Personalisation

Personalisation is about knowing ourselves, is about knowing what kind of learners we are, which ones  our difficulties are, what do we like most and why do we like it.

Personalisation is a concept we could use in almost every area of our lifes and most of the times we do it without even noticing it. But now we are going to concentrate in the personalisation on the learning proccess. Sometimes we’ll personalise our learning environment without noticing it, but in some areas of the learning environment we will need more effort, we will have to reflect and invest some time on personalising our learning.

The best way to personalise our learning is creating a model of PLE ( Personal Language Environment). A PLE is a concept, it is a system that allows the learner to organise, manage and of course personalise their own language learning. Those PLEs consists of different tools as blogs, social networks, wikis. There are  loads of pages that explain how to create a PLE as this one : http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/how-to-create-a-personal-learning-environment-to-stay-relevant-in-2013/ .

The PLE requires a high self-awareness and continuity, the student has to be independent. All in all the PLEs are thought for independent learners that want to improve their skills with little or no help of teachers or tutors.

 

Blogging, Tweeting, web 2.0 … for SLA

Everyone has his own way to learn a language, so what is working for me may not work for you. Therefore, we have to continually reflect about the tools we are using and consider if they are working for us or not.

In my case, I’m trying a new tool which is a blog. I’ve been using the web 2.0 for a long time now, I’ve also tried different tools as social networks, online dictionaries and newspapers, etc. which have worked really well for me, but I’ve never try to blog myself before.  To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to keep my blog updated, since I don’t want to write random thing without sense, I want to offer my readers interesting information and advices. Too achieve this aim I have to be critic with what I’m writting, moreover there is another difficulty for me, since english is a second language for me.

But blogging is getting easier every week, I’m getting used to it and I can feel how my english is improving day a day. So I would say that blogging is definetely working for me!

What I find very helpfull is to read my fellow students blogs, I’m learning a lot of new vocabulary and expression while reading about their tips and tricks to learn languages. I’m also trying to compare the different stiles they use and try to consider which one is the most appropriate for a blog, because I’m still not sure is the register I’m using is the best one in these context, I would hesitate in my own language, so imagine in a foreign language!

On the other hand , I think that it could be interesting for other students to read my  posts, since I’m trying to share tips to learn a language as an Erasmus students, so as to make the most of this incredible experience. Being in a country where   the language you are studying is the official one is  obviously incredibly helpful, since we are learning in an unaware way, but if we also do some easy  activities every day it would be even better and our improvement would be huge.

 

So, I really think that blogging is helping me with my english improvement and is showing me a lot of different ways to learn languages that I didn’t know before. I’m enjoying it, because even if at first was something I must do, now is something that actually I want to do.

 

 

Digital native or Digital immigrant

This terms may sound uncommon for most of us, but we are all closely related to them, since are terms that define us. A digital immigrant is an individual who was born before the boom and widespread adoption of technology. On the other hand , digital natives are those who have been using technology since their childhood.

 

I consider myself to be a digital native, since I use technology every single day and it is almost necessary for my day-to-day life. However, I’m sometimes surprised by my own incompetence to understand the use of a software or the instructions of certain digital technologies. Moreover, I still prefer to print my notes and to read paper books better than reading from an ebook or a computer. That’s why I sometimes wander if I’m really a digital native or not; but when I compare myself with my completely digital immigrant parents, I notice that something is changing  in the way my generation adopts technology. We don’t just understand quickly what other teach us, we also explore new horizons to prove what can  and what can`t be done with a computer.

Lab task 4 ( Week 2)

1. On pg. 4 Mezirow outlines Bruner’s 4 modes of meaning making and adds a 5th for Transformation Theory. Discuss what you understand about these 5 modes of learning.
Even if those 4 modes of meaning making may sound abstract they are probably the keys of a good understanding and learning. The first mode consist on the interpretation in the process of making a meaning, we have to shape the meaning by interpretating it, but while we are doing it we have to take into account the context or the taking actions as the second mode says “ the relating events,utterances and behaviour…”. After contextualizing and interpretating the meaning we should make propositions taking into account the normative context named in the 4th mode. The 5th mode of learning talks about our expectations and assumptions, basically what we expect to obtain with the learning process.

The learning proccess is most of the times seen as a very simple thing, that we already know , therefore we do not pay much attention to it. But the true is that most of us do not know how to learn properly, understanding learning as a proccess of obtaining new information but also as the proccess of creating it. Sometimes we are not able to interpretate some specific meanings or to create our own coherent ideas, we are just content with generalized beliefs.
2. On pg. 8 (final two paragraphs) Mezirow discusses the focus of Transformation Theory. Discuss what you understand by this.
The Transformation Theory is a tool to the good way of decision making as a cohenrent and self-suficient adult. It consist of a clear thinking activity in which we rule out the general beliefs, meanings, feelings, etc. to create our owns in a ritical way.

This transfomative learning consists of two dimensions, the individual one and the social one. It distinguhes the general social and cultural canons , for our own knowledge.

3. Define in your own words instrumental and communicative
learning (see pgs. 8 -10).
Instrumental learning is the practical skills we have to solves problems and to handle and specific situation. While the communicative learning, is to understand what the others are saying but not just in a literally way but also taking into account their feelings, metaphorical meanings, the context, etc.

4. What do you understand by Reflective Discourse? What is needed for effective participation in such discourse? (see pgs. 10-16).
The Reflective Discourse it’s a dialogue to attain an agreement between the participants od the Discourse. Each participant expresses his opinion freely always respecting and tolerating others beliefs. The aim of this Discourse is not winning but finding an agreement, trying to understand other participnts points of view.

To participate in such a discourse the members must have accurate information of the topic, opennes to alternative points of view, ability to weight the arguments presented and willingness to obtain an agreement.

5. What do you understand by ‘frame of reference’ and how does this relate to transformations and critical reflection? (pgs. 16-24).
By “ frame of reference” I understand the way we perceive the reality, the way we understand it. In the frame of reference our own experience plays a big role, because when we try to interpretate something we always compare it with previous situations, so as to understand it. The frame of reference is compond by two different dimensions, the habits of mine, the assumptions and the points of view, which are the way to expressed the habits of mine.

Transformation is closelly related to the “frame of reference”, since we transform frames of references by our own experience, assumptions, habits of mine or points of view that may be ethical, cultural, psychological, etc. We also transform the “frame of reference” by the critical reflection, we may become critical at some point and hange our mind, but for that we will need to justify our new perspective through a contended discourse. Critical reflection consist of making critical question to ourself, so as to improve.

6. What are your opinions towards Mezirow’s views on autonomy? (see pgs. 26-31).
My opinion is that autonomous thinking is a very important skill, since it allows us to keep away from the general beliefs and to think and learn critically, to take important decisions, etc.
Therefore I agree with Mezirow`s in his explanation of the autonomy.

7. What, for you, are the main issues in this article, and how can you apply these to this module?
From my point of view, the main issues in this article are the critical thinking and the Transformation Theory. We can apply those issuis to this modules in different ways, for example , when looking for tools to our independent language learning we need to be autonomous and critical with the material we use, we also have to learn how to take important decisions. On the other hand, we are supposed to argument properly while discussing different issues in class or while writting for our blogs.

Lab tasks week 2

Task 1:

Evaluate at least one Hypermedia/Multi-media CALL package in an attempt to define what exactly a Multi-media language learning environment is.

A Multimedia language learning environment is an aid to learn or teach  a language in an interactive way. It offers different tools to learn the language and to atract students attention. It makes it possible to improve every skill of the learner: listening, grammar, pronuntiation (by recording our own voice) , talking to native speakers through chats , e-mails… etc.

It is also important to examinate the level of the learners and to offer different levels so as the learner to be in the appropiate level. After each level it should be an exam so as to prove that the students has understood and integrate the topics seen in that specific level.

 

Task 2:

You are a developer/future user of a Multimedia CALL package. Create your Multimedia CALL package wish list.

– Clear instructions of how to use this Multimedia CALL package.

– Different levels and an assesment exam, so as to see which our level is.

– Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation  in each level. This topics must be examinated with different activities, to improve writing skills , interaction with native speakers through chats, comprehension of different texts , both written and spoken.

–  A section with news about the language, changes in  grammar, vocabulary or ortography.

– News about the country-countries where the language is spoken to approach the learners to the culture.

Important aspects of language learning

What is the most important aspect of LL? And why?

Learning a language is a difficult and sometimes frustraiting process that requieres to be in contact with the language as much time as possible.  There are a lot of different ways to be in contact with the language that we are learning , as reading the newspaper daily, watching movies, talking to native speakers, etc.

But even if we spend many hours in contact with the language there is a very important aspect in the language learning, which is the self-reflection. We have to reflect about all the new vocabulary, new grammar or expressions we have learnt. As an Erasmus student, I’m trying to make the most of my language learning and I found this reflection activity very helpful but also difficult. Therefore, I bought a little notebook so as to note all the new vocabulary that I’m learning learn every day and I also write down where and when did I heard it, so as to remember it and contextualize it better.

 

Which writing style to adopt for blogging AND/OR tweeting? Formal?

From my point of view , the proper writing stile for blogging is the formal one, since we will have different readers , as students, teachers , friends. Therefore, I think that the best style to please the readers would be the formal one , but we have to keep in mind that we want to atract  the attention of the people so we shouldn’t be extremly formal.

 

Your favourite blogs AND/OR tweets which were not specifically designed for language learning: assess their target language from the content + your own interest.

I usually use travel blogs, blogs about literature or movie recommendations. The language they use is usually informal, because they try to catch the attention of as much readers as possible.

 

What benefits, if any, to continue to blog AND/Or tweet on Co-Op or Erasmus or both?

I would recommend to continue blogging during the Co-Op or Erasmus, since it is a really good opportunity to self-reflection while you are experiencing the language as something real, which from my point of view is the most important aspect of the language learning. Moreover, you are able to motivate other learners and give them tips for the language learning while you are abroad. It is also going to be as your Erasmus diary , so you can keep it and look back by reading it once you are back home.

The ABA teachers blog

After  reading four different blogs and analysed their appearance and utility  I have chosen this blog to learn english, written by teachers http://www.abaenglish.com/blog/ . It is organized in different sections: vocabulary, grammar, listening ,ABBA news , etc,  which makes our search easier and provides us with exercises to improve our english as  independent language learners.

It also has some links which lead us to other interesting websites concerning the same topic . The appearance is simple and easy to use because it has its own searcher, looks like a professional blog . It provides us different tips to learn languages and some entertainig new methods , as listening to music or watching videos.

I think that this blog can be really useful to learn not only english but any other language online as an independent language learner. So, I invite you all to go into this web and explore !

 

 

 

 

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