Now that it’s over: Reflections on my CertHE experience

Looking backI was extremely busy from January to April preparing for my CertHE in English exams that I did not post to the UoL student blog during this period. Now I have completed my exams and enjoyed a period of rest, I think it is a good time to reflect on the period that has passed and write about it. My CertHE was a testing time for me, but I am glad to say that I have no regrets about going through the process.

I took all four modules of the CertHE in English. Coming to terms with the workload was always a challenge, but I found that I liked the majority of what I had to learn. If I was asked what were my favourite literary works, I would say it was The Odyssey and Waiting for Godot (from Explorations in Literature). I enjoyed The Odyssey as I had always wanted to read it in full and as I am an enthusiast of mythology. Waiting for Godot, on the other hand, was fascinating for me once I learnt about Beckett being possibly influenced by philosophy in his writings. If I was asked to name an academic book that I learned the most from, I would say it was Jennifer Jenkins’ Global Englishes (from Introduction to English Language). I found Professor Jenkins’ book to be very enlightening on current debates on the English Language.

While I enjoyed most of what I studied, the isolation that comes with the UoL program was something that I had to bear with. It is wonderful to learn new things on a daily basis; it is disheartening not to have anyone else to discuss the things you learn one–to–one. While the tutors and other students were always there and supportive, I did miss having fellow students and teachers physically present. At the same time, I’m amazed at how much a person could learn as an independent learner.

What grades I will receive for my exams is yet unknown, but I believe I did well to muster the discipline to put myself through the work. I read a lot, sometimes reading beyond the recommended reading list. The tutors who marked my formative assessments had noticed and they had commended me on how much I had read. I think these are the things I did right and should keep on doing. However I find, upon reflection, that I should have written more essays than I did. I also think that I should have spent more time on developing my arguments. Going forward to the next year of study, my schedule will have time for these. I will be starting my background reading from tomorrow for the DipHE as it will allow me a less congested schedule, a longer study period and a less stressful time during exams next year.

Finally, while it was a testing time, my CertHE was also very rewarding. I find myself more confident about my abilities, enjoying what I study and looking forward to the next challenge that is soon to be; the DipHE or my second year with UoL.

Kasun is studying the CertHE in English by distance learning in Sri Lanka.

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