Blog Prompt: share a story about how you overcame a learning challenge. Why was it a challenge? What strategies did you use? Use the language you learned in this unit.

One of the learning experiences I want to share is about learning IELTs and taking the IELTs test. As an international student, I have to take and pass the IELTS Academic test in order to apply to the university successfully. At that time, a minimum overall score of 6.5 (total score is 9.0) is a mandatory requirement with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic IELTs test. There are four main parts on IELTs test, including speaking, listening, writing, and reading. However, one of the learning challenges for me in IELTs test was the section of writing. When I first time taking this academic test, I found that I was very poor in using academic vocabulary and I always made mistakes in grammar. I realized that I should improve my writing skills seriously in order to increase my overall score. It was challenging for me because improving the skills of writing in English was not easy for international students. Chinese writing skills like the use of grammar is totally different from others. To overcome this learning challenge, I begun to participate in online courses about developing writing strategies and skills on IELTS Academic test and used a social media tool, called “Duolingo” to practice the use of English vocabulary and grammar.

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From this week’s reading, I realized that I had used many learning strategies to improve my writing skills for that academic test. For example, the use of the social media tool, “Duolingo”, in improving English vocabulary is based on the learning theory, “Cognitivism”. This learning strategy focuses more on the mental process, such as thinking, knowing, memory, and problem-thinking. This tool helped me to learn new academic vocabulary in English and review the knowledge I had learned before through relevant educational games. Moreover, during the learning process, I spent a lot of time on practicing the use of grammars in English writing and I took lots of short quizzes in online courses to assess myself and improve my grammar. In the online course I took, the instructor also gave us direct instruction about the writing strategies. I think this learning process is based on the learning strategy of “Behaviorism”.

Based on my own learning experience, I think the learning strategies will be useful and important in English language teaching and learning.



Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71. Retrieved from: