Sunday, January 27, 2008

Working on “Communication”

Why are you studying Japanese? Although you are all here for a variety of reasons, since this is a language class, it follows that many of you probably want to use Japanese language for some kind of communication. The three most important elements of communication are:

  1. Presentation (expressing your ideas)
  2. Interpretation (understanding what is being expressed to you)
  3. Communication (a two-way flow of presentation and interpretation)
In this class, we will be studying Japanese with these three concepts in mind.

I. Activities focused on Presentation:
  • Possibility 1: Podcasts, such as those from last semester
  • Possibility 2: Show & Tell (My favorite _______)
  • Possibility 3: Other activities
II. Activities focused on Interpretation
  • Reading Practice Packets
  • Reading the Class Blog written by the instructors
III. Activities focused on Communication
  • Using blogs to communicate with other students of Japanese
    • Classmates and students in other sections, at other universities, in other countries
    • Japanese speakers (Japanese university students, TA’s)
    • Chat Club
We are interested in hearing ideas and opinions from all of you. Form groups of 2-3 people and discuss the topics listed below. When your discussion has finished, please post the results as a comment on the class blog, being sure to sign the names of each group member so that the writers of each post are clearly identifiable.

A. Activities focused on Presentation

Please pick the activity which sounds most appealing to you from the three possibilities listed in (I) above. If you choose possibility 3, be sure to propose an activity of your own that achieves the following two goals:
  • Reaching not only your classmates but as many people as possible (We need to get you ready to go out into the world, since you won’t always be stuck here in this classroom!). Some examples include podcasts, blogs, web-pages, and poster presentations, but feel free to go beyond these.
  • Receiving feedback from your audience and making corrections and additions based on it (No one likes someone who can’t handle a little feedback!)
B. Communication through blogs

I’d like your feedback on the following points for our class blog:
  1. How often posts (as well as comments to others) should be made (weekly, four times a month, ten times a semester, etc.)
  2. What the smallest allowable amount of Japanese should be
  3. Any other rules you think we should have
  4. Any other ideas you might have to help the blog run more smoothly
Once you have finished, start your own blog---write a self-introduction (you don’t have to use your real name), a short essay about what you did during winter vacation, OR a short essay on the topic of your choice and post it to your blog. If you don’t have a blog or don’t know how to type in Japanese, ask one of your classmates for help.


darmani said...

We (Alish, Jeremy, Bryan) have the coolest idea, and everyone will be excited about this, and thus it will be effective as a learning tool.

Ok. So, its basically Japanese Jeopardy! A person goes up to the board and draws up a 4 x 5 table of squares with the categories and points in the columns. The "contestants" are 3 teams of 4 people each, who have to answer questions asked in japanese by the host, all in japanese. The remaining students are the judges; they assess whether what was said was grammatically correct or not.

It will achieve great success!

As for the blogging, we think that
the minimum should be at least once a week, 10 sentences, and all Japanese.

Ding said...

私のグルプは マケルさんと ケビンさんと わたし(デインと申します)です。

私たちは 映画を 作りたいです! 五分かかります。 頑張ります!私たちの チームが 一番なのです!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alice said...

Blog updates should be required about once every two weeks. Along with updates, we should be required to leave comments on the blogs of three other people in the class. Blog updates should not have to be too long, and they should either be in Japanese or focused on Japanese culture.

If blog updates end up being weekly, only one comment on another blog should be required.

Show and Tell sounds like a fun idea. The podcasts last semester were laborious and not very helpful. Small solo projects are preferable to big group projects.

Alice Mottola
Hank McVicar
Chris Yun
Louis Ho

Ken Switzer said...

De Simone, Farnham, Switzer:

Our group would like to do a Video Podcast like we did last semester. It should be fun and informative, with an emphasis on FUN.

As for posting on the blog:
Posts should be at least once a week.

Posts should be made using as much hiragana as possible. One may use katakana and kanji, but if it is kanji that has not already been learned, or if one uses a vocabulary word that has not been learned in class, then both the kanji and hiragana should be defined. English can be used when necessary.

Comments to posts can be made in English.

we should also be able to post pictures and videos.

since the point of the exercise is to enhance communication, then the blog should tell everyone something about the student.

CAR said...

Our idea is to have a group blog (in addition to the personal blogs), in which we discuss our interesting weekly experiences and post photos (that we will describe) of places we visit, people we spend time with, things we like, etc.

- Camille, Agu, Rokhsaneh (CAR)

kaleidoscopeyes said...

We would like to do Show and Tell.

For blogging, once every two weeks would be appropriate, each entry being eight sentences in Japanese (with optional additional English). We should also comment on at least two other blogs (either English or Japanese) every time we post. Pictures should also be required to make blog content more interesting and easier to view.

Hiemann Lee
Bommy Kim

Ting,Brian,Steve,Q said...

Ting, Brian, Steve, Q-

We think that show and tell would be better than the podcast projects. The posts should be required once every two weeks and comments on the group members should be posted as well. We also agreed that a personal blog would be better than a group blog since it requires group members to meet up additionally outside of class to get the work done. Lastly, we think the blogs should be in both English and Japanese but should focus on Japanese culture rather than personal essays/experience.

We think this would make the Japanese activities much more enjoyable! :) Arigatto!

Anonymous said...

By: Amy Hwang, Johanna Kim, M. Gabriel Hall

The Blog is more helpful than podcasting because it allows japanese language development on our own time which promotes effeciency. It also allows us to learn what we choose and implement interesting parts of Japanese that we like most. Blogs are a helpful tool to show all the skills we've gained in Japanese as well as cultural elements to share with the class. It doesn't limit those of us with experience, neither does it disclude new comers to the language. Projects such as podcasting but do not count enough for us to put in considerable effort when we have to study for tests and quizzes every single day. The effort required for projects is not entirely justified considering the weight in the final grade.

ChengRobJackEd said...

We (Cheng, Robert, Jacky, Eddie) decided that one Podcast would be a good idea for the presentation aspect of the class.

In terms of Blog, we think we should have 8 blog posts a semester (hopefully we are allowed to post at our own time), and for each blog, there should be a minimum of 3 sentences in Nihongo.

Jackie J said...

Julio, Jackie, Nanette, Kate

Part I.
Possibility 2/3: We would enjoy a show and tell part of class, but we also think that a "20 Questions" type activity might be fun. For instance, one person picks an object and hides it behind their back, and the class must ask questions to determine what the object is. The person holding the object must respond only in full sentences, and when the activity is over, they must say two or three sentences describing the object to the class and why they picked it.

Part III.
We think that blogging once a week would be sufficient, with 1 to 5 sentences in Japanese, even if they are fairly simple sentences. We feel you should be welcome to post more often than once a week, but it should not be required. We'd also like some Japanese-related content in each post, even if it's only one or two lines.

Regarding podcasts--If we have to do them, we would feel that it would be easier if podcasts were perhaps shorter or if the groups were slightly smaller. We felt that the groups worked more efficiently with regard to time when they were smaller.

Arigatou gozaimashita!

OhHenry83 said...

We liked the way we did the projects last semester using the podcast medium.

The blogging should be done weekly with a little more emphasis on writing in Japanese, but English will suffice when it is necessary


CAR said...

We agree with the other
groups who said that we should try to use as much Japanese as possible (English only
when necessary), but we don't think there should be a minimum or maximum length. We think
postings should be required every two weeks, but once a week would also be okay. We also
agree with Amy and Alice's groups that the podcast was not very helpful, so we think we
should do something different for the project.

- Camille, Agu, Rokhsaneh

Anonymous said...

Emi and Su:

Weekly posts are good. We think we should use Japanese whenever possible, but in order to make it more interesting and describe things with more depth we should also use English.

Also, if someone uses new vocabulary (that we haven't learned in class), they should make sure to tell us what it means so we can all read it.

Kamille and Fay said...

Group Video podcast would be interesting and fun. We get to use our Japanese with each other and individually. It also forces us to speak Japanese more fluently. All blog post should be in Japanese so that we can practice reading. We can only use English if we want to speak something that we haven't learned in class. We can update each other with News in Japan.

Andrew Shu said...

Shernel Jenny Erikku Andrew say,

We love blogging, so we should do a blog every 2 weeks. We should comment on 3 other people's blogs too. It should be 1 paragraph of Japanese.
We should use hiragana and no kanji unless we've learned it.

Jeopardy is hard to set up and loses momentum over time. We like show and tell! We should do show and tell instead of podcasting, since show & tell is more personal and more interesting.

olegzergmaster said...

Raymond and Oleg

We thought that the podcast was helpful especially in letting us listen to other peoples conversations. Unlike conversations in class we are given the option to replay the conversation and listen closely to Japanese speech. This develops our ability to comprehend everyday Japanese conversations.

As for the blogs we think that posting once a week is entirely reasonable. We think that the topics should be fairly broad and encompass aspects of Japanese culture and/or media. Futhermore, posts would ideally use the grammar structure and vocab that were studied in the previous week. We think that the posts should be written using Japanese whenever possible, although more complex discussions could certainly call for some English.

Caitlin said...

We think posts should be four times a month, not necessarily weekly.

The blogs should be mostly (around 75%) in Japanese, because if we were in Japan, we’d have to use our current level of proficiency to communicate. Comments should try to be in Japanese, but English is ok. Also, kanji should only be used if we’ve learned it in class.

For blog activities, we think maybe one student or a group of students per class should be responsible for making a longer entry on a topic of their choice that everyone will respond to, maybe every two weeks.

Show and Tell would be a lot of fun! Also, maybe we should have a Japanese Word of the Day with a vocab word that we wouldn’t necessarily learn otherwise (the definition could be given in Japanese we understand).

- Caitlin and Pedro