A Student’s View
Steven Feldmann is a 20-year-old college student from Altena, Germany who loves to do sports and play video games in his free time. He is currently in his 4th semester at the University of Siegen in a teacher education programme.
The pandemic has changed the way we live more drastically than we could ever imagine. Students in universities are no exception. I, for myself, felt very lost in all the chaos especially in the beginning of 2020. I had just finished my first semester and was just getting into the structures and habits of university life when everything suddenly changed. I did not know how we, as a university, would proceed in such changing times. Do I have any classes? If yes, how? And how would I take my exams?
Online learning was new to me and to all of us. That is why I knew that there could be some problems especially in the early stages of the new semester. So, in the beginning of my second semester everything switched to going fully online and remote. This meant getting familiar with programs like Zoom and Mattermost. I was fortunate enough to already have a good and reliable internet connection and equipment in order to participate properly in all my classes. However, I still felt disconnected from everything that was going on in my classes. I especially felt that way in my English classes. I love to listen to English and specially to speak in English. I noticed great improvements in my overall English in my first semester due to all the amazing classes I was able to attend. Nonetheless, I found myself missing this in the second and now, third semester. That is not because the classes were not good, they definitely were, but I felt as if my progress in English wasn’t going anywhere. I felt stuck and that scared me.
I always learned the most when I was in a class and listening to the teacher talking. That way I knew how to say things or learned new ways of saying things. With online learning, this fell completely flat. Most of my English classes, I would say two-thirds of them, were asynchronous which meant that I had no way of listening or even talking to my fellow students or my teachers. Often, I didn’t even know how my teacher looked like. In these times I often asked myself if this was still worth it. I really felt as if I could not get anywhere even if I tried as hard as I wanted. Over the duration of my second and third semester I had to accept that this was the way I had to learn and try to improve the language I like so much. I would be lying if I said that it was easy. It wasn’t. I still struggle with it a bit, even today. But I managed to live with the situation and to make the best out of it. I still miss all the great conversations and interactions in English. Of course, I still have great conversations in English but most of them are through texting and sadly, not talking. I take every opportunity I get to talk to someone in English and I enjoy every minute. For the future, I hope that we can all enjoy learning and teaching English in person again, because in the end this is what it is all about.
Please check the Pilgrims f2f courses at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Pilgrims online courses at Pilgrims website.
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