Context is essential to truly be able to understand and asses a concept, like my learning and education. The factors that make up my personal context are affecting my education, both internal and external factors. Internal factors, such as my learning styles, intelligences and my goals will affect my strengths and weaknesses in school as well as my motivation. In terms of external factors, like my family, school and language of study, they affect my emotional and mental state which affects my ability to do schoolwork. Both sets of factors affect me as a student in English 30-1 and my learning in a variety of ways.
The first external factor that affects my education is my family, which is composed of my mother, father and my elder sister. A positive effect is that my parents are always willing to get me what I need for school projects without complaint and will drive me to school if I ask them. They are willing to do anything they can to help. This can calm my emotional state and make it easier for me to schoolwork. Contrarily, my entire family can be a distraction because they will be too loud while I am trying to do schoolwork. When I am distracted by their noise, I cannot focus on my work.
My family also fights a lot which can lso be emotionally draining. Furthermore after dealing with my family’s issues I am too exhausted to even consider being productive. Between my parents and me, it is difficult to have any profound discussions because while they are fluent in Tamil, their English is purely for survival. The only languages I speak are French and English. This poses a problem to my education because while I want to discuss my ideas, especially with English class, it is difficult for them to be able to completely comprehend all the words I am saying and their nuances.
Furthermore, I like to think out loud and discussion helps me to hink about topics more in depth but I have no one to do it with outside of class. My mental state can get muddled with thoughts if I am not able to discuss them which can lead to it being hard for me to think. My family can become draining emotionally but can also help ease my stress whereas my schedule outside of school often cause me only stress. The second external factor is that my life outside of school can become quite busy. A lot of my days are spent after school in the theatre and sitting through rehearsals.
I can have them up to every week day and they can run late so I only get home at 6:30 or 7:00. At that point, I feel really drained and really am not able to be productive until 7:30 or 8:00 and then I have to go to bed at 10:30ish and have to get up in the morning at 6:30. I feel rushed and stressed with only 2 hours and cannot always complete my best work. I also have Netball which can run as long as 3 hours a night and 3 times a week. Some days I leave from after school rehearsal, go straight to Netball, and am not home until 9:30.
Being busy all the time makes me stressed and exhausted, two traits which make me less productive. Obviously, nobody likes to do schoolwork but ometimes I really do not have the time for it so it is always preferable to have it done during class or to not have it all. Aside from my busy schedule outside of school causing me stress, having to know everything in two languages while being in French Immersion is exhausting. The third aspect, and a major one, of my education is that I am in French Immersion which, almost never, makes anything easy.
I have to know how to do everything in two languages. Each thing is slightly different and it gets easy to mix up in my head. In math, interval notation is different from in French to English math and I have to know oth because I have to do calculus next semester in English but 30-1 in French now. Additionally, what we have to write is slightly different for our diplomas. French has a very strict structure for all of the writing we have to do whereas English, there is not as much.
For example, an “ecrit expressif” has to be 4-5 paragraphs, around three pages and has to tell a story about a theme. In English the closest equivalent is a personal response which is basically develop ideas and draw conclusions about them concerning a theme in any prose format. It is so much more difficult to write in English because you have so many options. There is not one right answer in French but your choices are more limited than in English. The critical-analytical essay and the French equivalent of an “ecrit litteraire” still have slight differences in the organization of the text.
All of the above differences make my education a little harder because I have to learn how to write 4 different types of texts in two languages and almost nothing, in terms of writing, from either of my classes is applicable to the other. It can get very tiring to have to learn and master all of the above. However in terms of analysis, I am getting more experience in critically thinking about texts ven if I have to present my conclusions in a different way which makes me more confident in my analyses. Essentially, I have more work to do now which is stressful but this work will help me develop my skills more and build my confidence.
The external factors are more obvious but no less significant than the internal factors of my context. My goals, my aptitudes, my intelligence all play a key role in my learning by shaping what I am able to do as well as my motivation to do well in school. An internal aspect that is significant to my context, which influences my motivation, is my goal for the future. I plan to apply to UBC, McGill, and University of Alberta in their business/bachelor of commerce programs. To be admitted to those programs, I need an average in the 90’s and excellent extracurricular involvement.
All those universities ask for English 30-1 as one of their requirements, meaning I have high aspirations for English. Due to the fact that I am applying to these universities, that I feel, are difficult to get into, I am motivated and willing to do all the work I need to in order to get accepted. Looking far into the future, I want a comfortable, even if it means I have to be industrious now. The first aspects that are important to my personal ontext are my learning styles and my intelligences. These I am an auditory and visual learner. I learn through the more traditional ways of reading and note taking.
I find this helps me a lot in school since a majority of my classes are spent either listening to a lecture or writing notes. Though not included in one of the above categories, I take my time to do my assignments and projects. This is because of the fact that my mind goes blank a lot making doing homework difficult. For example, while doing this assignment I just stared at my blank word document for ten minutes hitting the space bar because I ould not think of any ideas. Out of multiple intelligences my strongest is logical/mathematical.
This indicates that I can see mathematical relationships and patterns much better than I see the patterns between people. This is why I struggle with humanities related subjects. For example, there was an almost ten percent gap between my English mark and my Math mark last year. Specifically my struggles are, when writing texts, I never feel like my answer is perceptive enough or has enough insight. I consider most of my analyses to be superficial and perhaps lacking support. Also, I am not very good at reading omprehension because I tend to overanalyze everything and second-guess myself even if I have the right answer.
My learning styles and intelligences do not guarantee success or failure in particular subjects. All my flaws aside, I believe I can do well in English but I just have to put in more effort and become more confident in my work. Ultimately, I believe that the external and internal factors affecting me are important for me to understand and can help me in my education. I am able to apply knowledge of what causes me stress or what my weaknesses are, in order to make me less stressed or know what I need to focus on.