Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Final Post

From what I've learned this year, 20 Time is nothing more than what you make it. Some students did really great things and I was impressed by what they accomplished. Others, like myself, struggled a little more because we weren't pleased with the topic we chose at the beginning of the year. For next year's students, I think they should be given the project along with their summer assignment so they can have all of summer vacation to come up with a perfect project that they won't regret later on. Also, towards the end of the year, I think there should be less class time and more lab time on Fridays to actually work on slides for the presentation in class. Halfway through the year, blog posts changed from every week to every other week. I personally preferred having them every week because, by the end of two weeks, I had too much to write about and my blog posts ended up being scattered and disorganized which was annoying. My only other issue with 20 Time was that we never got our rubrics back to see where we went wrong and what we can do to improve presentations for other classes in the future since so much of the presentation was based on more technical aspects of presenting in general.

I think more students should definitely do 20 Time in school. It was a great learning experience and it's not every year that a teacher gives you nearly an hour to do something you've never had time to do otherwise. Without this project, I wouldn't have forced myself to create time to learn a new language and learning Polish has proved to be quite meaningful. Even though I ended up not liking the project I chose, I never would have known if I hadn't tried. For future students participating in the assignment, I strongly recommend that they choose something that they are already passionate about. Since it's a year-long process students will be miserable if they're unhappy with their topic. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Post 24

Over the past two weeks, I have spent most of my time preparing and rehearsing my presentation. Although the presentation has taken up a lot of time, I still worked on learning Polish. I worked on Rosetta Stone and reviewed Quizlet flashcards. I'm learning a lot of new vocab so I have made six new sets of flashcards. I don't do nearly as many of the live conversations anymore, mostly due to lack of time with all that's going on with the end of the school year approaching so quickly. I have continued to play the fun games that help me learn the language most nights before I go to bed and in the car, though. With that said, I'm really about my presentation because I plan to speak a little bit of Polish at the beginning and end and my accent is honestly depressing. Also, I'm afraid that I'll forget what I want to say or accidentally start to say something that doesn't really make sense and then translate it weird. The Polish aspect aside, I'm really concerned that my presentation won't be long enough because I speak much quicker when I'm nervous. Also, don't think my slides are interesting enough (some of the pictures are kind of dumb, actually), but the points I'm looking to bring up don't have easy pictures to go along with them.

Even though 20 Time is coming to a close, I am planning on continuing to work on learning the language throughout the summer months. My grandma left for Poland this weekend. In a few months, when she returns, I plan to be able to carry on more interesting conversations with her about topics more in depth than the weather and how I'm feeling. As for next school year, I'm unsure if I will have the time/make the time since I won't have time set aside every Saturday, nor will I be forced to make time to maintain a good grade, but we'll just have to see!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Post 23

The Rosetta Stone games are really fun and helpful and I'vd been doing them on my phone, my iPad, and my laptop. I've been taking advantage of using it in my iPad in the car on the way to volleyaball and in hotel rooms. It's nice to have some games on my phone, but I don't have access to all of them unless I'm on a computer. I've used my iPad for it the most though because it's the most portable and has more games than my phone. 

Along with  Rosetta Stone, I am still using one of the apps I downloaded at the beginning of the year and Quizlet. Learning the language over break, I worked a lot on root words because they come together in word families which helps me to learn more more efficiently. For example, The root "-ciąć" means "to cut."  There are several variations of this word, and most of them have pretty close-knit meanings; that is, the meanings of the derivative words don't seem to wander much from the main root, unlike with other Polish verbs.  The main distinguishing feature of this group of words that I revisited from one of my Quizlet sets is the irregular present-tense conjugation:

The main word related to this root are: 
ciąć, pociąć - to cut, to cut through, to clip, to chop
hackciąć na kawałki - to cut into piecesciać na plastry - to cut into slices, to slice 
ciać na kostkę - to cut into cubes, to dice

As far as my project is going, my slides are done for the most part. There's still some editing and tweaking I need to do, but it's going well. I've also been working on memorizing and presenting my presentation because I'm really nervous about it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Post 22

To be completely honest, I didn't do much over Spring Break. I spoke with my dad in Polish every now and then, though. I only put in about 5 hours of Rosetta Stone. I worked mostly on vocabulary and sentence structure. 

On the contrary, the week before break, I accomplished quite a bit. In total, I probably worked on learning polish and Rosetta Stone for 13+ hours throughout the week, which is more than usual. During a regular school week I usually only have time to do 8-10 hours so I was really excited about how much more I was able to get done. I used this time to get in four live conversations with a native speaker. I am definitely seeing improvements in my speaking and overall fluidity in the language. I'm also remembering vocabulary a lot easier since these live conversations force me to regurgitate all of the vocab I learn in various lessons. I made more of these paper accordion things where I have the English written in one column and then I go through the columns, folding them over as I finish, filling in the polish as I go. I also did Quizlet and vocab list activities.  

I was also inspired to begin my slides. I came up with my topic about a month ago and have been designing a way to present my findings in a way that makes sense. I now have more than half of my presentation done with slides, some pictures, and detailed footnotes. My only concern is that I have many blank slides because I don't know what kinds of visuals to use since I learned a language and my presentation is basically on how language barriers affect relationships and how I personally overcame it. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Post 21

These past two weeks were filled with Rosetta Stone, but I also reviewed flash cards on Quizlet and have been having conversations with my family in Polish. With Rosetta Stone, I tried out a few more live conversations. My conversations are with a native speaker which is really cool. The speaking coach helps me pronounce words and syllables that I struggle with along with rebuilder sentences that I might say incorrectly. I can now start doing these live conversations after every other lesson. The conversation lessons are designed to use only what I've learned in my lessons so far and I can already tell that they're really going to help me build up my confidence in speaking the language! I spent a lot of time on sentence structure this week. I learned mostly about reinforcing phrases. I learned that some of the most common reinforcing phrases are noun phrases which consist of a noun and an adjective. For example, once you know that "koszt" means "cost" and "utrzymania" means "livelihood", then you know that both of these words are reinforced by the noun phrase "koszty utrzymania", meaning "cost of living." 

There are many other useful reinforcing phrases and ways to use them:

Some phrases consist of a verb and a direct or indirect object:
odebrać telefon - to pick up the phone
przegrać z kimś - to lose against somebody
podpisać kontrakt - to sign a contract
pójść na marne - to go to waste
wziąć zamach - to take a swing

Some phrases consist of an adverb or adjective modifying an adjective:
śmiertelnie znudzony - bored to death

Along with  Rosetta Stone, I am still using one of the apps I downloaded at the beginning of the year and Quizlet. I worked a lot on root words because they come together in word families which helps me to learn more more efficiently. For example, The root "-ciąć" means "to cut."  There are several variations of this word, and most of them have pretty close-knit meanings; that is, the meanings of the derivative words don't seem to wander much from the main root, unlike with other Polish verbs. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Post 20

These past two weeks I've spent a lot of time in the car on the way to volleyball tournaments and practices and such. Therefore, I spent a lot of time on my iPad on Rosetta Stone. I probably worked on learning polish and Rosetta Stone for 20-22 hours throughout the weeks, which I was really excited about. I'm definitely seeing improvements in my speaking and overall fluidity in the language. I'm also remembering vocabulary a lot easier since these live conversations force me to remember all of the vocab I learn in various lessons.

This past week I also decided what my main topic for my presentation at the end of the year will be about. Since my grandma immigrated here from Poland and immediately surrounded herself with other polish immigrants, she never really learned English. Her English skills are poor even and we barely understand each other even though she's been here for 40+ years now. She and my dad communicate soley in polish so she understands him and there is no language barrier. Unfortunately, up until now I've never been able to speak any polish so my grandma and I have never really been able to become close with one another. Most of the time, we just get frustrated with each other because neither of us understand what the other is saying. It's a rough idea, but I'm thinking about having my presentation focus more or less on how language barriers impact relationships and how I overcame (or tried to overcome) it. I'm still working on the details, but I think this is a decent start. I also started to gather other information that will be helpful to use in the actual presentation to prove my point and show what I've learned. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Post 19

This past Tuesday was Packzi Day. I went with my dad to a polish bakery in Hamtramack the day before to get packzis for my family. While there, I put my polish "skills" to use and spoke polish the entire time I was in there. Starting a new language is definitely difficult, and I found myself struggling to say everything I wanted to say because I can say so little in polish in comparison to English. 

This week I was sick at home for most of the week so I probably worked on learning polish and Rosetta Stone for 12+ hours throughout the week, which I was really excited about. During a regular school week I usually only have time to do 8-10 hours so I was really excited about the extra time… and the week isn't over yet! I used this time to get in four live conversations with a native speaker. Slowly but surely, I'm starting to see improvements in my speaking and overall fluidity in the language. I'm also remembering vocabulary a lot easier since these live conversations force me to regurgitate all of the vocab I learn in various lessons. I also did Quizlet and vocab list activities. I made these paper accordion things where I have the English written in one column and then I go through the columns, folding them over as I finish, filling in the polish as I go.