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Background and Education

I study at Asia Pacific College International Bilingual School, which school teach Vietnamese and English subject. In my country, Vietnamese subject not easy to study and it more than ten subject. After finish high school everybody choose that subject that they want to have the exam go to University.

I am Huynh Hong Thuong, presently studying at Nottingham Trent University. I am from Vietnam which is a country of Southeast Asia. Currently I am pursuing my International Business course. Initially I studied in Asia Pacific College International Bilingual School with subjects, English and Vietnamese as my specialization. In my country, the Vietnamese subject is not very easy to study. After completing high school, it is a rule of our country, to choose a subject that the student is comfortable with to crack the entrance examination for University. However, I preferred not to study in my country. So, I decided to take the British Council exam to enter US and complete my higher studies. English is my favorite subject and I am much interested in learning English compared to other subjects.

The reason I chose to move to US is due to its developed educational environment compared to my country. This would help me to make my life successful in upcoming future. Talking about my hobbies and likes, I love to travel and like fashion. I generally read fashion magazines and also love to do shopping during my leisure time. As discussed, I love travelling. Presently I travel around Asia but I have a plan to travel around Europe. I quite determined to fulfill my dream at any cost. I have decided to work hard until I get my dream to be true. Apart from travelling and shopping, I love helping people and supporting the community. For evidence, in my previous school, we had an activity to help the children who are born with some deformities in SOS village. The moment I saw those children I felt myself as lucky to have parents with no deformities. So, thought to help them by collecting some funds. However, I did not want to take the money from my parents and wanted to help them through my savings. Since, it was sunny day; I decided to sell food and water near the stadium which was quite expensive for the students like US along with some handmade cards. It was a nice activity and happy moment to help the needy children by buying milk, rice, stationary goods and some old clothes, without depending on my parents. After helping the children I really understood the worth of living and life. However, I was not aware of my future aim. Initially, I wanted to become a fashion designer but was not good at drawing. So later on I got inspired from my mother, as she is a business woman. Seeking her business skills and attitude, I always want to be successful like her. Thus, I chose business as my future aim. I have many dreams to fulfill after starting my career in business. The foremost important dream is to help the needy people, who are physically challenged or are socially unacceptable like prisoners etc. I am now quite aware that fulfilling this dream is not very easy, but working hard would definitely help me to reach that goal.

Hobbies and Dreams

There are various ways of learning. Every person differs in their way of learning. According to the Learning-styles-online.com (2015), there are seven different learning styles Visual, Solitary, Social, Physical, Verbal and Aural. Among these seven, I generally prefer Visual and solitary way of learning. Being solitary helps me to concentrate and focus well on my own feelings and thoughts. It makes me feel independent and helps me to self- introspect. I spend time on reflecting my past events to analyze and assess my challenges and accomplishments. I read self-help books and attend self-development workshops to develop more clear understanding about self.

While self-studying, I use lots of images and system diagrams which help to remember the concepts and links between each part. This visual technique helps me to memorize the concepts easily. At home I usually write sticky notes and paste it near my mirror so that I can see my activities easily. To improve my English I usually read books, watch movies and listen to English songs, however, many people say that it is not the right way of practicing English language. Since the technique relies on visualization it helps me to improve my behavior. For instance, initially I use to think a lot after doing a small mistake, or if I say anything wrong. But now, after doing any mistake, I feel that nobody is perfect in this world, but have to be aware so that I don’t repeat the same next time. I have become more conscious.

Every person has different personalities and it is very important to understand the strength and weaknesses of self through experience. SWOT analysis helps to improve self. This analysis helps to archive goals. Talking about my strength, I usually listen properly to the comments of other people and then give my opinion. This helps me to work effectively in team with my peers in college. This also helps me to communicate effectively with other students and also teachers. I am completely committed towards the success and career development.

However, there exist few weaknesses. For instance, I get nervous while expressing my ideas and communicating my thoughts in front of whole class. This public speaking fear generally takes away my passion towards presentation. Sometimes, I become too compulsive for completing my work, this make me stressed out and also hampers my work quality.

Analyzing my weakness, I think there are various opportunities for me in UK like I have the opportunity to attend conferences and develop my skills and knowledge. Further attending some seminars will also help me to improve my attitude and English.

In my class there are many students who are good speakers. They belong to UK itself and unlike me they are very much accustomed with the language and bold in public speaking. This is a threat to me, as while presenting they usually score good as I lack in effective communication.

To solve my weakness that is stage fear or public speaking fear, I have come across few strategies that would help me to solve the issues:

Learning Style

Strategies before presentation:

  • Chatting with the friends
  • Developing confidence that I can do it
  • Remembering the points like starting statements, ending statements, necessary points
  • Practicing the points in front of mirror

Strategies just before the presentation:

  • Trying to be relaxed by listening to music
  • Engaging self towards concentrating on own ideas

Strategies while presenting:

  • Giving smile and making eye contact with the audience before starting the presentation
  • Starting the presentation with a general talk

Strategies for modulating the voice tempo:

  • Listening to the voice modulation of good speakers
  • Record the timing of my presentation make changes accordingly

In my classroom, I usually see students criticizing the instructors if they feel that something is incorrect. I feel that the some of the students are extremely obnoxious, unnerving, brash and rude with me sometimes. This make me feel isolated from the group sometimes. I am usually calm in the classroom and few students feel that I am boring (Tal and Kedmi, 2006). Sometimes I feel disengaged in a group when teaches conducts few instructional methods like presentation, group discussion etc. I feel afraid of speaking in the class as major of them belong to other culture unlike me. Language difference is also another issue that sometimes leaves me alone with my issues. I generally feel unwelcomed and experience discrimination while working in a team. Few students feel that we Vietnamese students are not intelligent (Fish, 2015).

Interpersonal communication is the process that is generally used for communicating own feeling, thoughts and ideas with others. Thus, it can be said that the interpersonal communication skills is the learned behavior that can be improved via reflection, feedback, practice and knowledge (Smart, 2006). Many researches show that around 90% of the conflicts happen due to faulty communication among the receiver and the sender. Therefore, it is very much important to understand the communication styles which help to reduce the conflict that occurs due to miscommunication. Good interpersonal and communication skills help to improve the performance in a team and also improve the bonding with the other people in a team (Froyd, n.d.).

Thinking from the future perspective, good interpersonal and communication skills is and edge towards getting better job and also it is ladder to gain better position in an organization in future. Effective communication also helps to decrease the friction among the team members, reduce mistakes and also wastage of time. Effective interpersonal and communication skills also help to develop a strong bonding with others in the class and also in a team (flexstudy.com, n.d.).

Since I am too much committed towards becoming a successful business professional in future this effective communication and interpersonal skills would help not only to get a good job but also gain success in future. It also encourages good working relationship and also communicate own ideas and purposes in a good way. This will help me to inspire others and build confidence in self.

Looking at my present situation, my weakest area is my confidence, since I have not much experience of meeting new people around and share my thoughts and ideas. This is something which I hope to improve while studying in Nottingham Trent University. I have decided to follow the below mentioned action plan:

  • To be systematic and organized
  • Controlling own life
  • To reduce impulsiveness through exercise
  • To achieve best grades in each of my semester
  • To make friends by developing my interpersonal and communication skills
  • To have a enjoyable and successful career

To meet these goals I will follow the below steps:

  • Spend extra time with the mentors or the professors to know my weakness and improve on those.
  • Spend more time in University library, taking notes and developing my career.
  • Since I prefer solitary way of learning, I would like to transform that into group learning which would help me to understand opinion and thoughts of other students and also develop friends
  • Complete all the tasks within the given duration
  • Gain confidence by believing in self and also find balance between social life and also study.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this paper reflects my thoughts on culture communication and learning. This report highlights my interests and education aim. It also evaluates my learning style which is visual and solitary. To identify the weakness and threat, the SWOT analysis tool is used which would help to develop my skills, knowledge and attitude. A proper action plan is developed, which discusses my aim and strategies that I have to focus on and develop in this year itself.

References

Fish, L. (2015). Building Blocks: The First Steps of Creating a Multicultural Classroom. [online] Edchange.org. Available at: https://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/buildingblocks.html [Accessed 27 Jan. 2015].

flexstudy.com, (n.d.). The importance of effective communication. [online] Available at: https://www.flexstudy.com/catalog/schpdf.cfm?coursenum=97003 [Accessed 27 Jan. 2015].

Froyd, J. (n.d.). Effective Interpersonal/Intrateam Communication. [online] foundationcoalition.org. Available at: https://www.foundationcoalition.org/publications/brochures/communication.pdf [Accessed 27 Jan. 2015].

Learning-styles-online.com, (2015). Overview of learning styles. [online] Available at: https://learning-styles-online.com/overview/ [Accessed 27 Jan. 2015].

Smart, K. (2006). Developing Effective Interpersonal Communication and Discussion Skills. Business Communication Quarterly, 69(3), pp.276-283.

Tal, T. and Kedmi, Y. (2006). Teaching socioscientific issues: classroom culture and students’ performances. Cult.Scie.Edu., 1(4), pp.615-644.

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