Italian 101: il grande finale

I’ve seen the last few months trying to learn Italian using online resources and technology. I definitely learned some of the language, but more importantly, I learned A LOT about learning online. Here’s what I learned.

  1.  You simply cannot expect to learn online without doing some work offline. You would think this should be a no brainer, and for you maybe it is. But for myself, I had some weird thought that I would be able to learn everything I needed to learn online without using a pen a paper for example. I thought I would be able to learn it without practicing the language away from the computer. I was wrong. Yes you can find a lot of information online and yes a lot of it is helpful in teaching you something. However, you cannot forget about other methods that help us learn such as writing, underlining text, labelling pictures and reading. You need to use the offline learning skills you have to enhance your online learning experience. For my project I found that if I was struggling to remember a term that it helped to write the term down a few times so that I actually learned the spelling and what the term meant. I know other classmates have used post-it notes to label items around their house to help them learn. These are great examples of how offline strategies can help reinforce your online learning.
  2. There are hundreds of resources available online. Which ones work best? Well, that’s up to you to decide. I would recommend doing some simple searches online to try and find some resources that others recommend. Search for things like “best way to learn a language online for free“, “learn a language online” or “best apps to learn foreign language”. In order to find out what works best for you or which you like most you have to simply try them out. You can read reviews from other people but they might not feel the same way about a site that you will. For example, Vanessa found that she wasn’t too impressed with Duolingo and although I see where she is coming from, I think that it can be a valuable tool. It’a a matter of trial and error for you to find some resources that work for you.
  3. Connect with others and create a PLNThere are so many ways to connect with others online. For myself I used Twitter, Instagram and blogging to follow and connect with others. By sharing my blog I was able to connect with people who read my blog and commented on it. Through comments on my blog I was given suggestions for additional resources to check out for my learning project. I was able to connect with others on Twitter and practice some of my language skills as well. There are some great websites that allow you to chat or talk with others who can help you learn the language you are working on. Depending on what you are learning about your PLN might look different. You might connect with others by sharing step by step videos for cooking, or following an online Twitter chat. Everyone’s PLN will be different, but it’s important that you reach out and try to connect with people.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone.  There are so many beneficial things that can come from stepping out of your comfort zone. In my learning journey there were two things I did that really made me step out of my comfort zone. The first was reading a book in Italian. It was only a children’s book, but it was difficult to put myself out there and read it online knowing that I probably mispronounced a number of words. I practiced over and over but never felt confident enough that I was reading it perfectly. I decided to just record it and post it. It was a good opportunity for me to hear how I sounds when I speak and reflect on it. The second thing I wanted to do was have a conversation with someone online. I was hoping to have a Skype meeting with someone but I didn’t feel confident enough in my speaking skills, so I opted for the next best option and had an online chat with a couple of people through WeSpeke. This was truly a great learning experience for me as it gave me an opportunity to have an unscripted conversation with someone. I had to think about what I wanted to say and try to put the words together in a sentence. I found that I had to use a translator to help me complete my sentences but it was nice to connect with someone and practice what I had learned. Both of these situations caused me to step out of my comfort zone and I think I learned a lot from each experience. Had I not pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone I would have missed out on these great opportunities.
  5. Practice, practice, practice…and then practice some more. Regardless of what you are learning, you must keep at it. Learning a new skill does not happen over night. It’s important to practice and be consistent. Learning takes time. Even practicing for 15-20 minutes a day is better than nothing. Use the people in your network to connect and practice or ask for help. Watch a video while waiting for a bus, listen to a podcast in your car. Whatever you do to connect, try to do it every day. If you are involved in a MOOC, do the work that is required, check in when you are supposed to…participate. You get out what you put in, so if you are serious about learning, you’ll find the time.

In follow up to one of my first blogs showing the beginning of my learning journey here is some evidence of the progress I made. I’m happy to say that I reached 37% fluency and level 11 on Duolingo. On my placement test at the end of my learning journey I was able to place out of 4 categories so that was also great. Below are some photos of my progress and a video showing my final placement test.

Duolingo Progress

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Duolingo Placement Test – Post

Babbel Progress

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Itlaian 101: And the award goes to…

This semester I was given the opportunity to learn something – just like I am given the opportunity in any other class. However the opportunity was presented much different than it has been presented in any other class. I was given the opportunity to pick something that I was interested in and learn about it using technology and online connections to help me along the way.

Obviously when you are given the opportunity to learn about anything a lot of possibilities run through your head. I wanted to choose something that I would enjoy learning about. I wanted to learn something that I could use at some point in the future. I would have loved to pick something creative like sewing or knitting, but I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money purchasing materials along the way (especially with my limited income on maternity leave). So I decided I would learn a language.

The language I decided on was Italian. Why? Well I didn’t want to do French because I already have some experience with speaking French having gradated with a French 30 credit (even though that credit is from way back in 2004). I wanted to start with a clean slate. In my travels I have spent some time in Italy and I just love everything about the country. The food, the culture, the scenery, the cities and of course the language. I have always thought that it would be great to learn a language and be able to travel and use it someday. Now that I have been learning some of the language maybe it’s time to go back.

Throughout the semester I found a lot of resources that are very useful in learning a language online and found even more that seemed to be of little help. If you want to check out all of the resources I  reviewed in detail look back at some of my previous posts. But here is a quick list of my top resources for learning Italian online broken down into categories.

To practice site words, memory work and phrases.

WINNER: Duolingo – great tool for rote memorization and practicing words & phrases. Uses audio, text, written and spoken language. The biggest negative is the sentences that are used to practice sometimes – they don’t make a lot of sense and you wouldn’t use them in daily conversations very often.

RUNNER UP: Babbel – similar to Duolingo but is a paid service. This focuses on themes for each lesson and can be helpful in learning phrases for basic conversation or travel. Uses mostly writing and listening to complete the lessons.

Honorable Mention: Mango – A free online service provided by the library in Regina. Similar to Babbel in the sense that you practice basic phrases and conversation by listening and repeating the audio.

To listen to audio.

WINNER: News in Slow Italian  – provides slower audio with text to read along. The text is also translated into English to help with further comprehension.

RUNNER UP: The Italian Experiment – this site is good but provides limited resources. There are three audio books you can listen to and follow along with text. The text is also translated into english. It is a great site but would be nice if new material would be added.

Videos

WINNER: Learn Italian with Lucrezia  – most of her videos are fairly short and very informative which make them really nice to watch. The lessons range from beginner to advanced. She also has an instagram and twitter account that I would suggest following.

RUNNER UP: Learn Italian Words App – this app works offline and has a large variety of video lessons ranging from beginner to advance.

Social Media

WINNER: Twitter – @italianlanguage Instagram – italianwordoftheday – both accounts provide you with one word a day to practice and learn. The Twitter account gives you a word and a sentence most days to learn. The Instagram account gives you a word with a picture each day, but no sentence.

RUNNER UP: Twitter @ItalianLearn this account also gives you a word a day and you can click on a link that will take you to a sentence that uses the word and audio for the pronunciation.

Speaking with Others

WINNER: WeSpeke – a great tool to connect and chat with others online.

 

 

Italian 101: WeSpeke and LiveMocha

For my final post discussing my progress and learning journey I will be focusing on my connections I made with others online in order to practice speaking Italian. I shouldn’t say speaking Italian because I didn’t end up speaking to anyone face to face, but I had a few conversations with people to test out my skills and learn along the way.

After searching for different ways to connect and chat with others online I came across WeSpeke. This website is an online community that allows you to connect with people who speak a language you would like to learn. In return, you help them learn your language by chatting/speaking to them. I was a little nervous about joining because I didn’t know if I was ready to connect with people through Skype, but I was happy to learn that I could simply chat with others through the site.

When you sign up the site will ask you for your native language and the language you are interested in learning. It will also ask you to rate on a scale of 1-5 your level of mastery for the language you want to learn. It will then give you a list of profiles for people on the site that may be a good match for you. From there you can select some people to connect with and start chatting away.

The most difficult part of using the website is dealing with the time change. For myself it works because I am at home all the time being on maternity leave so I am able to be around to connect with people. Most of the people I connect with are in Europe so it is usually late evening for them when we connect. It may be hard for you to connect with people depending on the time change between you and them and of course daily schedules.

I was able to connect with a couple of people and have a very brief basic conversation. It was nice to be able to connect and put my skills to work. I quickly found that I don’t have all the basics down and I need to refer to a translator like Google translate often to help me complete sentences. Even though I needed to refer to a translator and get help from time to time it was a great learning experience. Certainly more realistic than practicing with Duolingo. Here are a few snapshots from my conversation using WeSpeke.

 

One thing I did find after using Google Translate is that it sometimes translates differently than what I have learned using Duolingo or other sites. Sometimes I was sure of what I wanted to say but would double check it using the translator and it would be very different from what I thought it should be. I know that the languages don’t always translate word for word, so maybe the way I was interpreting it was a little different.

I enjoyed using the website and decided to download the app because I can log in and chat more conveniently when I have my phone with me. The service is free and I would recommend it to anyone trying to learn a language.

Livemocha is another site that allows you to use others in order to help you learn. This site works a little different than WeSpeke. Rather than connecting and having conversations with others, you complete lessons and others will give you feedback based on your work. You can listen and see the work of others as well and give feedback to them so they can learn.  There is a points system involved that allows you to earn points by completing lessons and giving feedback on lessons that others have completed. You have to use points to ‘purchase’ lessons to complete so it ensures that you can’t just take and only use the service to complete lessons and get feedback. You must also give back and review lessons completed by others.  I didn’t find the service to be super useful and didn’t get feedback from anyone on any lessons I did. I’m not sure how others find my lessons to review. From what I can tell a list of lessons appears on the screen and you just select one that you want to review. So it could take a while before someone picks your lesson to review. For anyone wanting to give the site a try, you have limited time as it is closing down as of April 22, 2016 with no reason stated for ending.

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There were a few other websites that I looked at but didn’t use or investigate for a variety of reasons. Some of the websites looked to be a little ‘sketchy’ or unprofessional so I wasn’t sure about the people I would find on the site or safety of the site as well. These were mostly pen pal sites that I had searched. Other sites like italki are paid tutoring sites. I signed up because it was recommended by someone who commented on my blog, but I didn’t realize it was a paid service so I didn’t investigate it.

One site that I came across that I think would be really awesome to join is Conversation Exchange.  This site connects you with someone to practice a language. Once you have practiced and learned the language you are able to fly to the country of the person you have been meeting with online and have them host you for a stay. In exchange you will do the same for them. It sounds like a neat way to learn a language and travel as well, but I would be a little scared to take the leap and join. I am sure you could make some great connections, but I always worry about connecting with strangers online. But like their FAQ page states, you are only strangers for a short time and then you become friends. I would like to look into it more and read some reviews to see how it has worked for others.

If you were learning a language would you try to use a site like Conversation Exchange?

Italian 101: There’s an app for that.

Imagine you decide to book a trip to Italy. You’re super excited to go and figure that it would be fun to learn the language before your journey. So, you do what anyone else trying to learn a language does…you buy some books, you download some apps, you listen to podcasts and you practice, practice, practice. But let’s say you’re like me and have great intentions of learning the language but you can’t find the time needed. Maybe it’s harder to learn a language than you thought. Are you going to cancel your trip?? Heck no! You’re going to board that flight and take your phone along. If you haven’t mastered the basics, don’t worry. There’s an app for that.

After thinking about some comments made by Kristina on my “Italian 101: Italian on the go? Not so much” post and reflecting on my experience with trying to practice but having limited access to the internet I decided to see if I could find any apps that would be useful offline. Most of the apps I found I would recommend mostly for travelling as opposed to learning by using them, but you could certainly make use of them to learn from. Almost all of them are available with no internet connection which is very helpful for anyone with no internet connection or limited connection.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 5.15.37 PMLearn Italian Words – Must have internet connection, it’s a free app, recommended for learning, beginners to advance

The app is full of lessons ranging form beginner to advanced. Lessons consist of videos with pictures, audio and text. There are comprehension lessons in which you can listen to dialogue and answer the question asked at the end to check for understanding. At the end of the comprehension exercise it plays the audio again with the Italian and english text showing on the screen. I found this to be really helpful. I am still not strong enough with my listening skills to understand everything that is being said, so seeing the text while listening is really beneficial. This would be the only app that I am reviewing today that I would recommend for learning and not for travel.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 5.10.49 PMSpeakEasy Italian – Free, can access with out internet connection, recommended for beginners, recommended for travel more than learning

This app would be extremely beneficial while travelling for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because it works offline meaning you don’t have to use any data to use it. This would be really helpful when travelling abroad if you are in locations that don’t have free wi-fi. The second reason is that it provides you with the essential phrases that you would need to get around and ‘survive’ while travelling in Italy. I put survive in quotations because if like me your native language is English 34% of Italian people can speak English as well so chances are if you need help you would be able to find someone who also speaks English. However if German is your native language this app might be more handy because only 5% of Italians speak German. I was able to get around Italy twice without knowing anything more than Ciao, Grazie and Arrivaderci but it would have been way more fun to use some more language and learn along the way. This app would be a big help in practicing the language while travelling.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.56.59 PMItalian Verbs – $1.99, access with no internet connection, recommended for advanced learners, recommended for learning not travel

This app was basically useless to me. It is strictly a verb conjugation app which for me has a little purpose in my learning. I would say this is for more advanced learners. The biggest downfall is that you can’t search for a verb using the english translation. You need to know what the english verb translates to so that you can find it on the app. Having not a lot of language skills this made it very difficult for me to use. I wouldn’t recommend this to any beginners.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.56.54 PMItalian English Dictionary – Free, can be used without internet access, recommended for beginners, recommended for travel more than learning

This app is a mix between the Italian Verbs and SpeakEasy Italian. You are able to search for any word you want to in English and it will provide the Italian translation. You can also see the conjugates for each verb which is helpful too. There are a variety of phrases that are included in the free version which would prove to be very useful when travelling. If you were using this app to learn the language on it’s own it might not be that useful because there isn’t really any way to practice without simply reading the phrases over and over. But for travelling I would give this a huge thumbs up!

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.57.50 PMBravolo Italian Phrasebook – Free, works without internet access, recommend for travel, recommended for beginners

This is a great app that includes a variety of useful phrases. Just like the others that can be used offline it would be really helpful when travelling. You can select the theme for the phrases and select the phrase you want to see in English. It will then give you the translated text and provide audio to hear how to say it in Italian. You may slow down the pronunciation as well but I find that it actually pronounces it nice and slow to begin with so I don’t usually have to slow it down. Another highly recommended app for travel. I would recommend purchasing the full app so that you have access to more phrases though.

If you are travelling to Italy I would highly recommend downloading some of these apps. I would suggest the Italian English Dictionary and SpeakEasy Italian the most.

Italian 101: Kickin’ it Old School

In my last post I talked about brining old school methods into my new school learning project. This past week I decided to look into some old school ways to learn online. I was able to find a few things on my own and I was also able to use some resources that have been suggested by others in the class or different places online. I have been working with flashcards, lessons, books, audio and workbooks this past week. I haven’t spent a lot of time focusing on each, but have worked with each resource enough to understand whether or not it would be helpful moving forward. I will be reviewing the following in the blog:

  1. The Italian Experiment (website)
  2. International Children’s Digital Library (website) 
  3. Quizlet (website/app) 
  4. Basic Italian and Grammar Workbook (online PDF) 
  5. News in Slow Italian

The Italian Experiment

I’ve mentioned the Italian Experiment in a previous post and haven’t gotten around to talking much about it. I was introduced to this lesson from a chat that I was part of on Duolingo. The website is made up of lessons, stories (with audio and translation) as well as reviews of online courses. I have spent some time listening to the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears on this site. I like that you can listen to the audio, read the Italian text and also see the translation in English. There is a lot of repetition in each of the stories so I was able to pick up on some of the terms and sentences by the end of each story. In terms of the lessons, they are very basic and cover introductory topics. I personally like the lessons because they cover the essentials for learning any language. I like that the lessons provide knowledge that will help you further understand the lessons. I read over the reviews of the Italian Language courses but never looked any further into them as each one requires a purchase and most are quite expensive.

International Children’s Digital Library

After some fellow classmates (Amy & Genna) have read books in another language I decided I would give it a shot. After all if you are trying to learn the language you should be reading it as well. This site was suggested by a classmate (sorry that I can’t recall who mentioned it or where I saw it, but thanks for sharing). This site was created for families who have moved to new countries where it may be difficult to find books in their native language or for families who need to learn a new language upon moving. It is suited for more people than those who have moved to a new country of course. Take me for example…someone who wants to learn a new language to travel or as a hobby. It is free to use and you can access books that are recommended for ages 3-13. You can search books by fiction, non-fiction, characters, age group and language. Many of the books are translated into multiple languages. The text for the book is given in the language you selected to read which is one downside. For someone like me who is just learning it is difficult to understand the books (even at a 3-5 age). I have to translate the book each time I read one which is a good thing because it challenges me to think and pick out words I know, but it is also time consuming. In my video below I took a screen shot of the Italian and English version of the same book. I put each page onto a slide so you can see the translation. The translation doesn’t translate back and forth between Italian and English quite as I thought it would. Here I am reading a story from the International Children’s Digital Library. I’m sure I am mispronouncing some of the words and I know my r’s still don’t sound the way they should so please excuse my rookie mistakes.

Quizlet

Quizlet is an online flashcard maker. You are able to create your own sets as well as find other sets that have been created by users. You can practice the flashcards by using the different features included in the program. I think its a really useful tool, however I have a feeling I would do better making flashcards with pen and paper as opposed to using a keyboard to make them. Check out my quick review below.

Basic Italian and Grammar Workbook

I found this workbook searching for online learning resources. It is developed by lecturers at the University of Turin in Italy and University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. I haven’t printed the workbook out because it’s 194 pages, but I have scrolled through it and skimmed it. It is definitely an old school workbook full of information, exercises and answers. From what I can see it is a great resource for providing more than just words. There is a lot of information and a decent amount of practice for each unit. The amount of information isn’t overwhelming however. This is something that I would like to print off one unit at a time to read and practice. I bookmarked this PDF and don’t know how I cam across it. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be printed or even presented as a PDF online. I don’t know if there are any copyright issues with this. I hope not!

News in Slow Italian

This is a great website that I came across a few weeks ago but never explored until the last few days. This is a GREAT resource for anyone looking to learn Italian. There are different pages for beginner, intermediate and advance users. I focused on the beginner level. Each level includes lessons with audio to help you learn Italian. When you are listening to a lesson you can hover your mouse over the Italian text which will display the English translation. The beginners lessons have very little Italian but they progress as you go along. I believe a subscription is needed to have full functionality of all the lessons. The intermediate new shows are great to listen to. I am usually able to piece together enough information using the Italian I have learned with the help of the English translations. There seems to be a lot of features and different ways to interact with the site so it is a great place to explore if you are learning Italian.

I hope that some of my resources help you learn Italian if you are trying to learn the language. I would love to hear your thoughts on some of the resources I have shared.

Ciao!

Italian 101: Italian on the go? Not so much.

Just realized I never published this post! Yikes!! I found it in my drafts. I think I was hoping to add to it but I will share now so that it’s included in my major project progress. It was from March 12th.

I didn’t have a blog post last week reviewing my major project progress because there wasn’t a lot of progress to talk about. Last week I was in Florida with my family taking in Disney World. I thought that I would be able to get a lot of practice in during the flights and layovers heading down and back but that wasn’t the case. On the first flight from Regina to Toronto I quickly discovered that my go to apps Duolingo and Babbel require use of the internet to use them. So on my first flight I wasn’t able to do any practicing.

When we landed in Toronto I used the free Wi-fi to download some lessons from Babbel so they would be available to use on the next flight. I was able to make it through only one lesson with a very poor score I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something like 40/78. I found it very difficult to concentrate when flying. It might be from having my son right beside me who seemed to need something from me every few minutes, or all the background noise, or maybe just because I have a fear of flying and get extremely anxious on flights. I was hoping the lessons would help me relax a bit by distracting me, but I think it created more stress haha. Maybe my next online learning journey will be participating in this Fear of Flying Course. 

If you read my blog post about my detox with technology you’ll know that I was rarely on my phone during my trip. I was far too busy and exhausted by the end of each day so thinking about practicing was even too much to handle. I decided to take a few days off and hopefully my skills wouldn’t decrease too much in the days I wasn’t practicing. I was mistaken. When I got home, my fluency on Duolingo was only 13% (down from my previous high of 16%) and almost every one of my skills was missing strength bars. It was overwhelming and a little discouraging to think I would have to go back and redo all of the lessons to strengthen skills. But after seeing another classmate, Amy, with a very high fluency percent in her language she is learning I was determined to bring my fluency up. I practiced quite a bit in the few days I returned home and was able to bring my fluency up to 20%. You can see that on Sunday I did 24 lessons to get 240pts in order to bring my fluency up to 20% from 13%. I am still trying to refrain from being to caught up in the fluency percent as I think it varies a lot and to be honest I don’t think that I became 7% more fluent on Sunday from doing those 24 lessons, but I’ll humour myself and the app.

You can see in the picture of my activity that I have 13 hours left before I complete all the lessons. With about 30 days before class ends that would mean I have to practice about 25 minutes a day to complete the course. I know that 25 minutes a day doesn’t seem like a lot, but some days I don’t have the time to practice so it does seem like a challenge to find 25 minutes for the next 30 days to complete it, but maybe I can do it.

 

Over the next few weeks I will be looking at using different apps and websites to learn Italian. I will try to read one book in Italian and also connect with someone online to communicate with.

Italian 101: New School Requires Old School

I feel like I have so much to talk about when it comes to my learning project. This weeks focus will be on my experience using Twitter, Instagram, blogs and Facebook to connect with others in order to learn Italian. I am also going to talk about my progress with Duolingo (which is still my go to app). The last thing I will talk about is how new school learning requires old school methods. I have included a few videos reviewing the accounts I follow. They are quite long and not very polished unfortunately (it wasn’t a good day for vlogging in my life but I had  been trying to get these videos done since last Thursday so I just wanted to get them finished finally).

Twitter

I started following a variety of accounts on Twitter. I have found that of the accounts I follow very few seem to be very helpful in learning the language. I have attempted to tweet a few times in Italian but most of the time I need to use a translator to help me form a complete sentence.

A tweet to classmate Elizabeth who is also learning Italian

A tweet to classmate Elizabeth who is also learning Italian

I feel as though I am on the right track with using Twitter to learn a language but I need to find more accounts that are useful to follow. I took the advice from my feedback by Katia and decided to create a list on Twitter of the people I follow to learn Italian. It will be much easier to locate and focus my learning on Twitter now.

My learning Italian Twitter list

My learning Italian Twitter list

In the following video I take you through some of the Twitter accounts I have recently followed and give you a brief overview of each. Some of them are much better than others and I will continue to follow them after this class, but at the end of class I will go back and delete some of the accounts that I have found are less useful.

Instagram

I have found a few accounts to follow on Instagram and also created an Instagram account that I tried to use to share some of my learning. I say tried to use because I haven’t really kept up with it. I found that I wasn’t able to attract any followers and because of that I quickly lost interest. It is something that I should reconsider however because I think that a photo blog or flash card type posts are a great way to learn.  I have actually also had trouble locating my account to share on here. My account name is AshleyLearnsItalian and it was created as a second account on my phone. I have taken a few screenshots to share so that you can see what I had done.

I have also reviewed all of the accounts I have followed. I would love to find more to follow and will keep an eye out for more accounts that I can learn from.

Blogs and Facebook

Through my blog I was able to connect with Stephanie who had commented on my blog. She was able to suggest a Facebook page for me to follow – I’mpariamo l’italiano. Unfortunately I found the page to be beyond my current level of understanding but maybe someday I will be able to use the site. Stephanie also recommended iTalki which I had heard of before but after having her recommend it I am making it a goal to use it before the end of class. I of course started following Stephanie’s blog and have found it quite nice to read and learn from. I also started following the Conversational Italian blog through the @travelitalian1 twitter account. Here is my review of Facebook and the blogs I follow.

Duolingo

I have decided the reason I keep going back to Duolingo is because it is just like a game. It makes learning a little more fun. But I have also discovered that because it is like a game I often don’t focus as much as I should when I am using it preventing me from actually absorbing the material at times. I am wondering if it has become a way for me to procrastinate or kill some time yet still learn something.  I have also added the Italian keyboard to my phone to help me with spelling Italian words when using Duolingo. Check out this video on my progress and experience this past week using Duolingo.

New School Requires Old School

This whole time I have been so focused on using online tools to learn that I have assumed I would be able to learn a language without writing anything down. I know I said in an earlier post that one of my goals was to write down words that I was having trouble remembering but I never stuck to that (it seems to be a reoccurring theme for me…setting goals only to forget about them). The problem is that learning is tough, especially online independent learning. There are so many goals I could set and so many different things that I can be working on that would be helpful. The trouble is knowing which goals I should continue to work on or which methods will help me the most. I was emailed a few articles that have some tips for learning a language on your own and although I am using technology to learn online, that doesn’t mean I give up traditional ways of learning completely. For example, when trying to memorize words it is useful to write the words down on a flashcard.  It’s also important to organize your time, make it fun and stay focused.  And if all else fails guess or make up the words you are looking for. You just might surprise yourself.

I am happy to say that my scores on my reflection rubric for this week have improved since last week so I obviously feel like I am making progress.

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