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Explaining the 101 list, 7: Professional

This is the seventh of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

It seems likely that I will be some kind of teacher at least for a part of my professional life, so even though this category is not meant to include everything I plan to do, aiming for a teacher’s job is realistic and functions well as a working hypothesis.

Read ten interesting articles about second language acquisition

This will probably be part of the term paper I will write next semester, but I still want to read more scientific research regarding second language acquisition. I have lots of ideas, obviously, but it would be nice to back them up with some solid research. Of course, language learning is difficult to research, because learning conditions and languages vary so much, but there should be interesting articles out there.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 15 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Learn and write about the five top origins of migration to Sweden outside Scandinavia

The goal here is to learn more about home countries of big minority groups in Sweden, in order to better understand students from these countries. This is of course not only related to teaching, because I feel that I know way too little about some countries that are both quite important in the world and which people now also have become a part of Sweden.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 15 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Create a system to record and keep useful classroom activities

Now and then, I stumble upon various useful exercises or activities, but since I have no systematic way of archiving them, I feel that most of them just pass me by. I might remember some of them, especially those I’ve tried myself, but the idea with this goal is to create a system that can catch whatever interesting ideas I read or hear about. It will probably involve digital scanning of texts, a functional file structure for sorting the data and some kind of summary/overview. My guess is that it will take some time to set up, but should then run smoothly once in place.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Get 2.0 on the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (need not be formal due to the cost)

I’ve never needed the Swedish SAT (Högskoleprovet), because my grades have always been enough, but I want to take the test anyway just to know what it’s about. This is partly because I’m curious, but it’s also because the test is very important for some students. Understanding what the test is about will perhaps also enable me to better understand what they are facing. Achieving the maximum grade is of course just to make it a bit challenging, but I don’t plan to do this formally, because each attempt (I will probably need more than one) costs a couple of hundred crowns.

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Take one extra evening or summer course

It might sound odd, but I’ve actually never taken more than the normal number of credits per semester. I want to try that and see what it’s like. It’s quite probable that I won’t find it worthwhile, but I’m going to try it at least once. I have heaps of academic credits, but adding points in language related subjects would probably be a good idea nevertheless.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 100 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Evaluate myself as a teacher with the help of mentor(s)

Other people sometimes work as mirrors which we can use to better see what we are doing wrong. At some point, probably during the final semester of my education, I want to really think this through and discuss it with my mentor (or other involved teachers). I want to know what I can improve and what I’m doing well as it is. Involving students in this might also be a good idea, but that depends on the circumstances.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Formulate a teaching manifesto for English

As I said in the introduction, I think it’s highly likely that I will teach English for at least a part of my career. I know what I want when I study English and I generally try to understand what students want when I help them personally. Having a teaching job is something quite different though. It involves heeding regulations and being clear about where I want to lead a group of students rather than trying to help a few individuals. A manifesto which clearly states what I think is important and how I want to achieve it will force me both to think through what I think about teaching English, and how to go about it.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Formulate a teaching manifesto for Chinese

Same as above, but for Chinese. This will be slightly more hypothetical since there are no clear guidelines or regulations as far as I know. Still, thinking through what I want to teach and how to achieve that will be useful.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Write a CV and have it commented by someone knowledgeable

Actually, I’ve never written a CV in my life. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to find part-time (and full-time for one year) employment anyway. In the future, I will need to be clear about what I know and what I can do well, especially if I plan to move beyond teaching (perhaps doing something solely based on languages, either Chinese, English or both).

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Graduate

Well, this goal is quite obvious. Regardless how much I like studying, I need to graduate. I need this because that will allow me to study more at higher levels, but I also need it because I will run out of money sooner or later (in a couple of years, just about when I graduate). Graduation in this case means graduating from the teachers’ program, hopefully with Chinese and English as my subjects. See this post for more details about my plan.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: Silly to count
Progress so far: 0%

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