structured writing, it all starts with brainstorming the ideas. When you know the big theme of the writing, it’s easy to brainstorm the ideas and make the topic more focused on one thing only. In this case, my Small Change article talks about the reward and challenges in starting a new business. Using mind map can be a big help for brainstorming. The next process is outlining the paragraphs, your ideas are arranged in points on each paragraph. Next is to do the drafting, you write the article based on the outline. Followed by the revising and editing process. Check the grammar, capital letters, and punctuation marks used in your articles. Using online grammar checker can also be a big help. After that is proofreading, read your revised article from start to finish. Peer proofreading is also a way to help you write as your friends can make a comment on your writing. After all the process, the last thing to do is, of course, publish the writing. Be it on your blogs, magazines, or anything.

In short, the process goes like this :

  1. Brainstorming ideas
  2. Outlining paragraphs
  3. Drafting
  4. Revising and Editing
  5. Proofreading
  6. Publishing

We were supposed to do the peer proofreading for the Small Change article this week, but some of us forgot to print out the article. So, Ms.Evi had no choice but to postpone it.

This week, we also start a new topic on Text Types. We learned about Letters, Diaries, Autobiography and memoirs, Biography and character portraits, Articles and features, Reviews and writing to comment, Speeches, voice-over scripts, and debates, Promotional texts, and Campaign Literature.

We did a project, we had to make a mind map about one of the text types and make it prettily. My partner and I got biography and character portraits. This is how our mind map looks like. I think it’s quite pretty!

Actually, we had to do a presentation about our topic in front of the class. But the time was up right before my turn, plus my partner was absent that day. So, I had to do the presentation on the next week.

Oh, I almost forgot about the listening quiz. We had the TOEFL listening quiz this week, I was not confident at all about my results, out of 8 questions I got 2 wrong answers. I had a hard time since we only got to listen to the recording once because it is a quiz and not just a practice. I hope I can do much better next time.

Week 15 was fun although I was really busy. I hope I can continue to work on improving my writing, listening, and speaking skills. Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!

 

English Weekly Journal : Week 14

Hello!

I’m back after 10 days. It was a very hectic week for me and I can’t be more grateful that I get to rest now. Jeez, although I still have a math test for tomorrow and my friends said it was really hard, so yeah I still need to study after this. For week 14 we were told to bring our typing device. Yes, again, I had to bring my iPad for the class. This week is still all about the Small Change article and grammar checking. Plus, another TOEFL listening practice session.

Week 14 was not much different with the previous week, we’re still working on the Small Change article. This time, after finishing the draft, it’s time to check the grammar. As I said multiple times before, I had a hard time with using the right grammar. Plus, my article was done only in three days, so I wrote anything that came up on my mind.

Mrs. Evi, my English teacher taught us how to use an online grammar checker, there were some, but Mrs. Evi herself uses Grammarly and it actually looks very easy to use. We were told to try it on our own typing devices. The thing is, I used an iPad, and it’s more or less just a bigger version of a mobile phone. Unfortunately, the grammar checker needs to be downloaded and it’s not mobile friendly. Yep, I had no choice but to try it at home on my computer. The iPad was heavy enough and I brought it for nothing 🙂

We also had the listening practice session this week. One thing that I noticed is that the TOEFL listening practice is harder than the IELTS one, for me personally. We had to listen to a quite long conversation or a monologue, anything, a long one and the person on the recording was talking really fast and I had no idea what they were talking about. Thank God, Mrs.Evi let us listen to the recording one more time so I got the points to answer the problems. Can’t imagine how I will do on the real test later.

Week 14 was fun. I need to work more on learning grammar properly so I can write better articles. Using online grammar checker is quite a big help for people like me who had only basic skills on using grammar. Also, more practices for the listening test is a good thing. Thanks for reading my journal. Have a nice day!

 

 

English Weekly Journal : Week 13

Hello!

It’s been almost a month since the last time I wrote a post in this blog. Well, I’m back again to write about my days in week 13 YAY. Finishing the mid-term week with a (super) short holidays, we are back to school, yet again. We continued with the Small Change article to do some editing and also some grammar analysis with song session.

Once again, just so you know, I had trouble with writing in English (more like writing in general), moreover if it has to be long and structured. Well, I had quite a hard time to finish the Small Change article. I skipped a week of school for the campus tour trip to Japan, so I submit the article a bit late than my friends. I spent days to write only  2 paragraphs and around 5 hours to write the rest 5 paragraphs. Procrastination at it’s best. At least I got to complete it on time.

On week 13, we were told to bring a typing device to school. The thing is, I broke my laptop back in Grade 10, so I had nothing to bring. I mean it’s not like I can bring my computer to school so yeah. I ended up bringing my Mom’s iPad for the class. Turns out we had to type the article on our ‘typing device’ and it was such a pain that I had to write my article on an iPad -.- Oh, and I found out that I actually wrote more than 900 words, it was around 1400 words if I’m not wrong. Well,  I guess last minute spurt after procrastination did things .    .   . .. still, though, it’s a bad thing to procrastinate. Just don’t do it.

This week, we had a session that was super fun for me. We did a grammar analysis to song lyrics. We tried it together with Ms. Evi to ABBA’s Dancing Queen. Things like hyperbole, conjunction, gerund, and personifications, are few things we had to point out from the lyrics. It was fun since we get to sing along to the song while doing the analysis.

I guess school was great since I can meet my friends again and the song analysis was a lot of fun too! I wish we had more activities like this hehe. My article, though, it’s just bad, you can read it on my previous post. Thank you for reading my post again. Have a great day!

English Weekly Journal : Week 10 (+continuation for Draft Paragraph)

Midterm tests in just less than 3 days and I feel like crying now. I will have biology on Monday but I skipped two meetings so I missed quite a lot of materials and I have a lot to catch up. I’m worried for the tests because my formative tests grades are not satisfying enough. Thank God the teachers gave us some review of all the materials and it helps me a lot.

We didn’t do much this week. I spent the first meeting to work on my magazine article and on the second meeting Ms. Evi gave us a review for the midterm tests in a fun way. She hosted a mini game for the class. It’s like the ‘Millionaire’ game thingy, I forgot the name. ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’, was it? I’m not sure.We split into 5 groups and took turns to answer questions about grammars, like conditional sentences and simple past and present tense. My group scored quite a lot at first but on the second round we failed to answer few questions, mostly because we took too long to answer (we answered it correctly though). There are questions about history, language, inventions, and riddles for the jeopardy round. It was so much fun, I like this kind of simple activity to start the day, since I have English class in the morning on Wednesday.

In the previous post, I didn’t include the draft paragraph for the small business magazine article completely, so here it is! (the left out part)

The article will talk about starting and running a small business as an amateur, so the experience that will be told in the article should be explained perfectly to have people interested in starting a business. To make it more interesting, the tone and mood of the article should be happy and friendly but still formal. Using the first point of view will help a lot. Addressing the readers in a friendly way is a must. Plus, putting some anecdotes about business related stuffs might set the mood brighter. Other things that will help the article to be more realistic and convincing is by including facts like surveys, statistics, or expert opinions on starting a business. Business related terms can be used too. It is fine to use long and complex sentences to explains things that are difficult to understand in the article (like business related terms).

An article should be structured to make it easy to read. Opening, body, and concluding paragraph is a must for the structure. Opening paragraph should mention briefly about the challenges and rewards of starting a small business in general and the pet shop business. The later paragraphs, the body paragraphs will then talk about each challenges and rewards in details with the help of rhetorical devices (list of three, personal involvement, audience involvement, repetition, etc.) to make it more engaging for the readers. Things like metaphors or simile will do too, as it might help to explain the excitement and worries in a more detailed way. The concluding paragraph should conclude the whole experience of starting a business. Advice, tips, or fun facts in the closing paragraph might help in leaving the impression on the readers. Encouraging the readers to start a business is the aim of the article and it is a must to keep the mood alive along the text.

 

Thanks for reading my journal again! Hope you have a nice day!

English Weekly Journal : Week 9 (+Draft Paragraph)

Next week is already time for midterm tests and here I am, not yet done with my assignments. I skipped a week of school to visit universities around Japan and it was so much fun, but now I regret it. I missed so many assignments at school and no time to rest. The most difficult one out of all the tasks is definitely the magazine article. As you all know already, I’m super bad at writing, so it was kind of hard for me. But then I realized if I try hard enough I can do anything I put my focus on, so then I went along and finished it after a week of overcoming all the challenges.

The story goes like this, we were told to write a magazine article about the challenges and rewards on starting a small business with the titled ‘Small Change’ with the minimum of 600 words to 900 words. Honestly speaking, I’m not good -at all- in writing long text like that. I have bad grammar skills and narrow vocabulary. I had a hard time to stop repeating the same words over and over again. I wrote things, read it, and erased it again. I need to overcome the ‘writer block’, but then again I was never in the mood to write anyway:”)) My brother wasn’t there to help me and it passed midnight already, I felt really bad if I had to ask my friends to help me. I had a week to work on it but I have only around four hours everyday to write the article. At some point, I ended up using my sleeping time(?) /cries/

Have you ever tried writing about something you have no idea what is it about? Yep, I did that. I have zero interest in business, therefore I did some research about running one. I chose pet shop business – I don’t know why, don’t ask me hehe – for my article. I lack information on how is it like to run a pet shop business or just business in general. I don’t have any relatives who run a business also. I gave up on writing at some point and started procrastinating .   .   .    .  ….   . like I always do.

Only after a day before deadline, I decided to ask a friend of mine on how to write it properly. It was too late (I wrote about 400 words already, and that was only the third paragraph :””)) ) but I had to finish it anyway. My friend told me to include facts about business and I put some. But I failed to do the most important thing, that is to make it as article-like as I can. I’m not into reading long article – a business related one on top of that-    so I had no idea how a business article is like. I wrote it like how I write my weekly journal, it was almost like a story. But then, I wrote anything that was on my mind and continue until I reached over 800 words (my writing probably made no sense :”)). I’m grateful and happy that I get to finished it on time. Writing the draft outlining was a great help for me. Thanks, Ms. Evi!

Now, I’m going to share my draft for the magazine article!

 

Keypoints :

  • Text type : an article from a business or lifestyle related magazine
  • Purpose : to discuss about starting a small business
  • Writer : as an owner of a small business ( I was thinking of writing about opening a pet shop or a cake shop)
  • Content : challenges and rewards of starting a small business
  • Tone : excitement but also worries
  • Length : 600-900 words

Points for draft

  • Layout of a magazine article (with an opening that talks about my business in general then go into the details on the next paragraphs), addressing the readers as ‘you’ to make it more friendly but still formal, there will be few business related terms used in the text
  • Write all the plus and negative points of starting a small business to make it neutral (not neutral but hmm I don’t know how to explain this), it will be a formal text but friendly and easy to read
  • Use hyperbole or metaphor to create a sense of excitement or worry, also to make it realistic and relate-able put an anecdote or someone’s experience in opening a small business, it is okay to use long and complex sentences to explain things that are hard to understand (like business related terms) in the article
  • Use rhetorical devices to make the writing more interesting, and include some business related facts like survey or stuffs
  • Challenges of starting a small business : competing with big names in the industry, when the business doesn’t make any profit, when the costumers stop coming or is disappointed, keeping the mood and excitement alive, lack of experience, fear in taking big risks, and so on.
  • Rewards of starting a small business : all the profits, having connections, meeting new good people, the experience, happy costumers, being a boss, spreading the wings of my business

Keypoints per paragraphs

  • Paragraph 1 : general introduction to how is it like/how it feels like to starts a                                            business, talk about the pet shop business I run, mention briefly about                              the challenges and rewards in starting a small business (in list of                                         three)
  • Paragraph 2 : more details about how I ended up with my pet shop business, how is                                the condition now, more details about my business
  • Paragraph 3 : Challenges ( lack of experience), talk about learning tips from books                                  and advices, anecdotes
  • Paragraph 4 : Challenges (advertising and money problems), talk about the power of                             advertising in social media and spreading words mouth – to-mouth,                                    managing money
  • Paragraph 5 : Challenges (tiring competition and keeping trust); trust in self, trust in                            partners, and trust with costumers; keep in check
  • Paragraph 6 : Rewards (in general), improve social skills, meeting new people (having                            connection), sharing happiness, being a boss, business to hand over,                                 getting profits, and offering jobs to people
  • Paragraph 7 : Rewards (plus points I get from opening the pet shop), meeting people                              with common interest, being happy by doing the job I love
  • Paragraph 8 : Concluding paragraph, there will be plus and negative points in                                            starting a business, mention briefly again about the challenges and                                     rewards