Friday, April 4, 2014

Learning to Speak Greek Post 21

     Today is the day we needed to have a concrete plan about what we were going to speak about for our Ted Talk. I have finalized my idea, finally. I'm going to speak about the importance of learning other languages and cultures. My feeling is that, in America learning about other languages and cultures isn't prioritized because it is the common belief among people that English is known by everyone and they will always be able to communicate. Even so, it is important to learn about other parts of the world. 
     If you were to encounter a person with a different first language than you it would be much easier to communicate with them and break down their walls if you could communicate with them in their own language. They would be much more willing to have a more substantial conversation with you if you at least made an effort to communicate with them in their own way. That is an idea that I want to get across to people. 
     As far as working with my grandma and dad, I've become much closer with them because I've learned to communicate with them in their language. That applies more to my grandma than my dad, but it's brought me closer to them in a way I might not have been had I not decided to learn about a different culture than my own. 
    It's also interesting to see how cultures are different from your own. Seeing and understanding these differences can help you understand and bring down the divides between different types of people. 
    For now that's all I have and hopefully soon I will be able to start formulating my speech. I'm been really happy with the progress I've made, especially recently and I'm hoping it continues to go well until the end! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blog Post 20

     In my last post I discussed my Ted talk. I'll be honest and say I still don't have an entirely concrete plan. I'm still planning on discussing the importance of other cultures.
     In my last post I was a little scattered because life had gotten a little crazy, between me getting sick and then I just recently broke my ankle. I mentioned including how learning about other cultures can bring people together in a way they might not have come together otherwise. While learning Greek I formed a bond with my grandmother that I don't think I otherwise would have had and I would love to include that in my talk. 
     As for the in class mini speeches I won't be going for a while, so I'm planning on running my ideas past Mr. Provenzano very soon. As for how the learning process is going I'm very proud of the progress I have made in writing. The Greek language is so difficult to learn just by speaking and listening, the alphabet was completely different than anything I had ever seen. I'm happy to say though that I have been successfully able to write it from memory and I can even write a few sentences. 
    I know it doesn't seem like much, but when I finally accomplished that goal I was so proud of myself. I'm hoping I continue to progress as well as I have. The Ted talk is right around the corner and I'm actually very nervous, but Mr. Provenzano showed us a book we could read and I'm planning to buy it very soon. 
    I'm excited to see how they project turns out and I'm hoping it continues to go well until the end! 

Learning to Speak Greek Post 19

     This past month has been incredibly crazy. I ended up getting very sick, so working on my project became a little bit difficult.
     In my last blog post I answered the questions Mr. Provenzano gave us. Over all I said I enjoyed 20 Time, but there were some other people who had some complaints. To help make everyone happy Mr. Provenzano came up with the idea that every Friday eight of us would share a few things about our project. We would stand up in front of the class for one minute and discuss how we have worked on our project and what each of us will do our talk on. 
     I've been putting a lot of thought into my Ted talk recently and I have a vague idea of what I'd like to do. I've discussed it a little bit in some of my previous blog posts, but I think I would like to discuss the importance of learning about other cultures. Also, how learning about other cultures can bring people together in a way they might not have come together before. So far that's all I've come up with, but I plan on coming up with a more concrete plan in the near future. 
     So far things have been going very well and I hope they continue to go well. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Learning to Speak Greek Post 17

     This week we were given some questions to answer about 20 Time in general. So far I've enjoyed 20 Time. It's not very often that a teacher gives us a completely open ended project. At first I really didn't know what to do with all of that freedom, but I adjusted. 
     What I like most about 20 Time is definitely the freedom that comes with it because it's much easier to come up with ideas if you have don't have to worry about any guidelines, but at the same time I also find the freedom to be the hardest part. It's a double edged sword. With so much else going on in our lives it sometimes becomes difficult to always be working on 20 time. That's especially difficult for me because if I don't consistently speak Greek I will forget what I learned. 
     If I could change anything about 20 time it would be to include checkpoints along the way. I think it would be easier to get things done if we had to prove that we'd made it to a certain point. I know a lot of kids who haven't made it very far in their projects, which I think would be different if we had to turn a few things in every once in a while. But at the same time I understand that we need to learn to manage ourselves. 
     So far I've been very happy with the way 20 Time has gone and I'm hoping that it continues to go well until we reach the end. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Learning to Speak Greek Post 16

      Last week was mid winter break and I ended up going on vacation, but luckily my dad and I were able to get in a lot of conversation in Greek on the trip!
      When we were in the airport he began to teach me some terminology about traveling and the different parts of the airport. Like the plane, the runway, the security check, the luggage check in, and other things like that. In all honesty I'm having a really hard time keeping all of those words in my head and I'm not entirely sure why. I think it might be that, with all of the previous things I've learned they were all sort of interconnected. What I mean is, I would learn about fruits and then we would flow into vegetables and then maybe into different meats and drinks and so on and so forth. Those are all things that I consider to be in the same category, foods.
     With this new travel terminology it was not like anything I had heard before, but I've been trying to find activities online that relate to travel and terminology similar to that so that I can keep going over that. If I don't keep going over it and over it and over it I know for a fact I won't remember it after a very short time.
     In my last post I talked about how my dad would be giving me a topic to write about because I plan to incorporate writing into my final presentation. I'm not entirely sure how yet, but I plan to. This week it was about traveling. I find the topic very interesting because I love to travel, but I've been really struggling with this assignment because I find the terminology to be so difficult, but I'm planning on meeting with my grandma sometime this week and I'm sure she'll be able to help me!
    So far I've been really happy with how my project is going and I'm hoping it continues to go well!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Learning to Speak Greek Post 15

     In my last post I roughly outlined what I want to do for my speech. I still need to run those ideas past Mr. Provenzano to see if that would even be an option, but I think he would be open to it. I also need his advice on how to incorporate the language itself.
     Maybe I could speak one line in English, one line in Greek, not necessarily for the entire speech, but just for a couple minutes to show what I've learned.
     Along with working on my speech I've also begun to work mostly on writing, as opposed to speaking. Instead of doing speaking activities with my dad he will now give me an assignment where I have to write something out. It's usually not long and fairly simple because I've really been struggling with the writing aspect and the alphabet. I've gotten the alphabet down roughly, but I definitely would not yet call myself a master.
     As of right now, I can recite numbers very well and the alphabet not as well, but I'm doing better. I'm much better at just speaking to my dad conversationally, than I am at doing school like activities such as workbooks and online activities, but I'm getting there.
     I've been really happy with my progress so far and I'm hoping it continues to go as well!

Learning to Speak Greek Post 14

    Unfortunately, my 14th post got deleted and I didn't realize it until late last week. In my 14th post I had done almost a rough outline of what I thought I wanted to do for my final presentation.
    What I've been struggling with the most is how to incorporate the language itself. No one will understand me if I just stand up there in front of everyone and start speaking Greek, but I can't just completely leave out that aspect because that's what I've spent the entire year working on.
     My plan is to talk about  a bigger idea, I guess you could say. I was thinking maybe I would talk about the difficulties of learning a foreign language, but also talk about the benefits that come with it. I was thinking I could talk about the importance of being bilingual in today's day and age. How it is important to experience other cultures through language. We are so often taught as kids that learning another language won't ever be necessary because English is spoken by almost everyone across the board, but in my opinion there's nothing like being able to communicate with someone in their own language. It brings down their walls and makes them open up more.
     With my family in Greece I feel like it will be much easier to get to know them better once I start speaking to them in their own native language.
     Right now, I'm mostly focusing on my speech, but I'm still making a lot of progress with the language and I'm hoping it continues to go so well!