Work Based Project

The next of Hay’s levels of learning in mentorship is transitional learning which is about how things may be done differently. Learners make transitions that require them to be deeply aware of their goals and objectives and what to do in order to achieve them by trying out a different approach. In every step of the way, they need to reflect if they are on the right track. Mrs. O’Brien kept me aware that my social interactions with people more fluent in the English language and my English-related experiences further solidified my learning of this second language. The external motivations inspired by observing native English speakers roll out the words so smoothly to communicate effectively, as well as being able to approximate such skill and be praised for it, urged me to go on and take up the challenge of advancing my English skills. In the community, I noticed that people kept inserting the word mate in their sentences to reflect a positive relationship with the person addressed. I was able to assume that ‘mate’ may be used in Australia whenever anyone is spoken to in a friendly way, and I too started to use it without question. Thus, Richard Schmidt’s ‘noticing’ hypothesis can be employed in this case: to learn something, it first has to be noticed (Lightbown and Spada, 2006, p. 44). He also states that the acquisition of a second language may start once the learner becomes aware of a language feature (p. 45). Mrs. O’Brien had a great influence on that too, although she let us figure our own observations and discoveries ourselves first then share with her for validation later.My mentoring relationship with Mrs. O’Brien did not really reach the deepest level of learning which is transformational learning, which is about learning to learn. The student has already developed skills of deep awareness and analysis of his motives and actions, and the teacher collaborates with him in increasing his openness to learning. The process of learning is emphasized more than skills and techniques. We did not reach this stage because our time with each other although productive, was limited, and I had to go to the next grade and have a new set of mentors.