CCK08: On writing posts for italian students in english

(Versione in italiano)

We met 10 times with about 200 students of 18 curricula distributed in 7 classes, so far. We have discussed with the students all the options they have as well as the first steps they must take to begin the course.

Among other things we agreed that my posts with their assignments and suggestions will be written in english because they may be seen as contributions to the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge Online Course that I’m trying to follow, in some way. It’s interesting that the students can see their teacher playing the role of a learner. I think this is good.

These students are brave in accepting this proposal because they have problems in reading english texts, generally. It’s not their fault but it’s because the italian school is not able to teach foreign languages in an adequate way. Not only english and not only the italian school, incidentally. There may be exceptions, of course, but in the vast majority of cases this is a fact. When I give assignments where the use of english is implicit, such as try or look for something in the scientific literature, about the half of the students claim to have problems with language. And they have studied english for 5 or 8 years. I have problems too, you see it very well from my floundering english. Well, in the ’60 I wanted to learn english because I liked sciences but the school bureaucracy imposed me to learn (badly) french and german. My english is self-learned. That’s one example of poor connections between schools and needs of society.

Any way, dear students, since I know that sometimes you may have some difficulties, I’m proposing you the following.

You are so many that for sure there is someone of you who knows english very well, probably better than me. I propose that you provide the translation in italian of my posts and that you do it in a collaborative way. If you see a translation has been provided by someone else but something is missing, go and update it. You are also encouraged to find english errors in my posts and tell me. My posts will be improved and I will get an extra chance to improve my english, I need it!

I created a wiki page for this post. Just go and try.

Those who will contribute in this way will get an extra grade.

In this sense this is a kind of assignment. Yes, because assignments in this course will be often fuzzy, just suggestions, and they will be very much oriented to foster cooperation and sharing of knowledge you may have. Your personal initiatives in this sense will be graded as assignments. In doing all this you will develop or improve your digital literacy (which is the title of the course) but as a kind of by-product where in reality you will be focused on expressing yourselves about your interests, on sharing them, on reflecting about the role that digital technologies may have in your life, on cooperating, on helping others.

Next steps

In the meanwhile about the half of you wrote your email addresses in the appropriate wiki page. Very good. In the next few days I will send you the form to complete your enrollment. Please, answer to the form when you will be sure about the path to follow: 1) conventional multichoice test, 2) contribution to wiki contents, 3) blogroom activities.

9 pensieri riguardo “CCK08: On writing posts for italian students in english”

  1. dear i don,t know your name. but i want to have good friend who speakes english very well
    i want you to be my best friend aver. if you dont maind

  2. @lani As far as the reactions of these students are concerned it is soon, we will know at the end of the semester. I have data relative to the two semester of last year, where I applied almost the same method. The reaction to openness of the teacher, generally speaking, was really warm. Put in numbers, 90% liked it.

    Last year 40% to 90% choose to work in the blogroom, the differences being related to the specific classes. The higher rates of participation are achieved in those classes where, for a number of reasons, I can follow them better. For instance, in the Medicine class of 230 students, 90% choose the blog. In that class I was able to organize a couple of seminars that were cooked in the blogroom, consumed in class and then digested in the blogroom 🙂 great experience, here there are some fragments with students reactions … by the way, @ilariabu could you provide the translation of the brogliaccio for our english-speaking friends, perhaps? 🙂

    You see, I begin to think that social networking tools may have a very high potential to deepen learners-teacher relationships but one has to be driven by the desire to reach and help the learners and not by what the preferred tools can do. I would say, there should not be preferred tools, we should just try to use everithing we can imagine to stay near our students.

    @ilariabu Cooperation is always positive. If you have these expertize, great! You can go and refine the translation of your classmates … ops, blogmates …

  3. Hello teacher!
    I’m graduated in the School for Interpreters and Translators of Forlì and I actually work as a translator. I offer my “competence” 🙂 as a translator because it will help my friends (I don’t like the term “collegues”), but I wonder how positive this could be for their language learning…

  4. Hi Andreas,

    Thank you to you and your students for sharing your learning experiences with those of us who do not speak Italian!

    It’s exciting to see the immediate response by your students. I totally agree that it’s good for your students to see you in the light of a learner! Have they shared their reactions with you?

    I like the paths you have offered to your students– multiple choice test, wiki, blog– what do you anticipate their choices will be?

    Thank you again for your transparency —

  5. Fine! After a couple of hours the first student began the translation and within the successive 12 hours three students gave their contributions, the last one at 1:15 in the morning 🙂

    Thanks Jenny for the hint about Cloudworks! I will study it and see … 🙂

  6. Hi! Just to say that I think this is a great idea and it would seem to me just the sort of thing that could be contrbuted it to Grainne Conole’s Cloudworks site.

    Apologies to you and your students that I do not speak Italian. Languages are also notoriously badly taught in the UK, and many of us also leave school after many years of lessons without being able to speak the language we have studied. So it’s not just Italy.

    I now speak Portuguese, having lived in Brazil for a few years. There’s nothing better than being immersed in the language for learning it, which seems to me just the opportunity you are providing here for your students.


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