Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3(7), pp. 467 - 471
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2015.030707
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"Impressing Heaven": Creative Non-fiction as Reflective Practice in Foreign Language Teaching and Cross Cultural Study

Barbara Waldern *
Division of English, Busan University of Foreign Studies, South Korea


Impressing Heaven is the title of my collection of short stories about career decisions and experience interacting in English on the part of actual young adult learners of English as a foreign language in South Korea. (See Impressing Heaven by Barbara Waldern, July 2012 Smashwords ISBN: 9781476467023). While I was first settling in Korea, I got acquainted with a few students and other young adults who liked to talk with and assist English speaking foreigners. They made such a strong impression that I remembered them and thought about our conversations over the years. I ended up writing about them, imagining their real life situations as they had confided in me, or envisioned how their lives would proceed thereafter. I interwove their narrations with my narration of my experience with them to put myself in the shoes of others. This collection thereby serves as a journalistic reflection of some of my first encounters with such students of English as well as a preservation of memories. Given the artistic approach to this work, it is not standard social science although it is a useful exploratory activity, and can be used as one tool of reflective practice in educating, understanding, or relating to a particular cultural group as an outsider. I conclude that this form of creatively written journal keeping serves reflective practice and could contribute to sound methodological and anthropological study as an additional tool of ethnographic research and pedagogical research.

Creative Non-fiction, Qualitative Methods, Journal Writing, Reflective Practice, Reflective Teaching, Cross-cultural Study, EFL Methods

Cite this paper
Barbara Waldern . ""Impressing Heaven": Creative Non-fiction as Reflective Practice in Foreign Language Teaching and Cross Cultural Study." Universal Journal of Educational Research 3.7 (2015) 467 - 471. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2015.030707.