giovedì 17 maggio 2007

How do we learn?
So, this is the last e-tivity we have to do! Wow, it’s incredible to realize how much we’ve learned in these few months! But I’m not going to talk about this since we have all said a lot about it in our papers. What I want to talk about is my PLE map.I really had a lot of fun doing it! Of course I had to do it with Word because I couldn’t do it on Internet! I struggled a bit with text boxes and arrows, but I was very proud of the result at the end! I have divided the components of my learning environment in 5 main groups (text, audio, places, people and learning by doing) and then I have put a series of things inside each group. The only exception is the “learning by doing” group: it would have been impossible to list all the things I do during the day that make me learn something! At first I had thought of dividing formal and informal learning, then I wanted to separate the different "subjects" to learn; at the end I chose to operate this kind of division because most of the elements of the map could have been part of several groups.
So, these are the groups:
  • text: manuals, books, magazines, Internet
  • audio: television, radio, Internet
  • places: classroom, dance competitions, stages, dancing clubs, gym
  • people: classmates, colleagues, employers, friends, family, teachers
  • learning by doing
It's not been easy to draw it and I probably forgot to mention important elements of my learning process. I hope I'll have the possibility to add new things to my mindmap in the future because it would mean that I have found new ways to learn. The most important thing now is to start exploiting as much as possible all these learning opportunities!

mercoledì 16 maggio 2007

Hi everyone!
I haven’t been posting anything new for a very long time! I’m really sorry but this last month has been crazy! I finally moved in with my boyfriend and I can assure you that it’s not easy to go to class, work, study and do the houseworks!!! Anyway, the course is almost over and we are not going to have to write posts for our e-tivities! But that does not mean I’m going to disappear from the blogsphere! But I’ll probably make some major changes, like writing in Italian as well, so that my friends who don’t speak English can take a look!
Before writing my last “mandatory” post I would like to thank first of all Sarah for giving us the possibility of entering this big world, and then all of you as well for having read (and hopefully reading in the future) my posts and having given me precious comments.
I hope to keep in contact with you in the future an if this will not happen...GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU!

lunedì 7 maggio 2007

The wide weird world of wikis...

Hi everyone!
As most of you, I experienced the world of public wikis for the first time as well, and...I felt like a child moving the first steps out in the big world!
The wiki we contributed to last semester was "OUR" wiki, we could write about things we liked, using the words we preferred and pretty much following our own rules! We were in a sort of familiar environment, whereas now we have been pushed out of this "nest"! And the rules are very different...

No more slang, no more "I": the key words here are facts, evidence, formality and impersonality!

But after the first impact I have to admit that it didn't go so badly! I had the impression of really being contributing to something important and useful for other people! As soon as I have time I'll try to see if I can edit some pages on Wikipedia as well; it's awesome to think that one day someone could look for a word on this online encyclopedia (as I have done many times) and use for their research something I have written!


martedì 17 aprile 2007

Every girl's dream...

Oh come on! I do not know one girl who has never imagined herself dancing "The time of my life" with Patrick Swayze!!! I think it was this movie that made me want to learn to dance! One of the best movie scenes ever! Love,

lunedì 16 aprile 2007

Tango...100% pure passion

I've recently started to learn some basic moves of tango and I can assure you that it's something everyone should experience! I wish I were good enough to dance like the couple in the video! I believe that tango is one of the most communicative dances, and Roxanne is one of my favorite songs ever! I hope you'll enjoy it! Love,

mercoledì 4 aprile 2007

You Tube

First of all, can anyone explain me why they called it "You Tube"?
Anyway, this week the e-tivity was a lot easier and much more fun! The videos chosen by Sarah are really great! I'm not going to comment on them here because you can read my opinion on them on YouTube !
I think that YouTube, besides offering tons of funny videos to entertain yourself and your friends, can be very useful for foreign language students like us because it gives us the possibility of listening to real spoken English. Moreover, it offers a great insight into foreign countries' cultures with videos like that of the I-Rack. It takes some time to explore the site but I'm sure it is worth it! If I find some interesting video I'll definetely put them on the blog!

mercoledì 28 marzo 2007


Hi everyone!
I was going to say that today I feel like a technology guru for managing to do this thing on feed and playlists all by myself but... since I had already written this post once and I totally DELETED it instead of publishing it (don't ask me how I did it!!!), I realized that I still have a long way to go!!! Anyway, at first I had no clue what Sarah was talking about but now I have to admit that feed aggregators are really useful because instead of having to go to each website to see if there's something new you just have to go to bloglines and see if any of your favorite sites has been updated! This time-saving tool is especially useful for me since my Internet connection at home is very unstable and one moment you're connected and one second later you get kicked off! I can't wait to read your reactions to this new e-tivity! Love,

martedì 27 marzo 2007

An unforgettable Sunday

Dear all,
I just wanted to share with you my ENORMOUS happiness for winning the first prize at the bachata competion held on Sunday at the Rimini Dance Festival!


lunedì 26 marzo 2007

Social bookmarking

Hi everyone!
After some initial problems with how to use (I still haven't become a computer expert in spite of my improvements!!) I realized that social bookmarking is really a great resource! I found sites that I'd never have even thought about! The interesting thing is that each of us pretty much concentrated on a different aspect of the English language (writing, speaking, and so on) so we came up with a long list of great sites, which in some cases might be similar but still each of them adds something new to our knowledge or to our possibilities of learning.

  • Ale T: I really liked the Word Spy site! Nowadays so many new words are created every day that we should all buy a new dictionary every month!
  • Alexandra: Thanks for suggesting the Friend Abroad site; I think communicating with other people and practising real English is the best way to learn!
  • Erica Buzz: I appreciated the Grammar and Writing site, especially the quizzes which are a fun way to improve our skills!
  • Shoun: it is always useful to look at online dictionaries which are usually more up-to-date than our normal dictionaries so thank you for suggesting Word Reference!
  • Alida: I liked the Free and Commercial Translation site! It was fun to see how the computer translated what I had written! Of course free computer translations are very bad but it's still interesting!
  • Martina: I think the Acronyms and Abbreviation dictionary is great! I always have a hard time when I find them in translations!
  • Susi and Elena: I liked both your sites on English pronounciation! Even though they are on the same subject they focus on different aspects!
  • Ale P: I think the site on Business English is realy useful because it's a part of the language we rarely study at school!
  • Erica Berg: your site on how to apply for a job was different from the others but maybe the most useful!!!

    Thank you all for your suggestions!

sabato 17 marzo 2007

Let's start!

It's been really hard, first of all because my computer sucks and my internet connection is even worse! But, as someone said, Rome wasn't built in a day!
Let’s start by saying that this “blogsphere” is a real mess!!! There are billions of blogs on the Net, and if you don't have a precise idea of what you're looking for, you easily get lost! But once you get involved in this world, it’s real fun to go from a blog to another, read what people say and be able to give your opinion! Finally I have my own blog and I hope someone will read what I have to say and maybe will want to share their ideas with me! And I also hope that people from outside my English course will take a look at this blog!

English is not my mother tongue so you will probably find a lot of mistakes in my writing! Feel free to correct me!!! I think that this experience will help us a lot to improve our writing skills and to learn expressions which you don’t learn in school! It might even let us meet new people or at least it will let us know each other better! I'm not a great writer and I've never talked much about myself, but this could be a good way to open the doors to my little world to all of you!

Talk to you soon!

Ps: hopefully my next post will appear much sooner than this one!
(Picture taken by me in Guadeloupe last November)