Today is October 06, 2010, which means I have already attended courses of Master of Arts in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (MA in TESOL) at the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL), Cambodia, for one month.
To most students (and people), one month is actually not a big chunk of time though it is a reasonable period of time for anyone to monitor his or her learning progress, make reflection and draw certain conclusion.
Personally, during this month, my schedule was completely slammed. (Hopefully, I can make better time management soon). I hardly had time to enjoy myself. I worked in the morning and afternoon, and had to take this study in the evening, a shift in which tiredness haunts me.
Yet, for whatever reasons or excuses, I did, do and will not back down because I myself made the decision to do it, thus deserving to be responsible for it.
Admittedly, study in MA program is much tougher than that in Bachelor of Arts (BA) one, at least at IFL. Unlike undergraduate students, IFL graduate students have to do a lot of self-study, research, reflection, summary, and etc. For the graduates, simply passing or failing scores is not that important anymore; yet, being able to cope with work load is much more important and appreciated.
Like almost all other new students who started the program at the same time I did, I was quite surprised (read:shocked) during the last month doomed to the new system used in this MA program.
In this semester (around 5 months), I take only 3 subjects including Curriculum Development in Language Teaching, Language Testing and Assessment, and Academic Writing for Graduate Students. There are only 3 subjects, but the workload pretty much equals to 8 subjects I took back in the old days as an undergraduate student. There is a research (half or full-blown) in each of the 3 subjects, which makes me nervous and extremely hectic doomed to my limited knowledge in the field of research study.
Frankly, before the study commenced, I was so confident that it would be a piece of cake (because I was one of the most outstanding students during my undergraduate study in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and because of my high proficiency in English language).
However, such confidence did not last long when I was bombarded with work after work. (Guess what? Nowadays, I am no longer a full-time student; I have lots of things to do besides learning.)
I don’t know, but had I prepared much better and kept up my momentum from undergraduate study (I spent one year between Sept 2009-2010 without any schooling at all), I would not have felt so overwhelmed. To me, this was just not right because I got intimidated by the study even though I had always been so intimidating when it came to academic work.
With everything said, this is just the beginning. I still have faith in my learning speed and overall ability, and am more certain that I am going to finish with victory because this is what I love (teaching) and I am going to get it no matter what.