On a scale of student to teacher, I give myself a 6.5. (by Michaela Salmon)

My MA seems to be finishing not with a bang, but a whimper.

I have been a student for many years now, and I always envisaged the final day; a moment where all exams would be passed, all grades would be given, and I’d leave campus for the last time marching onwards to begin my brilliant career. Instead, as my final months, weeks, and days of being a student draw to a close, I am beginning to realise how for many graduate students the delineation of work and school is far from clear. Instead of one following the other, they blend into each other making it hard to distinguish what we do for money, for the love of it, for knowledge, for interest or for simply attaining a qualification. Continue reading

Five steps to success: how to write a thesis when all you want is a beer in the park (by Michaela Salmon)

While most days I wish I could be driving out to spend the day at a lake, or having picnics in parks and reading novels, I’m actually spending all of the summer working on my thesis. As somebody who has rarely had a full time job, and when I have it has been mostly tied to semester dates (thereby keeping my summers relatively free), this is incredibly difficult for me. Worse still, nobody is actually paying me a living wage to, you know… achieve higher education. Apparently it’s all about the self-motivation. Working on a thesis is rewarding, challenging, mind-opening, lonely, and worthwhile. But it’s not easy.

As a result of my struggles, I have compiled my five top tips for surviving thesis writing during the summer:
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Sociolinguistic Noticing: On Being a Sociolinguist among Normal People (by Dr. Alison Crump)

Sociolinguistic noticing is something I do pretty much all the time. It is something that I encouraged my recent cohort of grad students to do as well. On our online discussion board, they shared reflections related to topics and ideas we were covering in the course, and made connections between their own (and others’) language teaching and learning experiences and sociolinguistic issues (e.g., identity, social status, place, race, gender, language variation, language ideologies, multilingualism, language policy, etc.). I was also an active participant in the online conversations and now that the course is over, I find that I’m missing that forum for exploring rich, insightful, and often puzzling ideas. This blog is a perfect place to continue to write down some of my ongoing noticing.
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