Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring is finally on its way

It's been a while since my last update, so this post is overdue.

March, unfortunately, was a really bad month, both personally and professionally for me. As a result, I just didn't have it in me to write anything. Thank God March is over, and I can get on with April and everything renewed.

I really should have at least posted an update for my Turkish B2 test. I passed, so that's a positive. The test took two days, with the oral portion on the second day. I've taken CEFR tests in the past, so there were really no surprises, just an exhausting couple of days. So what now for my Turkish? Well, I continue to watch anywhere from two to three hours of TV a day, so listening maintenance won't be a problem. I've also continued with my conversation partner - now two years strong. I've mentioned this before, but I'm a pretty strong believer that to get beyond a B2 in a second language, living where the language is spoken is a must. At some point, I want to spend at least a year in Turkey, which should up my level. But for now, I'm quite happy with my level and how long it's taken me to get here.

Starting at the beginning of this year, I decided to take another look at Ojibwe. I've completed the Pimsleur course, and have, in fact, added quite a bit of my own material to better round out the course. My progress with the course and language in general can be seen here. I still have to update the blog with the last couple of lessons, but they're complete.

To complement my Ojibwe studies, I also enrolled and completed  a course on Aboriginal Worldviews and Education through Coursera. The course was offered by the University of Toronto, and the focus was pretty heavy on Canadian issues. I liked the course, overall. I do have some complaints about Coursera, though. The last week of my class, the Coursera website just collapsed, and I was unable to get to my course at all. As a result, I missed the final test for the course, and took a hit on my grade. Frankly, it's turned me off enough that I don't know that I'd consider taking another course through Courera. I've found plenty of courses through MIT OpenCourseWare that I might try them next. I'm not after another degree, but I do like being able to study different courses (and the structured nature of these courses is nice), so the recent surge of MOOCs is nice to see.

So what's on tap for the rest of the year? Well, as I said, I'm certainly going to continue with my Turkish, and I'm also going to  continue with Ojibwe. I purchased Anton Treuer's book "Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories", which is some pretty fantastic Ojibwe text, also with English translation. That should definitely keep me busy for a long while.

I think I also mentioned in a previous post that I might like to return to Polish. I will probably take that up again the second half of the year, but I occasionally pull out some material a review it so I don't lose what I've already learned.

Here's to a much brighter April (and beyond)!