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Jobs in France

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 2 Dec 2014, 16:24
From E-Learning V

Fig.1 Train Announcer in France

To expand my learning of French and to immerse myself in the language I am now reading, speculatively, job ads in France. It amuses me that the job site 'Indeed' came up with the above gem in Bourg St. Maurice, which is the end of the rail line into the French Tarentaise: direct from London St Pancras overnight on Fridays during the winter season, overnight from Paris on Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon.

They want an announcer who can help point the mass of English speakers in the right direction.

I've worked down here twice: age 19, and age 29, the first in a gap year working 13 hours a day in a hotel the second researching content for Oxford Scientific Films and Collins. It used to snow thirty years ago. These days the season starts a month late and can deteriorate from the end of February. The ski year used to begin in Val d'Isere with the first races of the Grand Prix in Mid-November. These days resorts pray for snow for the biggest ski period of the year over Christmas and the New Year. 

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L120 Activité 2.2.8A La nouvelle année

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 2 Dec 2014, 16:20

Q: Vous racontez à un(e) ami(e) comment vous avez fêté la nouvelle année. Prenez des notes pour préparer ce que vous allez dire, par exemple où vous êtes allé(e) et avec qui, ce que vous avez fait et mangé et à quelle heure vous vous êtes couché(e).

From E-Learning V

R: Il y a longtemps , quand je travaillais en France et j'ai 19 ans, pour la nouvelle année a été célébré après notre travail à l'hôtel avec un repas au restaurant, puis on a danser et a boire dans une discothèque . Nous avons bu trop et nous avons rentrée chez nous autour de trois heures du matin - neanmoins quand nous commençons notre travail à six heures et demi le matin .

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Enriching stereotypes: FutureLearn 'Start Writing Fiction' with The OU

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 2 Dec 2014, 17:42
From Writing

Fig.1. No my usual spot for writing - on a retreat in Devon

Invited by the OU moderator for comments on week long series of exercise on 'enriching character; I write:

"Extraordinary. I'm on my second pass. I came through early, and now return not wanting to get ahead of the conversation. Particularly useful as I am actively writing at the moment, so this is the best of all learning because it is applied. Regarding character it about giving them shape, depth and 'points of interest' - more 6D than even the 2D we are asked to get away from. I visualise characters as hedgehogs with many prickles, but only a few of these matter to the story - though all of them matter to the notebook which I'm gradually coming to care about more and more, cursing the times I 'have a thought' and don't get it down somewhere safely. I am hugely pleased to be here and very proud to be an OU graduate already - not, sadly, from this faculty: yet!"

I'm finding the oddest of balances in my life too: writing for myself from 4.00am to 8.00am. Picking up work from 10.00am to 1.00pm. Then a siesta. I live in the wrong country for this, I'd prefer to be in a hammock in the shade by a pool. Dream on. Evenings from 5.00pm to 9.00pm I am usually 'poolside' teaching or coaching swimmers. Delighting yesterday evening to be back with some squad swimmers I last saw four years ago - now in the mid teens, some achieving amazing things in the water, all at that gangly stage of youth development my own children have come through in the last year. 

The issue then is how or where or why I fit in the OU module <<L120 L'Ouverture. Intermediate French >> I committed to. Learning a language is daunting and outside my comfort zone. What I do know now, not surprisingly, is that all learning comes about as a result of concerted and consistent effort over a long period of time. 

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L120: Activité 2.1.8Vous allez laisser une recette de cuisine sur le répondeur d’un(e) ami(e).

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 2 Dec 2014, 17:43

Faites une liste des ingrédients dont vous avez besoin pour cuisiner un plat associé à une fête que vous célébrez et prenez des notes pour décrire les étapes de la préparation de ce plat.

 Fig.1 Gâteau au chocolat

200g chocolat noir
100g sucre en poudre
120g beurre sans sel
100g d'amandes en poudre
4 œufs , séparés

+ La poudre de cacao ou de sucre glace pour décorer


1. Préchauffez à 180C / Gaz marque 4 .

2. Casser le chocolat en morceaux et le faire fondre , avec le sucre et le beurre dans un bain marie. Retirer du feu et remuer. Laisser refroidir pendant cinq minutes .

3. Mélanger les amandes. Ensuit, battre les jaunes d' œufs , un à la fois .

4. Battre les blancs d'oeufs jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient fermes et crémeux. Incorporer quelques cuillerées dans le mélange de chocolat pour l'alléger, puis incorporer délicatement le reste.

5. Verser dans un moule à gâteau et cuire au pendant 30 minutes. Laisser refroidir avant de retirer doucement. Saupoudrer de poudre de cacao ou de sucre glace et servir.

6. Faire des versions alternatives de ce gâteau en ajoutant 1 cuillère à soupe de café expresso fort et 1 cuillère à soupe de rhum / brandy ou vous pouvez essayer d'ajouter 1 / 2 cuillères à café essence d'amande et amandes effilées pour un peu de croquant

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How to do the French 'R'

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 27 Nov 2014, 09:43
From E-Learning V

Delightfully explained here. 

Offered as an Open Education Resource (OER) easily shared through Twitter and Facebook. Come on, let's speak French like the French  and not Ted Heath smile

And some wonderfully expressed and illustrated that we've made it into a party game at home. My wife is word perfect having gone to a French speaking school for a year age 13 in Canada. She always picks me up on the 'r' - maybe I can finally crack this.

Not easy.

I had elocution lessons as a boy age 7 as I couldn't manage my 'Rs' in English, let alone the ultimate challenge.

Brilliant. Wonderfully put and comprehensive.

Pilates for the British tongue. I still can't quite manage 'Bruno' though - something about the mouth position for the 'B' to the 'R' - currently the equivalent of trying to do a standing backflip.

Thank you. L120 Team smile

P.S. Also the most charming way to learn how to say 'tongue' with a French accent smile

 

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How to pronounce anything!? Even 'Bruno' with a French accent

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014, 08:34
From E-Learning V

Fig.1. Pronunciations around the globe

Learning French with The OU I am finding the toughest task is to kill my British accent. I've been using Rosetta Stone too. There are certain words with combinations of letters that fox the English tongue.

You know you're mastering French, for example, when you can differentiate between the subtleties of 'de' and 'deux'. Do you want some croissants or two? 'Trois' and 'quatre' may flumox you too, so perhaps go in wanting two of the things, ask for five, as 'cinq' is easy on the English tongue, then hide or eat the spare three on the way back to the campsite?

Anyway, as I'm working with the written and the spoken word and I'm used to Googling everything I was delighted to come across a website that purports to help you correctly pronounce anything. 

I was toying with words such as 'Victoire' and who wouldn't get their tongue tied with 'Hesdigneul.'

The 'grin from ear to ear' fun came when I looked up 'Bruno'. 

I had a French friend in my teens called 'Bruno' and I could not, for the life of me get his name right. It always sounded like Bruno, as in 'Frank Bruno'.

What this site does is it gives you sixty versions of how 'Bruno' is pronounced all over the world. Click on the UK, then somewhere in France and you'll see what I mean.

I laughed even more when I put my own name in, to hear 'Jonathan' said in a Swedish, Taiwanese, American, French and German accent.

Go on, give it a go smile

 

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L120: Reflection - Four Weeks in

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 31 Oct 2014, 07:30
From E-Learning V

Fig.1. Where to find resources and tasks for L120 L'Ouverture - Intermediate French from Livre 1

The above suggests a simplicity that isn't apparent when you have to do it, rather as if the module has been constructed by deconstructing and uploading an interactive DVD and trying to re-assemble its many fragmented parts. For example, to reach the interactive activities these are the required steps. Of course, although wasn't quit to figure that out, I can and now do save the link either to the Unit (step 6 of 9) or the Session.

The SIX trajectories given above (fig.1) are slightly disingenuous as all but the physical books (livres) split several, even many more times: there are many tutors to pick through, not just your own; the OU and the OU communities sound like two things but are each split many ways while both the AV materials and Assessment materials are offered as a clickable list. We go from these branches to multiple twigs in one, potentially confusing step. I'm going to do an more complete mindmap to get my head around this and then share it here for others on L120. I'll be unpicking the 'design architecture' as it were.

I'm slowly getting my head around this 'landscape' though <<ce n'est pas toujours evident en mon avis>>>.

Stages:

  1. StudentHome
  2. L120 Ouverture
  3. Audio-visual resources
  4. Audio-visual interactive materials
  5. L120 Ouverture
  6. Unité 1
  7. Session 5; Révision
  8. Activité 8
  9. Activité 1.5.2

Learning entirely online as I have done for the best part of three years 2010-2013, as well as two subsequent MAODE modules can lead you to expect that any module will be a simple case of going to the schedule, then clicking through the eight or none or more activities, ticking the boxes as you go along and wracking up the tally to complete the week. This 'pure' online learning has its strengths and weaknesses; it is wholly apt for the study of e-learning. This OU Language module is 'blended' - there are a few face-to-face gatherings, and, I think, once a month we gather online for an hour, as we did last night. Otherwise, the 'activities' are both 'online' and as we used to say 'off-line'. The online content here is not set out as a series of steps, but as the above graphic indicates, offered in a variety of locales. This makes it akin to entering a faculty and having to find your way between the library, lecture hall and tutor rooms, and the computer lab. 

I'm playing a little catch-up as I was right to be worried that I should be doing, I think six to eight hours a week, rather than three or four. A brilliant innovation (I think) is the human contact with a 'Buddy' some helpful lad, a former student, who is more readily available than the tutors/associate lectures to point us in the right direction. Just as one has at university to keep freshers from going adrift.

See how these two environments are learning from each other, the best of each world being adopted by the other?

About time. Traditional universities will have to become as good as this as the OU. One day what differentiates the OU will be lost. Oxford Brookes is catching up. Some schools have excellent VLEs - this is what students will come to expect. The VLE at the University of Birmingham, where I've been a student for the last year, is worse then dreadful. FutureLearn shows the way to go.

One day the OU ought to have more residential courses, halls of residences or colleges, faculties that can be readily entered by students ... and even satellite centres globally.

On Verra. Martha Lane Fox is an inspired choice of new chancellor for the Open University.

I'm waiting for 'Lastminute revision dotcom'

p.s. is the spellchecker really identifying both poor spelling in English and in French? Cool!

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Gouvernes d'un avion

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 30 Oct 2014, 08:16
From E-Learning V

 Fig.1. Gouvernes d'un avion : From La site des éditions Larousse

This is brilliant. It's from the French, free 'encyclopédie' from Larousse. It's a wee animation. You click on each of the boxes to understand how a plane banks, turns, does up and down. For those of us learning French, rather than learning to fly, I find this wonderful.

Is there an equivalent in the English language?

I don't see Wikipedia full of animations, or the Encyclopaedia Britannica ... the BBC, or BBC bite-size do these kinds of things.

I want to call it an 'OER' and 'Open Educational Resource' but is it in fact a 'CER' a 'Copyright protected Educational Resource' ?

My reading French is stretched reading intellectual property law, however carefully composed and laid out.

I guess you need to link to it rather then embed in a course. I don't teach French, but I'd give a class on a warm summer's afternoon on 'how to fly' in French to keep their attention ... and then perhaps get onto an X-box and fly a Sopwith Camel over the trenches of the First World War?

All fun and games

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L120 Unité 1.5.4B - Rèvision

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 4 Dec 2014, 07:45

Préparez des notes pour faire une petite présentation de deux minutes environ dans laquelle vous allez parler de vos dernières vacances et de vos projets pour vos prochaines vacances.

From Sailing

Fig.1. Essayant de faire la planche à voile quand j'avait dix huits ans.

Cette année était unique parce que j'ètais trois fois en France, j'ai eu une marriage famille, ma niéce, à Santorini en Grece et enfin je suis allée en Espagne pour faire la voile entre Gibraltar et Barcelona avec un ami. Les trois semaines en France j'étais aux La Plagne, une station du ski dans la Tarentaise. À Santorini j'ais pris cinq cents photos au tour de cette isle volcanique extraordinaire. En Espagne c'était une éspece du travail avec six jours de faire 650 nm, faisant la voile toutes la nuit sans reste. C'était magique quand on avait eu le dolphins qui nous suivre

L'année prochaine je vais sûrement rester chez moi parce que j'ai pas de monnaie, mais si c'est jamais possible je voudrais bien passez une semaine dans les Alpes avec ma femme pour sa cinquantieme anniversaire et puis l'éte au bord de la mer à Archachon qui est sud de Biarritz ou on pourrait faire la voile sur le lac et faire le surfe et on pourrait se baigne à la plage 90km.

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Language learning with augmented reality

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014, 14:38
From E-Learning V

Ce que je voudrais utiliser est la ‘réalité augmentée’. Soit à l'aide de quelque chose comme ‘Google Glass,’ le mot pour quelque chose en français pourrait se superposer automatiquement sur tout ce qu'on regard.

From E-Learning V
From H818 EMA

Ou, quelque chose qu'on peut faire aujourd'hui serait de mettre un QR Code sur les objets autour de la maison et quand on prend un « téléphone intelligent » comme un iPhone, on verrait le mot en français devant le QR code.

From E-Learning V

Mais, pour l'instant on pourrait utiliser quelque chose comme Rosetta Stone. On est se montré des objets quotidiens et il faut qu'on les nomme jusqu'à ce qu'on peut la faire correctement toujours. Cool smile

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L'éducation en ligne

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 16 Oct 2014, 04:58

Je ne sais pas ce qu’ils sont les mots techniques en français pour ‘learning online’ or for ‘e-learning’, c'est peut-être <<l'éducation en ligne>> ?  Il faut que je suivre un cours en français, produit par les Français pour ça. Mon expérience avec ce genre de groupe de discussion <<en ligne>>  (étudiant OU plus de quatre ans) est que la participation active est rare, sauf que les <<modérateurs>> eux mêmes, commençant la conversation - comme une hôtesse.

C’est intéressant que dans un cours FutureLearn que je fais <<La Première Guerre Mondiale: Le traité de paix de Versailles 1919>> qu’il y a un certain nombre de contributeurs, délibérément placé, doctorant <<PhD students>> qui sont actifs dans les groupes afin de faire avancer la conversation. On a toujours besion d’un instigateur/instigatrice, dans ce cas il faut que ça est nous.  

Alors, après tout ça, a mon avis, si l'on voudrait pratiquer votre français, il faut aller où la conversation est, comme ici dans un blog. <<blog>>? Que disent-ils en France?

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Multi-quiz Langue Française

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 29 Oct 2014, 14:44
From E-Learning V

 Fig.1. Un chasseur sachant : a tongue-twister in French

I just stumbledupon this fun, fun, fun way to pick up some fresh French vocabulary AND with some exceedingly difficult tongue twisters to take your mouth to the gym - very necessary if you are to pronounce much correctly in French. After three minutes of these you'll feel as if you've been chewing the entire packet of ten sticks of Wrigleys' Spearmint Gum simultaneously. 

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On the dangers of getting lost or stuck down a rabbit hole

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 10 Oct 2014, 10:12
From E-Learning V

Fig.1 Alice in a hole

This thought, in relation to researching and writing an essay came from retired squadron-leader, prof. Peter Gray. I am often stuck down a rabbit hole; I indulge my curiosity and quickly get lost. It took me half an hour to scramble over images of 'stuck down a rabbit hole' mostly involving small dogs or variations on Alice in Wonderland and randomly including weird artworks and images of vertigo or claustrophobia before I decided to go with the above. 

From E-Learning V

Fig.2. Types of moustache

This morning I have now been up for four hours and haven't quite completed two hours 'writing'; the rest of the time has been spent trying to find the right kind of beards and moustaches to put on a set of five male characters, ages between 17 and 60, in northern France in 1917. Seeing the respective beards on three of them, the other two are clean-shaven, is just the start. I then have to name and describe them in terms that are appropriate to the era. I can't talk of beard types as a George Michael, Magnum or even Hitler. They have to be described with metaphors and words that would have been prevalent in the press at the time.

From E-Learning V

Fig. 3. Robert Twigger as Richard Francis Burton

I get thrown by spotting someone I know, then move onto how to describe parts of the outer ear and stumbleupon some fascinating fact about miniature portraits made of officers of the First World War as a keepsake. My searches are still prioritising French, so a few words or phrases might be entering the brain regarding Napoleon III beards and the like.

My curiosity indulged I check the word count for this morning's efforts and I might come to 60 words added to yesterday's tally; on the other hand, when I next need to describe a person sporting facial hair I ought to be able to do so rather more quickly. 

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Doing it in French

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From 2BlogI

Fig.1 Google's gone French

I'm sure the algorithm's used by Google split languages so that by when I state my primary language is French everything changes. For a start, the pool of pages that are searched prioritise those written in French. This must surely define my search 'universe' in an explicit way. The impression I have, a refreshing one, is that I am being offered different search results. 

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Immersed in French

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From E-Learning V

Fig.1. My computer is doing everything in French

Google now offers me search results in both English and French. Clicking on Wikipedia offered me the choice of selecting results that are only in French; I did this, with some trepidation as the change in what it offers as a result. Perhaps the unpredictability of it will do more good than harm. All the little instructions you get to surf the web are also in French now. At a glance you can see that generally a single word in English becomes a multi-syllable in French, or a phrase. I'll also find that in France the default would be the English anyway. I remember how, working in TV, no one said 'magnetescope' instead of 'video', for example. 

I'm now forced to read in French and consequently obliged frequently to look up a word or a grammatical construction.

From E-Learning V

Fig.2. Google Translate

I turn to Google Translate by default. I'd have this open and live on a Smart Watch if I could. With an earpiece giving me the word or phrase in whichever language I required. On its way?

In an instant, at the point of need, I have what I hazzard is an accurate translation; I'm talking about a single word, or a short phrase. Any doubt and I play around with the English translation then see how Google gives me that in French then call on buried memory banks to tell me if that sounds right.

'Le dos' is NOT how to describe the back of a house, for example.

So, I'm getting what I wished for. Will this however translate into a renewed confidence to both speak and write the language?

That's the plan.

Trouble with Java and OU Live

The L120 Student Forum on problems with JAVA now runs to over 45 responses. I don't need to tear my hair out, I can feel it curling up and dying in horror at the thought of having to sort out why my MAC and or Google Chrome are incompatible with JAVA because of the OS 7 operating system. My hope is that I can jump ship and use my wife or son's PC. I do not fancy having to delete OS 7 and reactivate OS 6, then use Safari, still to find that I cannot do the interactive exercises in Session 1, or take part in an OU Live session.

Keeping my learning French from my wife will prove trickier if I am at her computer speaking in French checking my pronounciation. I'm unsure my teenage son will want me anywhere near his computer: I'll ask.

From E-Learning V

Fig.3. Rosetta Stone. Brilliant for fixing pronunciation and accents

Or I skip those bits. I've had a year using Rosetta Stone which has a considerable amount of accent and pronunciation software. 

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L120: Session 1 - Activité 1

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 6 Oct 2014, 07:56
From E-Learning V

Fig.1. L120. Ouverture. Intermediate French

Revelations and reflection. Activité 1

Whilst my comprehension is 90% correct the mistakes I make could be and were/are a significant problem if or when working in France. I get dates like 1936, but can too easily mistake 17h00 for 19:00 i.e. 'dix sept heure' is NOT seven O'clock of course, but by the 24 hour clock it is 7. I'm also lazy: I chance my response where I could have listened a second time and got something correct. 

It is far too easy, when only listening, to make up a meaning for a new word and therefore make major mistakes.

Translating, as if literally to English is a huge mistake. A couple of examples include the use of the word 'profiter' in French which as nothing to do with 'making a profit', but rather, a nuanced English use, 'to take advantage of ...' in this instance, the sun and sea on a holiday by the coast in the summer. 

From E-Learning V

Fig.2. Learning where, what and why 'Pondichéry' is. A bit of history and geography with L120

Lack of adequate understanding of how France has retained some of its tiniest colonies around the globe as 'French departments' had me wondering why an indian looking gentleman could possibly come from a small island in the south atlantic, actually he was taking about the south of india. And I neither knew where, nor can I still pronounce this one:

From E-Learning V

Fig.3. La Ciotat

It would be brilliant if when listening to a French person you could have their words as subtitles ... maybe this is a trick that Google glass will deliver in due course. Not a translation, but the words as text to help with comprehension until you can hear and see for yourself the words that are being used without making it up or guessing. 

I jotted down a few linking phrases, those fillers too that we use that add colour and credibility to any spoken language:

  • car
  • bonne
  • ailliers
  • plutôt 
  • ça depends

Checking the spelling was vital too, and not just figuring out how to get the French accents on the QWERTY keyboard but doing so. I had 'ailleurs' as 'yiers' or some such. 

And also a few terms and phrases that I liked, possibly because of the English derivations or equivalents and will use:

  • le rush d'été
  • tourisme en masse
  • idéale

Pronounce a word like 'idéale' correctly and you can fool them that you are French ... you can even take French words we use in English and add a French accent, though saying 'amelioration' is equally pretentious in both languages. Many French people when speaking English will trip on the word 'Idea' and pronounce it 'Idéa' even if they've lived here for decades; who'd correct them though?

A few hours into L120 and of course I crave to be back in France

I must also reflect on the learning design and platform. I've done a year of Rosetta Stone - the ultimate 'gamified' language learning platform. L120 does, understandably, feel more like being back at school. But that's what I need; it shouldn't be easy to learn anything, or how else can you learn? Rosetta Stone becomes very repetitive. You learn through tireless repetition, through immersion and ultimately by default. You won't ever be able to say why a thing is done one way or another, just that it is ... that it sounds or feels right. i.e. how an infant learns a language.

As a adult learner I think we need to be told why a thing is too i.e. have a variety of ways, even if it takes a few moments to think about it, to get something right.

A very, very different way to learn that taking a humanities module, but also exploiting many e-learning tools and methodologies in a different way. I have to wonder how such practices could translate into other subjects, that learning some things 'parrot fashion' could be beneficial whether learning history, geography or medicine: that you have to have the accurate facts and figure in your brain before you can use these facts. 

On verra.

Why blog this?

There are a number of ways to look at this: the value to me, and as I perceive it the value to others ... playing the game and my belief and understanding of how learning online in a 'connected' world works.

The value to me: as a learning journal. A record, tagged liked this, is a fabulous aide memoir. I could and nearly did do this on paper, but these get lost. I couldn't find a new exercise book anyway.

The value to others: the spirit of learning in the OU community, particularly in the student forums for your own module, is to share your thinking in order to stimulate and engage in an asynchronous conversation: had I been on a residential course much of the above would have come out over coffees and meals.

So why blog 'to the world', and in my case copy this or some if it, in due course to my external blog 'my mind bursts'?

Pride in the Open University is part of it. Why not plug something I love and would recommend to others?

Comments and contact: The stats say and I know that comments form a tiny fraction of viewers to a page, perhaps as low as 1%. Just this 1% I find of huge value; by finding a common interest, often beyond the confines of the module and this intake of students, I find the information begins to embed in my longterm memory. I know no other way of doing it as my brain is my sieve than sponge - everything gets filtered out and transformed unless I engage with it in a variety of ways.

And I am as interest in the e-learning and learning design of a module as I am in the content that I wish to learn. I have those interested in e-learning too to share with. 

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Hear this ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 6 Oct 2014, 05:50
From E-Learning V

Fig.1 The cast of Downton Abbey.

How easy is it to put an accent to the character? Have the casting director and costume people colluded to create a class image of both face and dress? What if we turned all the accents upside down? Or is that what we are starting to see and achieve in 2014?

I caught a few moments of The X Factor last night where Cheryl (from Gateshead) had to let go of some of her singers before the live show: with one exception, and this would include all the singers in the show, there is a girl who is 'well spoken', one would imagine 'upper middle class' (if that phrase is any more or less appropriate than 'working class') - privately educated and at a boarding school one would presume. This girl is torn, possibly ashamed of her accent (or lack of accent). She feels it will make her less popular. These days everyone (in the media world) wants an accent that says where they came from, not an accent that says what 'strata' of class they are from (unless they're going to a fancy dress party as characters from Downton Abbey). We no longer have parents who clip their children around the ear if they speak with a hard 'a'?

Or is living with your accent something to do with self-esteem?

There was a Cambridge Professor of Ancient Music on the radio the other day who sounded very British and 'educated' (like the girl), except for the occasional word that hinted at something else. It turns out that until he was 23 he lived in Fresno, California. His accent transformation was almost total. Was this to blend in with the fabric of the Cambridge architecture.

I have friends who have lived in the states for 25 years: some, by my ear, are totally American, while others have barely changed their accent at all. I think it depends on what they do: the 'English' educated accent carries weight in academia, while the guy working in engineering has spent his career in the US getting rid of his accent. 

Personally I love the richness of accents from every inch of the UK and the world: my only criteria has to be: can people understand what you are saying?

Any of us who think we can speak a foreign language can be guilty of garbling and muddling words and accents in such a way that others haven't a clue what we are saying or meaning: I have a German friend who refuses to accept that often people haven't a clue what she is saying as her German accent is so strong and her choice of words and word order is so un-english. I know that my French has, and still does if I hurry, come over the same way to French people. This is why I am doing L120: to get the grammar in place, and learn to speak French as if I am writing it down perhaps? To slow down and be understood. You can still see that distracted glint in a person's eye though when you know they aren't really listening, but trying to figure out where you come from. Brits think I'm French. The French think I'm Belgian. My wife thinks most of what I say in French is laughable sad Someone her French overtook mine 25 years ago simply because a) she did a course b) she got a job in a French speaking company. She supposedly sounds Parisian while her English accent is 'Oxford' - because that is where she was born and raised. Not a hint of her Polish father and Maltese mother. I retain a hint of 'northern' - most of it was knocked out of me by parents and grandparents who felt it was their duty to raise kids who spoke 'proper'. Result: alienated in my home town Newcastle, and still picked out as 'northern' on words like 'enough' and 'nothing' ... and 'film' (and probably many more), in the south of England. 

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Mois international de la contribution francophone 2014

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 3 Oct 2014, 04:56

From French Exchange 1979

Fig.1 Mes amis français qui m'a pris à l'île d' Aix en 1979

Normalement si je veux lire français je le fais: aucune problème. Pendant L120, J'ai déjà changé mes paramètres Google pour rechercher et utiliser le français. 

Il y a quelques secondes j'ai decouvert que des les pages de Wikipédia sont en français aussi parce que c'est le 'mois international de la contribution francophone 2014'. L'idée est que je vais lire en français habituellement en fasaint L120 comme si je travaillais en France et je vis là déjà

On verra. 

From E-Learning V

Fig.2.  'Les Origines de la Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918'. Pierre Renouvin

Je lis 'Les Origines de la Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918'. Mon vocabulaire français sera d'autant sur ​​l'histoire militaire, l'équipement, les commandants et les effets de la guerre mondiale - en utilisant un langage d'une centaine d'années.

From E-Learning V

Fig.3 Grâce à Google Maps et mon journal 1979 j'ai trouvé la maison exacte où je suis resté il ya 35 ans. Sur la droite , 28 Avenue Camille Pelletan, Rochefort. Ma chambre était au troisième étage à l'arrière.

Je vais donc sortir le journal, j'ai écrit quand j'ai 17 ans quand je suis allé sur une visite d'échange 'French Exchange' en France à la Rochelle. C'est quand mon amour pour la France et les Français et certainment les Françaises sont commencé.

From E-Learning V

Fig.4. Un extrait de mon journal mai 1979 cum album couvrant ma visite à Rochefort

Mon amie a été appelé Frederic, le mec je restais avec. Curieusement, je suis en contact avec LUI grâce à LinkedIn il y a deux ans. Son anglais est parfait, mois, j'avais reçu un grade 'C' en 'O' Level French'; c'est la première fois que je l'ai étudié depuis 1978 même si j'ai été en utilisant Rosetta Stone c'est année dernière.

A note in English

On seeing this picture of Freddy's home for the first time since I stayed there I immediately could hear the buzz of the mobilettes that took students up and down the streets and would be the sound that greeted me in the morning. They were a very traditional family, with grandparents living in the house, his mother a widower. Breakfast was cake dipped in a bowl of hot chocolate while the evening meal was served in several courses, the peas served in a juice as a course in itself. My memory is jogged because I kept a diary: more of a scrapbook as it includes tickets, programmes, sweet wrappers and postcards, as well as an album of photographs. Fred made me a tape of songs too and wrote out the lyrics to the adorable Francoise Hardy. And he introduced me to the poetry of Jacques Prevert. I even learnt the first lines to 'Je Suis, Comme Je Suis.' 

What did French teenagers listen to then ... as now?! Supertramp!!!

Jacques Prevert gets passionate

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French L120

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By changing my Google settings to include FRENCH, though not fluent, I now get searches that include French language results. In a tiny way I can tickle my brain a bit as I take this module. 

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French L120 Unit 1: Session 1

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 3 Oct 2014, 09:18
From E-Learning V

From E-Learning V

Making a tentative though necessary start. 

When taking an online course such as this my interest is two-fold: the content and how the course is constructed and delivered. 

Regarding the content I last learnt French formally for O'Levels and got a 'C'.

There are multiple holes in my knowledge, use and understanding of the language. Wanting to acquire rather than learn the language I got myself onto a school exchange scheme, spent three weeks in Rochefort near La Rochelle - and returned for five weeks that same summer ending up hitching through France to Andora and back. My new friend was Algerian. In my gap year I worked in a French 4 Star Hotel for five months where many of the staff I dealt with were from North Africa and the south of France. I gained a Marseillais accent and vocab. Finally I worked in French TV in Paris: my immediate work colleagues were a Geordie, a Russia, a Moroccan and an Israelie. By now I passed as Belgian - so long as I said very little. The third phase has come since: gambling away in French thinking I can be understood when that is far from the situation as my grammar is so poor. Finally, a yesr using Rossetta Stone has me slowing down and the few very correct phrases I use have me sounding like a government official from Paris. This sounds like fluency: it is not. My written French wouldn't get me through primary school, which explains why I've enroled on L120.

More grammar to absorb, understand, know then apply ... and be around people who are told to fix rather than tolerate my mistakes.

From E-Learning V

I need to figure out how to generate accents otherwise that will be another lesson that passes me by.

From E-Learning V
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