What a few months, a few apps, and some time can do

Benvenutto a mio blog/vlog ultimo! As my previous blog has stated, I have learned a lot throughout this term about learning online. The whole process is different than anything I have ever done before. It was a completely new endeavour for me, and both my struggles and achievements took me by surprise. That being said, I have truly enjoyed learning online, and through apps and websites like Duolingo, Mango, WordReference, Italian-Verbs, Forvo, HiNative, Pinterest, Twitter, and BBC, I have been able to compile quite an enlarged vocabulary in Italian, particularly compared to where I was at the beginning. To demonstrate the efficacy of these apps and websites, I have created below a few demonstrations of what I have learned thus far. Firstly, I have created two infographics using Piktochart including various words, expressions, and sentences I have learned. These were made by memory and by the use of the various notes I had taken over term while using the different online resources. They were made with the intention that if one was ever to travel to Italy, they could use these infographics to accomplish simple tasks and describe simple things. Feel free to use and print these if you are trying to learn Italian or ever plan to travel there and need a quick reference sheet for simple vocabulary!

italiano-quotidiano

italian-quotidiano-2

I have also create one final vlog, in which I described elements of my home for you. This is one area where I saw a major improvement over the beginning of the term. In my first vlog, I spoke a short sentence in Italian. This sentence took me a very long time to write. Similarly, my first conversation with my husband also took me a long time to conjugate and ensure the vocabulary was accurate and the grammar was proper. The following description of my house did not take me as long as one would expect; I wrote the text out in English, and then I translated all the words I knew (which was the majority thanks to my post-its and my notes taken from Duolingo and Mango). Afterwards, I filled in the blanks and checked to ensure I knew the correct gender of the nouns using WordReference. The entire text took me as long as my first conversation did with my husband, and just a little longer than my first sentence did in my vlog numero uno.

Transcript (purple is Italian, green is English)

Benvenutto a mia casa! È una casa piccola, ma contiene tutto io ho bisogno. Sul pavimento principale, c’è un salotto piccolo con due divani, due sedie, tre ottomani, una televisione, multiplo sistemi elettronici e regulatori, una grande finestra, due mensole, e molto film e cornici.

Welcome to my home! It is a smaller house, but contains everything I need. On the main floor, there is a small living room with two couches, two chairs, three ottomans, a television, multiple electronic systems, a large window, two shelves, and multiple movies and picture frames. 

La cucina ha una grande isola, un forno, un microonde, un frigorifero, multiplo credenze, un lavandino profondo, una lavastoviglie, alcuni cassetti, un tostapane, un tagliere, una macchina del caffè, un macinacaffè, degli sale et pepe, della frutta – particolarmente le mele – e molto piu del cibo. 

The kitchen has a large island, an oven, a microwave, a fridge, multiple cupboards, a deep sink, a dishwasher, some drawers, a toaster, a cutting board, a coffee machine, a coffee grinder, some salt and pepper, some fruit – particularly apples – and a lot of food. 

Dopo la cucina è una sala da pranzo con un tavolo e sei sedie. Un bagno segue. Sulla via per bagno è un calendario con tutto i giorno della settimana e i mese dell’anno. I giorno sono lunedi, martedi, mercoledi, giovedi, venerdi, sabato e domenica. I mese sono gennaio, febbraio, marzo, aprile, maggio, giugno, luglio, agosto, settembre, ottobre, novembre, e dicembre. È bagno ha un lavandino, un gabinetto, una specchio, un asciugamano e del sapone. Sono molto porte a altro posti. Ho un armadio con i attaccapanni, i paraorecchi e i sandalo. 

After the kitchen there is a dining room with a table and six chairs. The bathroom follows. On the way to the bathroom there is a calendar with all the days of the week and months of the year. The days of the week are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The months of the year at January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December. In the bathroom there is a sink, a toilet, a mirror, a towel and some soap. I had a closet with hangers, earmuffs and sandals. 

Il piano superiore ha tre camere – dove io conservo tutto miei vestiti – due bagni e una lavanderia. 

Upstairs there are three bedrooms – where I put all my clothes – two bathrooms, and a laundry room.

Questa è mia casa! Grazie, ciao! 

That’s my house! Thanks, bye! 

Overall, I am quite pleased with my progress. I did not attain all my Duolingo goals that I had described in both my calendar of events and blog post. However, as I mentioned afterwards, those goals were not realistic. To learn the basics of Italian, I read that it should take about 480 hours, which is a far cry away from the approximately 60 that I put in over this term. I stagnated with Duolingo at a fluency about 40%, which is not what I had hoped, but was more than I began with at the start of the term (and Duolingo fluency is not what I am using to measure my learning progress; rather how much I know now in comparison to before). I achieved all my other goals in some form or another: I added (at least) 10 new words a week in my house on post-it notes; I made bi-weekly vlogs; I described my home in both written and oral format (see above); and I had conversations with my husband throughout the week, either spoken or over text message. These goals kept met going throughout the term, and encouraged me to push through plateaus and struggles I may have had. I love the apps I have found, and I plan to continue using them to enhance my comprehension and knowledge of Italian.

I know that these goals seem to be geared toward non-online activities. I do believe, as Ashley mentioned, that learning for me requires both online activities and more traditional offline methods. The combination between the two yields the best learning, at least in my personal case. I actually learned all of the Italian vocabulary, sentences, and cultural references through the online sources I mentioned above. The products, the demonstrations of my learning, were a combination of both online medias (vlogs, videos, infographics, tweets, etc) and offline work (notes, post-its, conversations, etc).

I still have a lot to learn, but I am looking forward to doing so, online, throughout the rest of my life.

Thoughts, questions, ideas, or comments on anything I have said or written above? Please give me your feedback in the comments below! I have truly enjoyed reading them over the term, and I hope they continue on afterwards as well. Arrivederci! 

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One Response to What a few months, a few apps, and some time can do

  1. asingh2 says:

    Wow Elizabeth! I’m in awe of the visuals you have created! Such a concrete way to show just how much you have learned this semester.

    I too felt it took a lot less time to translate things at this point in the semester, and that certainly helped me to put it in to perspective how far I’ve come.

    Great job! It’s been a pleasure learning with you.

    Like

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