Italian 101 – Week 2

Major Learning project

This week, I immersed myself in Duolingo. One of the features I appreciate most from the app is the convenience of having it on my phone. The app has many small motivating features that encourage you to practice their lessons daily. For instance, it monitors your activity by tracking and encouraging users to reach or maintain a 7-day streak. The app also connects its community of learners and encourages you to keep your ranking as you ‘compete’ against each other. It isn’t actually a competition, but the more lessons you complete, the higher your ranking – for those with a competitive edge, this feature could prove to be beneficial.

I am either of these on different days of the week!

I’ve been trying to decide how to document my learning progress. I am convinced that I should keep notes in order to help me remember newly acquired words. When attempting to learn Italian 10 years ago, I continuously added new vocabulary to lists in my notebook. Looking back on this method of note taking, it was unorganized and ineffective in helping me remember the words. This list of notes is not something I was ever motivated to review, and as a result, this notebook has been stored in my basement for years.

Over the summer, I attempted making my first sketchnote for our connected ed book club Twitter chat – the book we were assigned was “Learner Centered Innovation” by Katie Martin (great, thought-provoking read!), I thought I could best summarize my learning by drawing out the key points I found most memorable. Although very time consuming – this first sketch took me approximately 6 hours – I loved making it. It turned my limited artistic abilities into something really neat that I would never be able to make by hand. So this successful attempt at a sketchnote is what inspired me to change my note taking method for my learning project.

This time around, I was familiar with the Sketchpad program, and I was off to a running start. I chose to only include the words and verbs that I now know really well. These are words I rarely get incorrect when practicing on Duolingo – except those in the top, right corner.

  • There are many ways to say the word ‘the’, and I think it depends on the sentence’s subject (be it feminine, masculine, or plural).
  • ‘To be’ is an irregular verb that I need to learn quickly, because it keeps coming up, and I keep getting different conjugations confused!

I hope to clarify this for next week.

Made using Sketchpad 5.1

This week, I checked in with classmates that have also chosen to do the learning project – both Catherine and Amanda are learning to play the piano and they are both documenting their learning by vlogging. I love watching their videos, and although that is out of my comfort zone, I thought I’d give a try. I also really like the layout of their blog posts in that they have both clearly outlined their progress and challenges, so I will also try formatting my posts in a similar way!

What I learned:

  • Basic Italian vocabulary
  • Sketchnotes help me organize my learning
  • Filming a video without making mistakes is much easier than editing it later
  • How to edit a video using different features on WeVideo (For example – changing the speed of a video clip! That’s my favourite part of the video!)
  • How to screen record on my phone! I used AZ Screen Recorder – a recommended program from class. This was the easiest part! Really user-friendly app.
  • I am often connecting prior knowledge related to Spanish and French

Where I can improve:

  • I could use more succinct sentences when explaining my thoughts
  • I need to stop beginning every sentence with ‘so’ and ‘umm’ in my videos because they are very difficult to edit out!
  • Thinking of new ways to demonstrate my learning to avoid repeating the same format next week

7 thoughts on “Italian 101 – Week 2

  1. Great post, Daisy! I never heard of Sketchpad before, but I really like your sketchnote. It is attractive, colourful and a great way to retain information for visual learners. I will read more about it and may use it as well. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Hi Daisy, thanks for sharing your learning this week! I have also been following along with Amanda and Catherine and really like how they are documenting their learning on iMovie and WeVideo. I haven’t used WeVideo yet but I think I will give it a try sometime this semester. It sounds like you are off to a great start on your project and of course your background in other languages is certainly a big help. I didn’t know much about Duolingo prior to your post but it looks like an engaging way to work with a language. Does it offer any opportunity for speaking, pronunciation or interaction with other Italian language speakers?

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    1. It does offer opportunities for speaking. My brother-in-law was using the app to learn French, and apparently it wouldn’t advance him because he could not pronounce the word ‘garçon’ properly. There are many opportunities to speak into the mic, but as you likely saw in week 3, the mic turns off while I’m screen recording.

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