Rose Couture

Aspiring teacher. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William Arthur Ward


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New Italian Ressource

While browsing the web for Italian podcasts and radio stations, I fell upon News in Slow Italian. I found this website to be a little more helpful than Duolingo in some ways, because you are able to listen to the news in Italian, and it is done slowly so that you can read and follow at the same time. I tried watching a movie in Italian thinking I was ready to attempt such thing, but they talk way too fast for me to understand anything. A lot of content on this website is free for beginners and you can subscribe for a fee when you get to the intermediate level or if you want to have access to the flashcards, grammar, expressions and the quizzes. All the News Stories are free to listen to and there is text that accompanies the voice. You can scroll over the red parts in the text if you do not understand what they are saying and it will give you the English translation, which is fantastic. I am not certain of how many news stories you can listen to until you need to subscribe, but I am definitely going to give it a try and attempt to get the most out of it. I enjoy learning with Duolingo, but I want to listen to actual conversations, as I believe I will learn and understand better that way, so this is a great discovery I have made. What about you, do you learn better with visuals or speech or a combination of both? Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 13.03.45

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Pet Peeve: Italian Prepositions

Last week, I learnt about Italian conjunctions and prepositions. Let me tell you, this is not an easy task. I thought I could manage pretty well, but I ended up having a really hard time learning the prepositions. The conjunctions part went pretty well and I am now able to combine phrases with words such as: e, ed(and), perché, ma(but), se(if), (either…or), o(or), oppure(or, otherwise, or else), che(what) and finché(as long as, while, until). 

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Prepositions are another story. I have a little difficulty matching the right preposition when the sentences/phrases are longer than three or four words. I thought it would be easy if I thought in French first, before translating to English in my head, but it is not so simple. I did not complete the whole unit because it consists of 8 lessons and I got a little discouraged after the 6th lesson, but I will continue and complete the preposition unit by the end of the week hopefully. If you notice on the picture above, there is a button that says “Test out of this skill” for people who already know some elements of the language they are learning, they can try to pass a short test that will allow them to go to the next level without having to do all the lessons in the unit. On the picture below, we can see my progress so far, I have almost completed two big sections of the Italian skill tree. If anyone has any tricks or tips for Italian prepositions, feel free to share them below. I will also look on YouTube to see if I can find a lesson on prepositions before finishing my unit. Have a great week!

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Learning Some More Italian!

Here is another short video to show you all my progress in my #learningproject that consists of grasping/understanding the Italian language. So far so good, I try to find at least 3 hours a week to put into this project and even if the semester ends and the assignment is over, I will keep on going with my learning. It is not going to be over! I will also keep posting my progress on my blog as well as with YouTube videos!

I had the suggestion of listening to Italian radio to practice my listening skills and I was wondering if some of you out there might have suggestions for interesting Italian podcasts and/or radio stations, it would be greatly appreciated! Hope you have an awesome weekend, and enjoy the Grey Cup!


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Ciao!

Ciao! Hello! Yes, I am still in the process of learning the wonderful Italian language. With two crazy weeks of midterms, research papers and essays that just went by, I can now take time to breath. Good, that was exhausting. As I was very busy with school work, I did not spend time learning new material with my online Italian class. Rather, I chose to practice the vocabulary I already had learned, in order for it to stick in my brain. Learning should be a fun experience and I do not want to crowd my brain with as much Italian information as it can retain. Having that said, I can assure you that I am now very comfortable with the Italian words I know. I cannot quite yet formulate long sentence on my own, but I can say simple stuff like: “The cows are eating meat”/”Le mucche mangiano carne” , “I am vegetarian”/“Io sono vegetariano”(yes, I actually am!), “The cats are drinking milk”/“Le gatte bevono latte” , “The men are eating diner”/“Gli uomini mangiano la cena” , and “The cook is cooking a lemon cake”/“Il cuoco cucina un torta al limone”. I am halfway to level 7 Italian and currently know 145 words in the language.

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As every “good” learner should not be comfortable for too long, I will be studying the possessives in the next unit, which makes me very nervous. I have found myself more than once to translate my sentence in French before typing the answer in English. This would probably be helpful while learning the possessives as French languages as many of its own! After I am done the “possessives” unit, I will move on to the next big activity block where I will learn about clothing, questions, conjunctions, verbs, colours, prepositions, date & time, family and measurements. This seems like a major block, but I am confident that after the following activity block, I will be able to grasp the basics of Italian and could probably get around if I ever traveled to Italy!
I hope that all of you readers have a great week! Buona sera!

Roman_conquest_of_Italy


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Learning Italian Week 2

As this past week has been pretty crazy, and so as will be the upcoming week, I only completed two units from the Italian learning on Duolingo, but I practiced all the units for an hour and a half.In the past week’s units, I learned how to identify new types of food, how to conjugate my verbs (again), how to form proper sentences, how to use the right negative form, new verbs, and the plural of words I had previously used. Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 16.15.36Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 16.15.43

I learned that the sentence “I drink chocolate cream”, is “Io bevo la crema al cioccolato” in Italian, and that “Gli cavalli mangiano le carote”, translates to “The horses eat the carrots”. I have learned 37 new words with the “Food” unit, including kitchenware like cups, plates and forks, verbs like to cook and to boil, some vegetable and fruits, and so much more!!Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 16.25.21

25 new words were taught to me throughout the “Plural” unit. In this unit I found out that the noun butterfly is farfalla in Italian, and its plural form is farfalle, just like the butterfly noodles inyour kitchen cupboard. Yes, in your kitchen! I was also introduced to the contraction ai for a+il. Here is a snapshot of some of the words from the “Plural” unit, and as you can see, I practiced ALL my units for a while today until ALL the words from ALL the units had full “gold” bars, which means they are all “strong”. I accomplished that by clicking the blue buttons that say “Practice Weakest Words” or the “Lesson Practice” from the home page menu.

I am still loving Duolingo, and I would love to hear if someone else out there is also using Duolingo and I want to know what they like or do not like about the app! Have a great week!  Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 16.30.44


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Learning Italian with Duolingo!

This is my first report for my first week of Italian learning with Duolingo from the Google Apps. I chose to capture my first time back on the application by recording my screen with the help of QuickTime. This allowed me to also talk at the same time, to try to explain you how it works, but the recording is pretty self-explanatory. I have yet to resolve how to get my microphone working to fully enjoy the many things this application has to offer, but when I practice, I often just recite the words out loud so that I can say I have said them at least once during my learning process. I decided to use YouTube to upload these videos in order to show a few of them to you. As I am typing this, there’s 1% completion on my upload to you tube and 82 minutes left to my uploading. Any tricks to make this process go faster?

In my first week, I have covered both Basics 1 & 2, as well as Phrases, which consists of commonly used phrases in Italian. I have learnt that just like in French, all the nouns have a gender, feminine or masculine, and the article used with the noun can vary depending on the gender and the form of that specific noun. I have learnt the following verbs: essere, avere, scrivere, leggere, bere and mangiare. These words, in the same order, mean: to be, to have, to write, to read, to drink and to eat. I have also learnt how to master noun such as ragazzo, ragazza, donna, uomo, mela, acqua, pane, zucchero, giornale and libro, as well as their plural forms. In the same order: boy, girl, woman, man, apple, water, bread, sugar, newspaper and book. Common phrases were constructed with common words such as: arrivederci, grazie, buonanotte, buonasera, prego, spaciente, buongiorno and favore (goodbye, thank you, goodnight, good evening, you’re welcome, sorry, hello, please). I have also started exploring the negative form which is a little trickier. When translating from Italian to English, I often catch myself translating in French first and then switch it to English, it makes it a little easier for me. Overall, great first couple of days and I can’t wait to learn some more. Next are the foods! Have you ever tried Duolingo? Don’t you want to learn a new language in a fun way? Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 17.01.10

Here is a screenshot of my Italian skill tree and I will be linking my video to my blog once I am done uploading and editing it on YouTube. Have a great week! 🙂

Here is my video, as promised, not the greatest but hey!


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Curriculum as Narrative Part 2

Working Effectively with English Language Learners – by Rob Peterson and Kelley Dawson Salas

For the second part of Curriculum as Narrative, I chose to analyze more in depth the story about English language learners. But for a moment, let’s pretend this is about “Working Effectively with French Language Learners”. I know the assignment is designed for us to make connections with the short stories, and this is the way I connect with this one. As some of you might already know, I am part of the Bac program for education at elementary level (K-5). Therefore, I am aiming to be teaching in a French Immersion school or a Fransaskois school at the end of my bachelor’s degree. I found the short story to be very interesting, but the whole time I was reading it, I tried to imagine how it applied to me. Why would I be working with English language learners? I am going to be in a francophone environment… VOILA! Having this enlightening moment, I then tried to read the story and apply it to a French context. Why would it be any different from English to French right?

In Saskatchewan, there are multiple French programs for both francophone and anglophone peoples. First off, there are francophone schools, usually called “école fransaskoise” where students, who have parents that attended a francophone school, can be found. In these type of schools, every single subject is taught in French from kindergarten to grade 12, aside from the English class. Then we have French Immersion schools where students who don’t have French as a first language, can go to school and learn in French from kindergarten to grade 3, and then be introduced to English classes in grade 4. It is also possible for some student to partake in the Late French Immersion programs starting in grade 6 through grade 12. In addition, there is a Core French program where, depending on the grade you are in, are taught French as a subject for a certain amount of time every week. For example, kindergartener to 5th graders will be having French lessons for at least 30 minutes four times a week (120 minutes) whereas 6th to 9th graders have to learn French for 150 minutes every week, and so on. For anglophone parents who decide to send their children to a French Immersion school or a Core French program, there are many resources available in order for them to be able to help their children with homework and lessons taught in French, such as Canadian Parents for French.

As a preservice teacher aiming to teach in a French environment, I found the short story by Peterson and Dawson Salas really applied to my situation. Like it is mentioned, I will have to constantly remind myself that my students’ first language might not be French unlike me. Therefore, I will have to be extra cautious to speak very slowly and clearly so that my class can understand what I am saying. There is also a possibility that I will encounter students who just moved to Saskatchewan or Canada and don’t speak English or French. That’s where visual aids such as pictures, posters, videos, books, slide shows will come in handier than verbal instruction. By showing kids something visual, they know what the animal, action, tree, etc. is in their first language and therefore, they are able to make connections and for example, be like “oh chat [in french] is just like gato!” (which is spanish for cat). I will definitely use the idea of introducing vocabulary and concepts to my students before jumping into lessons, which will also allow me to evaluate the levels at which my students are at. I probably would also review vocabulary and concepts related to every week’s lessons before starting to teach so that my students are really comfortable with the terms. The idea of using songs, skits and games to learn is also very appealing to me. I even find myself singing French songs to my anglophone niece sometimes and she thinks its hilarious and she really enjoys trying to sing along with me. I have also discovered that many French songs and rhymes have an English version. That would be a very helpful tool for my anglophone students to use in order to make connections with their first language.

The only aspect of the short story I am “iffy” about is the one that suggests not to use whole-class instruction. I understand that not all the students will be at the same French level, Fransaskois or Immersion school, but I think by reviewing vocabulary and concepts with all the classroom would benefit everyone. When it comes to projects, readings and assignments, then yes, I believe working in smaller groups would be more beneficial and I would probably tend to put together teams containing a diversity of students so that everyone in the group gets the chance to be in the shoes of both a learner and a teacher. Including words and expressions from other cultures in my lessons is also part of my plan, as I find myself easily entertained when finding out the meaning of certain words in languages that are unknown to me. This could be an interesting idea of an activity to do with my students. I could give them a sentence in English and have them translate it to French and two or one other language and have them make connections between the words. What are the similarities and differences? Of course the root of the language and the words can be a little complicated, but there are ways to have this activity adapted to different levels.

Overall, I thought the reading of The New Teacher Book to be very interesting and constructive, and I will definitely be using the book in the future. It is something that I will want to have close to me during my first few years as a teacher as it touches multiple issues one can encounter in different contexts. In addition, I will definitely be taking the time to read the whole volume once time permits!