Thursday, April 30, 2009

Feedback and some clarifications

Hello all,

Several of you were absent yesterday and/or today and others have written me some emails with questions about what you are supposed to do so I'm going to give some info here.

Feedback on E-tivity 6
What can I say but excellent :-) As you can see by the feedback from Group 01 and Group 05, you are definitely making improvements in your written work. From the contents I found in your blogs, I can see that you are making progress in your ability to critically think about referencing, sources, what should be done, how and when, etc. And from the comments you're making in (almost) all cases it appears you are learning to help each other out and are becoming a community of learners so keep up the good work ;-)

Today in class, rather than focus on your work from task 2 in E-tivity 6, I decided to focus on language. So,
  • if you weren't in class, please download the feedback above, reflect on it and sent a comment to this post if you've got questions about it;
  • if you were in class, the links above will show you the complete versions for Group 01 since in the photocopies I made for you in class, many of the corrections were missing;
  • if you would like me to check your work from task 2, E-tivity 6, send it to me in an email.
Working on E-tivity 7
I'm hoping that some of the problems we encountered in class, e.g. some of you not being able to edit the original .doc are resolved if you are working with Firefox, and not from one of our labs! If this is not the case and you're still having problems, let me know.

You are welcome to work on the task individually, but by Sunday I'd like there to be a complete corrected version of the original .doc shared. You can either highlight the pieces of text you edit and change so that your peers know you've done something to the original or check the history function to see if your peers have corrected something before you. The main aim of the task is not necessarily to get a corrected version (I've already got that!), but to get you focussed on the kinds of issues that come up when you are trying to reference and follow a specific style. I would encourage you to blog about this (frustrating) experience.

As always, write a comment here if you've got questions and doubts.


Have a happy May Day :-)


Giorgia said...

Hi Sarah!

I love acronyms and I found that 'as far as I'm concerned' turns into -afaic- :)

Thank you for your feedback!


S.C. said...

Hi all!
I just read the two feedback files, and found out that we've got many things to work on! It was so unbelievable for me to read such grammar uncerteinities, that I wanted to open my grammar book and start from the basics...again! :-) Well, I guess we all need a good collaboration to understand our mistakes, but we need to study again such things like: prepositions, use of -ing form, conjuncts (these strangers!), and, more in general, how to write an academic paper. That is, the paragraphs' divison, the inner coherence, and some other details.
I think that we are all departing a bit from our old grammar books, maybe the stress we are going through (you know, it's the last year, and so on) and the many study/work commitments we have, they don't let us enough time to revise some little (but important) aspects of English. Of course I put myself in the group, and I know I still have to manage how to write an excellent piece of paper (yeah, it's a pun! :-)), in English, but also in the other languages I speak. The point is that, I think, we should all study more grammar, and the teachers (all, af any academic year, of any language course) should focus more on grammar didactics. Maybe it would be useful to divide a language course in more than 2 modules, and include also a series of advanced grammar lessons.
Anyway, one thing that I am learning, is to visually and linguistically "see" our different writing styles: we all have a personal approach to the language, and the more we learn, the more personally we write! ;-)

Elena Migliorini said...

Dear Sarah,
I'd like to ask you if I have to post the correction I did with my peers on references for group 2. Once I did it on Google Docs, I save it and then??? Am I supposed to publish it on my blog page or can you see I did the task anyway?

Lamericaana said...

@Elena, I admit it's a bit confusing. This is the first time I've used Google Docs with students so I'm learning and you all are the guinea pigs. My idea was to have a completed final version in one document (the original one). This got a bit confusing because some people were not able to edit the original one. So...if you were able to edit the original one, just save and leave it there - I can see the changes. If you were NOT able to edit the original one but can now, add your changes to the original one. If you were NOT able to edit the original and STILL CAN'T, edit a copy of the .doc and share it with me so that I can see it. No need to post it on your blog. Google docs, like I said in class, is kind of like a closed wiki where those who share a .doc can edit and see it.
Hope this helps!


Lamericaana said...

@Sarah, As I said in class on Thursday, the challenge with English is that grammatically speaking it's quite simple at the beginning, but then becomes a series of random exceptions to the rules as you reach a more advanced C1 level. Studies have shown that the only way to improve at your level is the use the language through reading, writing, listening and speaking. So, I'm afraid to say I'm not sure how much an advanced grammar class would be useful at this point. Just keep on writing and I'll keep on correcting ;-) I do feel you all have made progress. You never stop learning a language - even your native one. And, as you say, through blogging it's nice to see everyone's personal style.