Monday, August 30, 2010

T-minus 1 week!

In one week the new semester starts! The FINAL semester of graduate studies - woohoo!

On the roster this (final) time around we've got the following:

Psycholinguistics which deals with:
Contemporary issues in the fields of first and second language development and bilingualism will be addressed within the framework of the psychological development of the individual, from early childhood through adolescence. Theories of learning will also be addressed, particularly as they have been used to explain language development, including behaviorism, cognitive psychology, Piagetian constructivist theory, Vygotsky’s Social Interactionism and Freirean critical consciousness and praxis.

Having done most of the reading for this course over the summer, I think it will be rather interesting. It's all about how the mind (a child's and an adult's mind) picks up language and how we learn to learn a new language on top of our native language.

And the Practicum (aka Field Experience).
Basically for this one I will be observing an experienced language teacher - in my case I've picked an instructor that I've had before and she teaches Classical Greek - see how they teach, how they approach materials and methods, analyze their teaching and teach a module yourself. In my case I've decided that I will most likely be doing an eLearning module. The topic is not determined yet (the primary instructor has not gotten back to me yet), but I have been preparing by going over the course text, looking at what's presented, what's covered and what topics the instructor teaches using her PPT slides. I've also gone through and converted her slides from Teknia (yuck!) to a Unicode font :-)

I think my final hand in for this course will be an analysis of how classical (aka "Dead") languages are taught and how technology can be used to improve teaching and learning these languages.

Finally, I have to prepare for a comprehensive exam which covers everything in the applied linguistics MA curriculum that I've taken. In general I hate sit-down exams, especially exams that are four hours long and require your to remember everything from day one of the curriculum - but there is a silver lining here. I am hoping to apply to a PhD program at some point in the future, all of which require both oral and written comprehensive exams before you're allowed to dissertate, so this is a bit of a dry run.

It will be a busy semester, but I am happy that it's finally starting :-)
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