I refer the “Warwick skills workshops” as a great fortune to me and I am quite happy that I find it through Myadvantage at the beginning of my master degree study. I still remember that I was confronted by the language difficulty during my first time overseas life. I have to say that the six workshops have helped me a lot and improve my personalities in several ways. It is a real “portfolio” that get yourself exercised and the important thing is that you can choose your own preferred courses in the portfolio.
1.The first workshop I attended is the “Reading and note-making”. Lots of difficulties came cross in such a new environment. The workshop teaches me several academic skills in reading like how to speed up my reading and how to capture the main structure of an article more efficiently. I used the skills to write the memo when I read my work papers. After several practices, I can capture the main structure of a article more quickly than before and get used to the English materials much more better. On the other hand, I get several note-making method like “mind mapping” and “sub-heading” that I am still using now.
2.I got great pleasure through the “Delivering effective presentation” workshop and I strongly suggest one can attend the workshop if possible. Every foreigner might feel nervous when giving a presentation in a foreign language. But the tutor was really nice and tried to make a convenient atmosphere during the workshop. Actually there are many skills one can use during the presentation. I find some are really useful like “ pause at the beginning”, “well preparation” and “practice your pronunciation”. I used the BBC “6 minute English” to practice my pronunciation and it helps a lot especially when you follow the native speakers word by word. Still I attended the CAL class which also help me in speaking.
3.When I find it hard to dill with my course study I took the “Effective learning strategies” workshop to help me organise my major study. I got some valuable suggestions from the teammates during the workshop. You will always find many nice teammates and their ideas can absolutely help you a lot. The most meaningful action I did after the workshop was to write action plans for short and long term. Besides, group work is strongly suggested and it is really helpful if you can find someone to discuss during your study.
4.I took the CORE workshop later after several other workshops. It gave me a general picture of the workshop portfolio and helped me to decide which one to choose in the future. We talked about the purpose for taking the workshops and discuss the barriers to gain personal skills etc. The tutor encouraged me to try something new and do something that I really enjoy. Her suggestions are really impressive and I have done lots of interesting things that I have never tried before.
5.“Introduction to critical thinking” is the first workshop for my second term study. We made very interesting self introduction at the beginning and we were divided into 3 groups. I still remember the video “The moral side of murder” by Harvard which helped us to better understand the meaning of critical thinking. I built my own critical thinking toolkit in reading after that. I used it to make comment on my reading material and find the well-defined points of the article. I also find critical thinking useful in group discussion. One can easily benefit the group work by using his smart idea and critical thinking ability.
6.One of my friends introduced the “Speed reading” workshop to me. I was quite familiar with the tutor since this is the third workshop I attended by her. The skills I learnt are definitely useful. It helped me to break my poor reading habits like making circles on key works or pausing at some point to think over and over again. Nowadays, after practice, I can read several blocks of words and I have overcome some bad manners during my reading. I think it is the most useful skill for me since I have lots of paper works to read especially for my dissertation in the third term of my master programme. Meanwhile, it is still not enough for me and the most effective way to improve my reading ability is to read as much as I can.
I never think this blog can be my “final blog entry” and I do really want to take some other workshops. However, it is really difficult to find a suitable time to attend since we do have massive works to do for finance programme. The six workshops are like six different tutors that teach me different modules. I have practiced a lot and made several progress in reading, note-making, speaking and thinking. I believe this kind of thing is the most wonderful and valuable thing to do at warwick. The most important thing is that the skills I have learnt will form into habit and help me in the long run.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the tutors of the workshops. Thanks for their patient tutoring and thoughtful guidance. Meanwhile, many thanks for those classmates during the workshop and they really gave me many smart ideas and valuable suggestions. It is a great pleasure to become friends with some of them.