Archive for blogging

Once upon an English adventure

Posted in EAP Augustana with tags , , , , on September 13, 2016 by onepercentyellow

It’s hard to believe that it was nearly 15 years ago that I first decided to move abroad to teach English as a second language.  Now, as I sit here in my English for Academic Purposes class at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta, I think back to those first classes and how much I have improved as an English teacher.

“Free talking!” Mr. Jung would say when I asked him what I was expected to teach my Korean students.

“What’s free talking?” I asked.

“You know. Free talking!” He said with even more excitement.

I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was doing, so I decided I would ask the other teachers about these “free talking” classes.  I would learn that the school generally had very little in the way of curriculum and I would be expected to design the course any way I saw fit.  I would try out many terrible lessons, including Tongue Twister Tuesdays where we would recite a grouping of tongue twisters for 50 minutes every Tuesday, musical Fridays where my students were expected to sing along with me as I struggled with learning guitar, and games day where we would play Monopoly or Scrabble for the allotted time.  I would have a one-on-one class for 3 hours a day for 3 weeks in order to prepare a vice-president in LG for his upcoming move to Toronto.  We both fell asleep in class one day!

All this trial and error has refined my teaching style and ability.  I now spend time crafting assignments aimed at fulfilling specific learning objectives and I try to integrate multiple ways that students can engage with the English language.  I hope that my students in EAP 140 can read this post and consider themselves lucky that they are taking class from me now, and can be thankful for all those students who suffered for so long in my classes!

 

 

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mashing up the blog – keeping life strange

Posted in #ds106 #4life, weekly summaries with tags , , on September 2, 2012 by onepercentyellow

Well, I’ve started following along with #ds106 and have again come to my blog.  This is a strange place, like those assigned journals for my undergraduate courses that I always (partially) failed at.  It was writing in a special book for a special audience that did me in.  I could never keep up with TWO journals – one for the real stuff happening in my life and the other for the ‘academic reflection’ grade.  Carefully selected life lessons, written for an audience, not for myself.

In reading @cogdog’s blog on blogging, I began to see my blog as something different.  More like a delicious page or my big group of bookmarks saved on my computer.  This could be a place where everything is half-finished.  Where blog posts go up without a grammar check.  Where sentences go unfin..

You get the picture.

Just like this week when I stepped up to do the personal theme song.  As you can imagine, it was right up my alley.  But when it came time to make the song, I was quickly frustrated that MY THEME SONG FOR ALL TIME was not coming out at quickly or as polished as I’d hoped.  I thought, “I’m not in this class anyway… I don’t have to do it.”  What a crappy thought!  So I pushed on, and ended up with something unlike anything I’ve made before.  It’s not fabulous, but I played around with a bunch of the effects and learned a couple new tricks in garageband, like the fact there’s a flanger setting.  I’ve only played with these effects on pedals before and have never really known what their function was.  So I learned something.  Neat-O!

In terms of the media for this week, I really enjoyed Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: (this embed is a note-to-self kinda thing… you know, where I post something in my blog so I can find it later)

It reminds me of why it’s important to go out and connect with others.  It validates my need for a community of learning.  It shows me that sharing half an idea may be exactly what is needed to find the other half!

If you didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen.

Posted in eci831 with tags , , , , on December 19, 2011 by onepercentyellow

As I’m reflecting on the #eci831 experience and actually thinking about something like a grade for my participation, I realize that I may not have been as good a student as I thought. Not that I didn’t do a lot of wandering around the interwebs, connecting myself, exploring spaces of education, learning about digital learning theories, examining how others were using these theories, and determining what, of all of this, would be useful to me and to the analogue educators I am closest with. I certainly did that, but I didn’t capture all that here. Why is that a problem? Because if you didn’t blog it, it didn’t happen.

Over the term I wrote a paper on autobiographical theory in the online world, and came to the conclusion that the development of a digital autobiographical self requires a certain level of presence in the form of artifacts. The lived process, the trail of phrases and photos and links and videos that we leave behind as we play around in this world, is largely how we build an identity in absence. In many ways, this self is strewn around the internet. It lives a little over here in a reply to someone’s blog, and a little over there in a photo I put up, but it can be hard to pin down if I don’t create a home for myself – somewhere my friends can stop by and see me on a regular basis. I’m now coming to realize one of the great roles blogs can play in that development of self.

I’m thinking of it in terms of the way I roam around the world. In the last two years, I have lived in roughly 8 places in 4 countries. In the last year I have not lived in one place for more than 3 months at a time. I have drifted through town, absorbing, contributing, having fun, and sharing with others and then moving on. While I made connections with folks along the way, I have left little behind that they could point to in 5 years and say, “See, Leslie was here!” While there is something liberating about living like The Littlest Hobo, there is something to be said for building things. In that same time period, a friend has done amazing work on her back yard, another has been instrumental in a youth organization in B.C., another has helped develop a community art therapy program in Calgary.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that the things I have created have value. I know that I have made meaningful contributions to the world during this time, but I also know that I could be doing better. I could be building a tiny corner of the internet where I can call home. I can show what I have lived; I can share the beauty of the digital and analogue world; I can amass proof of the kind, sharing, safe, open people of the world and convince others that they need not be afraid. I can do this for myself and for others who may be interested in knowing what I’ve been up to for all this time! (MOM!!!).

So , as this “graded” moment passes, and I move into the space again as myself, I consider how I may use it as a showcase, a hearth, a kitchen table, a backyard oasis. I think of how this space will be visited, not only by others, but also how I will return to this space over time. Living as a gypsy I can’t carry much with me, but maybe I can stash a few artifacts here for safekeeping.

home in pink