Thursday, March 7, 2013

Session 5 - Virtual Spaces

Session 5 – virtual spaces

In the past, I am a traditional one that I go to bookstore to buy or library to borrow the learning materials. I rarely rely upon the internet in learning languages (both in Chinese and English). Although these online materials are believable, they are not presented and arranged in symmetric manner. For language beginners, if there is chunk of information to be digested, they must be having congestion finally.

              Under such circumstance, I rely on the traditional paper books in learning language where can provide readers with a content what they need to learn inside.

Pinterest Activity

Firstly I get in touch with the Pinterest and have an impression that pictures are more than texts. Simply speaking, there is interactive by graphics and pictures in Pinterest. It seems to me that the Pinterest provides users with a variety of category including education. We need to find out or search what we want to know or learn. Besides searching information or materials, we have to spend the time to digest the content whether or not are suitable for us in teaching or learning languages. On the contrary, the paper book including textbooks and reference books can be better to save the time if these are recommended in curriculum.

              It appears to me that the Pinterest only be regarded as additive comparing with our teaching or learning languages. It can initiate our interest in learning language but cannot be instead of traditional teaching or learning languages. If you were beginners, you can only follow the posts whereas if you were advance user, then you can give your posts in respect of teaching or learning languages.

              We should aim at leaders in teaching or learning language but not followers in the Pinterest.

If we really need to apply Pinterest in teaching or learning languages, I am view of that it should be integrated with the smartphones. It is because smartphones are common and popular to us in our daily life. We need not turn on our desktop computer or notebook to be online by smartphones. so somehow it is formless to encourage ourselves in using technology for our learning or teaching. Likewise, it may be an alternative channel or pathway for us to communicate with others online. In particular, teachers can stay in touch with their students online outside the classroom.

Last but not least, I really hope there will be more apps like Pinterest available or provided for our teaching or learning.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Part II

At the time of my secondary school, because of nothing teachers graduated from English at their university, they did not know to teach students a method how to learn English. It was very frustrated. The passing rate of English language in HKCEE only reached 40% and included most of grade in D or E.

Since I started my jobs, I have found that my English standard cannot afford daily use. It led me to abandon contact English.

Anyway, for key to success in learning English, in my mind, only your mind is whether or not determinative. Next, whether or not you can find out suitable textbooks for your study and reference. Fortunately, after completion of my undergraduate, I am able to select the books in learning English.

I am of view that if you want to improve your English, then you must learn the grammar rules. Your construction in oral or writing will be improved and better than before. Watching DVD and following their English subtitle are also crucial to beginners.

Learning English in Part I

Learning English in Part I

This semester, I take two subjects of learning and teaching English. I learned a lot of theories but no one can be applied to my situation. In my secondary school, this is Chinese as medium of instruction school. So I could contact the English at English Language lessons only. At that time, I was not interested in learning English. So my English standard is basically an illiterate. It was very common to others at that school. To be very honest, there were no graduate majored in English studies. Perhaps at that time, the job markets are highly demanding on university graduates. So a very limited number of graduates would be willing to enter the education sector.

In Hong Kong, there were two public examinations for secondary 5 and 7 students to sit it. For the former, secondary 5 students were required to sit for HKCEE with at least 7 subjects including Chinese and English Languages. If candidates passed 5 subjects with E (pass grade), they could be entitled to S5 certificate level. Whereas if candidates can get 14 points in 6 subjects of HKCEE, they could get a place of secondary 6 and 7 (or called matriculate level).

Of course, I could not pass in English Language at HKCEE. So I could only find jobs or repeat for HKCEE again. Besides, no further formal studies I could pursue. Fortunately I could pass the English Language at HKCEE at second times. But I was not still eligible for entry of matriculate level due to under point 14.

I am sure to say that I am an illiterate of English before 2004. I could only write Chinese for formal communication such as correspondence with governmental department. I remembered that my first computer was a notebook type with Chinese version of MS Windows ME. It means that I can only understand the Chinese interface. Likewise, I installed MS Office in Chinese version. For my job, I needed not use English. Usually employers will provide me with employment contract in Chinese only. Perhaps they have a strong assumption that I don’t know English. But it was surprised that those contracts in Chinese are ungrammatical in Chinese grammar and unlike register of Chinese legal terms.

There is a breakthrough in 2004 because I was admitted to CityU for doing my associate degree of legal studies. I do remember at the first lecture at CityU. I could only realize that the lecturer spoke English. However, nothing I could understand. As common knowledge, students learning law must have high standard level of English. Nevertheless, my English ability was substandard.

In 2007, I completed my 3-year programme of legal studies and was admitted to CityU again for my undergraduate programme. It was unbelievable that I entered into a programme of Linguistics. Basically, I was improved a bit of little in English. After graduation, I put English grammar books on my desk. Frankly I enjoyed learning English grammar suddenly. Perhaps for my studies of Linguistics, I have Syntax knowledge to do so. English grammar in mind is similar to formulae. We just need know and understand its principle and operation and then we can produce a complete sentence without grammatical error.