Has My English Improved? A Brief Reflection on the Early Term at the University of Wollongong.

Hello, I’m Kai.
Spring term, early term, mid-term. I’m not sure which is the right way to say it, but it’s finally over! I’m really happy that I was able to accomplish it.

It was a long, long struggling…

This time, after going through the early term, I want to personally evaluate how my English proficiency has developed.

Has my English proficiency improved?

After this term, has my English proficiency increased ay? I’d like to look at it in the order of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

First, reading.


I think my reading ability has improved dramatically in these 13 weeks. I read to the point of madness as in I went sorta crazy. If I had done all the the translation that I’ve learned at school, I would be gone. lol

Basically, it’s skimming (getting the overall idea) and focused reading (detailed reading of particularly necessary parts).

However, the literature is clear with evidence, so I strangely find it a bit interesting now. Above all, it’s a plenty of new discoveries. It’s funny that I, who didn’t like books full of text, now find academic articles in English interesting. 🙂

I’ll do my best next term too.

Next is writing.

Well, without a shadow of a doubt, I wrote HEAPS too. lol

APA format academic writing backed by literature. Thanks to this just 7-word condition, the difficulty of writing, which is 1,500 to 3,000 words (still a lot without it tho!), RIDICULOUSLY jumps up. In this regard, I feel like I has also bolstered my vocab.

On the other hand, I can say my expressive ability has become more diverse. There’s a platform called the Discussion Forum where you can discuss and exchange ideas online. Many students post there. And of course, there were those who use outstanding words and write in smart expressions. I learned from those people’s expressions and try to output them on other occasions.

Also, the literature I read for writing reports was like a textbook for me. It’s obvious that copying is out of the question, but by learning how to construct sentences and when to use them, I was able to gradually enrich my expressive ability.

It’s a limited field in academia, but I think my writing ability has improved significantly.

Next is listening.

This may have improved slightly in terms of familiarity because I listened to more English. I learn about the subjects in English through weekly on-campus and online lectures. Also, in my daily life, when I go shopping at stores for instance, I naturally have to communicate in English, so listening ability is essential.

What I felt improved the most in the listening section of this early term is the “ability to understand English with various accents.” Various international students from different countries gather at the university. Some of them have a slightly strong accent, like from Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, and etc etc. To communicate with such people, I naturally had to become the type of person who could understand their accents.

I’m still not completely used to them, but it’s not an exaggeration to say that my listening ability has improved the most in my life history due to maximised input.

And finally, speaking.

My speaking ability probably declined. ROFL

This time, there were many moments when I really felt the inadequacy of my English ability, and I realised that I had become a bit snobby just because I could speak English a little in the school setting. In fact, I clung to the illusion that my English ability had remain as it used to be through studying abroad, and I probably relied on that.

My IELTS total band score is 6.5. If I take it again now, I will, hard to back down though, my speaking would decrease. ROFL

I think my speaking has a lot of slang. For example, something that a native speaker would understand doesn’t necessarily go over well in the current situation. As a result, there were still many situations where I couldn’t speak well since I overly relied on it. Also, I’m afraid that I didn’t put myself very active in uni activities this time, common topics became challenges, and they didn’t expand much. If I had played more, I might have been able to talk more.


Despite less participations compared to what I used to do, I still experienced various activities such as university career support, some activities produced by UOW member, and recently participating in a weekly futsal league. I would often say “Completing what you start” is important as a teacher, but it’s also something I had almost forgotten the value of myself. It was still tough though. LOL

However, I realized that it’s a blessing to be able to put 100% of energy into studying. I looked for part-time jobs related to teaching English, submitted resumes, and sent emails, but I didn’t have the qualifications or didn’t get responses yet, so it was a struggle. As a result, I concentrated on studying for 13 weeks. It was still a luxurious time, I think.

Preparing and attending lectures, summarizing information. Reading literature relentlessly and cramming knowledge backed by evidence into my brain. Similarly, writing tasks backed by evidence-based literature were written tirelessly. I can say now that I’ve safely finished, but it was still tough. LOL

In any case, there are no exams for the subjects I’m taking at university, so I’ll submit assignments and wait for the results. Anyway, that’s it!

Holy Banana the summer holidays of a university student is a whopping four months. LOL I’m going to enjoy the summer vacation!!