Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On the academic side...

As you saw in the previous post, I got to attend commencement when I was at home, and a lot of people have been asking me "What next?"
The answer is a little complicated, but the simple answer is: hopefully the same thing I've been doing for awhile, just better.
That being said, I'm actually not quite done with my coursework, nor do I hold that piece of paper that gives me a new set of qualifications.
Since this past summer was the last time we would all meet together, we got to join the graduation ceremony, but we actually still have a semester's worth of coursework still left to do, so I'll be working on assignments until the end of the year. But, I'm already done the big one as we finished our grad research last semester.

It was tough. It was long. I often felt like I didn't really know what I was doing. But now it's done! At the end of this entry, I will post my abstract for those of you who want to know more about what I researched.
For those who want the lighter version, check out this wordle:

Was it worth it? Well last week I received my grade and comments from the professor, and let's just say I was very pleased. The professor asked to use my paper as an example for future students, and told me that she'd saved mine for last because she knew it would be the best, and it was! I'm glad I didn't disappoint! So am I ready for my PhD? Well, not now, but maybe someday!

This action research (AR) was conducted with 30 female Taiwanese high school students to explore effective means to use and recycle words recorded in weekly vocabulary journals (VJ). In response to the problem of students memorizing new words but being unable to use them communicatively, I designed six activities over three cycles to test out methods of using VJ in a way which (1) was viewed as useful and not overly time consuming to students, (2) provided opportunities to produce target language items, and (3) could be evaluated or assessed. Cycles utilized lesson integration of VJ, peer teaching, and self-assessment. Words were assigned to be gathered from different sources, including the textbook, news, and the Academic Word List (AWL). Data was triangulated through examination of productive vocabulary use by number of instances (increased) and rate of accuracy (relatively stable) in conjunction with feedback from students after each cycle. Pre- and post-surveys compared changes in self-perception and attitudes toward the VJ and activities. Results illustrated an increased usefulness rating (though not an increase in enjoyment) and a higher estimation of word recall from 43% to 57%. The free talk and headline writing tasks were given the most positive overall evaluations, opening up two possible avenues of future inquiry. After observing the increased confidence and improved vocabulary recall among my students, I concluded that VJ can and should be moved from the realm of a homework assignment and integrated into my classroom with a variety of activities.


  1. I am soooo proud of you!!!

  2. Thanks Hopie! And thanks a million for your last minute editing help!!!