Reflections from the SEALC Publication Workshop

As part of the SEALC Publication Workshop hosted on May 14-15, 2021, participants were asked to submit at least one of the following: a one-page reflection on how the workshop has impacted their publishing goals and where they plan on publishing, a draft abstract for an article, or a proposal for a panel presentation at a national conference. We are pleased to share with the SEALC community two reflections from participating instructors Chung Nguyen and Leticia Pagkalinawan. Read on to see how this professional development opportunity encouraged, inspired, and informed!

Phuong Chung Nguyen
Director of the Vietnamese Language Program
Vietnamese Language Lecturer
Columbia University

I’ve participated in several workshops funded by SEALC but for me, the “Publication Workshop” on May 14-15, 2021 presented by Donna M. Brinton (Retired Lecturer, Department of Applied Linguistics and TESL, UCLA) was one of the most inspiring workshops that I have ever attended.

I have been teaching Vietnamese for over 20 years but I have never published any articles or books to the public. I did create several materials for teaching and learning Vietnamese such as: Elementary Vietnamese 101&102; Elementary Listening Comprehension 1, Presentation in Vietnamese, in addition to, writing several conference proposals but none of them have ever been published. Recently, I have thought a lot about publication with many questions such as: “Where can I publish my materials?” or “How can I contact the publisher?” or “Are my materials appropriate to publish in the US?” and so on. After participating in the SEALC Publication Workshop with Donna, all my questions are answered clearly and thoroughly. I learned many new things about publication in the US and recalled my past experience at the Action Research Workshop that I attended 14 years ago in Singapore.

The most useful aspects of the workshop were all the different digraphs of publication with advice on how to proceed step by step in the process of publication as well as how publishers work when they receive your manuals. My favorite expression from this workshop is “baby steps.” It makes me more confident to write down my teaching tips or materials and prepare to publish in the simplest way, as a child taking their first steps in life. I am planning to work on my action research (“Using songs in teaching Vietnamese tones”) and techniques on teaching pronunciation that I’ve accumulated for over 20 years. To end my reflection, I would like to thank Donna and SEALC for a wonderful workshop for SEA language lecturers and I can say with certainty that this workshop has given us considerable encouragement in academic publishing for our development as professionals.

Leticia Pagkalinawan
Assistant Professor of Filipino Language, Literature, and Culture
University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

“Know that everyone experiences rejection at
some point in their career. Have faith in yourself.”

~Donna M. Brinton

Rejection hurts so much. I felt it when my article got rejected the first time I submitted it to a refereed journal. And it hurt more when it happened again for the second and the third time. I have grown used to it now, and instead of being frustrated and blaming myself, I learned to see rejection as a learning opportunity to improve my work and make me a better writer and researcher. After all, many great and successful people also experienced rejection at some point in their career, as Donna said. Among those great people I look up to and serve as my inspiration is Albert Einstein. He, too, received a rejection letter, which informed him that his doctoral application was not acceptable according to the university’s standards, thus denying him an associate professor position at the University of Bern. Like me, Einstein should have felt enormously disappointed too. However, it did not stop him from continuing his work, and later, the world recognized him as one of the greatest physicists of all time. I don’t aspire to become as famous as Einstein, but I also want to excel in my field like him and retain my position at the University of Hawaii.

As a tenure-track faculty, I understand that research and publications are essential for my promotion and retention at UH. Hence, I am very thankful that I attended the two sessions of the Publication workshop presented by Donna. The story of her writing journey has inspired me to continue to learn, hone my writing skills, write about my knowledge and teaching experiences, and publish my work. It also guided me in dealing positively with the many challenges that an author may experience during the writing and publication process. Likewise, it taught me the value of humility, patience, perseverance, integrity, and self-esteem.

Thank you, Donna, for the time, knowledge, and experiences you shared during the workshop that are very helpful for our professional growth and advancement. To SEALC and COTSEAL officers and all those involved in preparing this workshop, maraming salamat po! Mabuhay Kayo!

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