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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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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Why Are we Stuck in 20th Century Learning?

After reading Tom Whitby’s 20th vs. 21st Century Teaching last week, I posted his article on our ECMP355 Google+ page and my prof asked me the following questions that I started reflecting on: “Tom does a good job of differentiating. So, why are we so stuck in 20th century learning? Is it because we teach like we are taught? Is it too difficult to break out of the routine? Is 21st century more difficult? I’d love to hear your thoughts”.

While 20th century teaching is focused on teacher-centric learning, in the 21st century it sure seems like everybody is focused on student-centric learning, including myself. Although the schools are slowly changing to 21st century teaching and we are trying to teach new educators to go towards student-centric learning, many educators and institutions are still stuck in the teacher-centric learning era where students learn throughout lectures and whatever information teachers stuff them with, literally. As a university student who is taking a full load of classes, I can assure you that at least 3 out of my 5 classes are based on reading textbooks from cover to cover and listening to information the teacher is delivering to us, and we are expected to “memorize” this information and fully understand it. Not only is this boring, but I do not feel like I am actually learning anything. Yes, I remember some information, but I will probably forget all of it when the next semester will start and will be presented to similar classes where memorizing and brain cramming are dominant.

On the other hand, I have my education classes. I feel very privileged to be here in second year, as all my other classmates from the French Bac are in Quebec City. Because of this particular situation, I am required to take my education classes in the English program this year, which is amazing as it is a renewed education program. Every time I go to these ED classes, I feel inspired and I actually learn so much! Teachers present us some facts and general information and then we discuss it as a group, after some reflection. We are also asked to look at things on our own at home then post what we retained. By doing this, it allows us to do our own research and construct our own knowledge, and I personally find it easier to retain the information I found because I did it on my own. I would be curious to know how other students feel about those classes and if they like these education classes better than their complementary classes, as well as how their other professors teach them.

When I first started in the education program, when I decided I wanted to be a teacher, I did not know there was anything such as teacher-centric learning or student-centric learning. I just thought, like probably the majority of first year students’ that I would learn how to teach/give information to the students in my classroom and expect them to retain the information to pass their exams. Oh, how wrong was I! I believe that some teachers are “stuck” into 20th century learning because that is how they were taught in school and because they are comfortable with the way they are doing things. It is definitely hard to part with a routine where you feel comfortable, but we need to learn how to get out of our comfort zones and how to take on new challenges every single day. We learn so much more this way. Of course teachers will always be needed, as students need someone to motivate, challenge and support them. Giving little information to the students in order to trigger their curiosity is the most powerful learning tool. A child who is curious will be eager to learn, will be eager to find things on their own. I do not think that 21st century learning is more difficult. Yes it might require even more research, time, effort and learning of our own, but in the end it will make us feel good about what we have accomplished and students will remember the teachers that had an impact on their lives and what they learnt from them. I might be wrong on certain things I mentioned in my post, but it is my opinion and I am still learning about being an educator, as it is a lifelong learning process. I would love to hear your thoughts on education and if you have some ideas or feedback to give me, go ahead!

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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!

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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!