MOOC Update: Week 3

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The infamous brunost, one of Norway’s most well-known foods

I made it halfway through “week” 3 on the course!

As I promised last week, I’m back to share a few new thoughts~

I’m planning to study a little bit more outside of the course. It won’t be much, given my other responsibilities, but I want to put as much effort as I can into my learning 🙂 I think it would also be interesting if I could get somebody else on a MOOC  learning something they haven’t before. Remember that I have some prior experience with Norwegian, so my experience on this course is always going to be affected by that.

Positives

+ It was only on Wednesday, in another class, that we were discussing how even advanced learners often miss out on learning phrases that all native speakers know like “it’s your turn” because the classroom context simply doesn’t require them. Therefore, I found it helpful that the phonetics section always includes this phrase.

+ I somehow never noticed this before, but you can actually download the videos on the course. This means you can take some of your MOOC on the go if you like!

+ The course has made a small leap forward in presenting instructions in Norwegian. There are still translations in English, but I predict that this will soon change. Slowly introducing the target language in this way is really good and it makes me feel quite positive about my progress so far in learning the language. Better still, these instructions are not translated word-by-word, but rather in chunks, a practice that supposedly lessens the learning burden.

+ I’m really starting to appreciate the phonetics section. I’ve always seen Norwegian as a relatively easy language to learn (I see it almost as merger between English and German) but the sounds are quite tricky, particularly those pesky vowels!

+ Have I mentioned the chatbot before? Its actually a really nice feature and I enjoy using it at the end of each section. I think I’ll write a post on chatbots sometime in the near future.

Neutral

~ It’s hard to get around this issue, but the use of a comments section means two things: you can check your answers against other people’s, which can lead to noticing of your own errors, and you can cheat and see the answer when you’re stuck. In other words, the comments of others are both a blessing and a curse. I don’t purposefully check the other comments beforehand, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of something and it inevitably sticks in my mind when I’m composing my own answer.

Negatives

– I’m still really struggling to find a rationale for the comments section, but unfortunately I can’t think of another way that learners could do the same things they can in the comments i.e. practice their Norwegian in the learning environment. As I said before, the comments section is really just too large; there’s too many people commenting and it’s impossible to keep up. Nobody seems to really want to interact in any way, myself included. I don’t feel particularly motivated to edit or comment on other posts, and I’ve only had a handful of comments in response, most of which have been pretty useless e.g. a learner randomly translating my Norwegian answers into English.


That’s all for now! A slightly shorter post this week, but I think that’s natural as I move towards the end of the course. Watch this space for another update next week!

 

 

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