MOOC Update: Week 4

Bergen_panoramic_photograph_taken_from_Fløyen_mountain.jpg

Bergen, Norway

 

 

It’s already week 4! If I’d had a bit more time, I’d be in the last week of the course, but c’est la vie. I just completed week 3 and had a few more points to share 🙂

I FINALLY received a comment from a lead educator. I basically made an attempt to write in Norwegian and made a mistake in my pluralisation of some words. The lead educator simply responded by writing the correct form with no explanation or anything. I mean, I know what he was correcting, but it was a bit haphazard…anyway, here goes my reflection on week 3 part 2!

Positives

+ This is not really my point, but just an insight into how other learners are getting on. At the end of each week, the course leaders request learners to share how they’re feeling about their progress and their thoughts on the course in general. A majority of people seem extremely satisfied and as if they have learnt a lot in a short period of time. As you may remember, I have learnt some Norwegian before, so I can’t make a truly objective judgement about how much this course has aided me – although I do feel like I’ve learnt a lot too! – but I think the feedback speaks for how good the course is overall. A lot of people really like the phonetics lectures and the inclusion of Norwegian culture.

+ I’ve mentioned the use of repetition in the course before and this hasn’t slowed down at all. The course recyles vocabulary and grammar from previous weeks and often presents it in different ways e.g. if you learn it from a video, then you need to produce it in the next week.

+ I’m not sure how other learners are making use of the videos, but I quite like watching for gist the first time, reading the activity below, then watching to find the specific information. Not being able to see what the activity is straight away facilitates this method of learning and I would argue it’s very helpful for training your listening skills in Norwegian.

+ Collocations were introduced in this week! Of course it wasn’t explicitly written anywhere that we were looking at collocations, but we were! The word in question was sammen (together) and the course listed a number of words that usually go with this word. Extremely helpful!!

+ The course is very proactive in getting learners to share their learning tips. It was interesting to see how complicated some people’s mnemonics were for remembering the conjugation rules for the simple past…

+ The phonetics lecture now uses phrases as examples. Not only does this provide chunks of language that we can use, but is helpful in pronunciation as we are unlikely to be saying words on their own.

Neutral

~ It’s been obvious to me from the start that these “international students” are Norwegian natives. Their accent is far too good and when they speak their “mother tongues” they give themselves away. I suppose it is a matter of opinion on whether learners will have better role models and a better learning experience with either natives or non-natives. Personally I like that they are native speakers as I quite like to imitate accents when learning. When I first started learning Japanese, I spent a lot of time listening to native speakers in TV programmes and imitating their style of speech in my own. Even though my Japanese is not perfect, I get a lot of compliments about my accent, so I think this works!

Negatives

– This is a minor point but during one of the videos a lot of new vocabulary was introduced and the video just showed the cast talking. It might have been more helpful to have shown the objects to help learners match the new vocabulary to the object (the vocabulary was linked to objects in a park, like a bridge, a fountain, etc.)

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