French 1002 – Learning Portfolio

Learning Portfolio

Introduction

My name is Heather and my major at Kennesaw State University is English. I am currently a Senior continuing my education in Human Resources. I am taking French because it is required that I take a specific foreign language in order to graduate for my English degree. Also, I have always been interested in traveling on different journeys to Paris, Morocco, and Lyon for fun. It would be interesting to go site seeing and to the most famous tourist attractions a  I think the French language is very beautiful and I would love to have some knowledge of the language before I voyage. I chose my three samples of work because they represent the material that challenged me the most throughout the semester. I felt these assignments share how far I have come since the beginning and uncover my strengths. These samples of work relate to my goals because I have learned to write French in full sentences effectively, use accents and feminine vs. masculine appropriately, and speak French in suitable phrases with proper pronunciation.

Interpretive Activity: Vidéo « À quoi ça sert de faire du sport? 

Describe. The assignment given online was the first visual activity of the semester. I was told to interpret a video on “À quoi ça sert de faire du sport?” that was created in French and cartoon animations. The video shares key words, a main idea, and French sports and cultural activities. I completed the assignment by focusing on the information announced within the video and referencing the correct material to express French cultural perspectives.

Evaluate. I think the activities strength was the existing information indicated in the video. The main idea of the animation gave an idea of what questions to answer on the worksheet. The weakness of the activity was the quickness of speech from the narrator which created a difficulty in my comprehension. I believe watching the video multiple times helped me recognize the important information I needed in order to complete the assignment. Repetition is helpful when trying to learn good communication. I think the element that was most frustrating was not knowing if I identified key words or phrases correctly. It is understandable that the video is not meant to be easily comprehended. It is a good step into learning French speech and conversation.

Reflect. This video was beneficial by me gaining knowledge on why it is important to French to stay active in sports and activities. They believe it is important to maintain your health and how it can be beneficial physically and psychologically. The minor disadvantages would be to lose so much energy that you could possibly hurt yourself. Also, practicing sports and activities with friends and family is fun. It can develop good teamwork and sportsmanship. US and French have similar sports.

Future Application. The next time I watch a similar video I will change my approach by focusing on key terms and phrases that are important. I will be more open to listening for the accurate material and try to translate using wordreference. The more times you listen to a video the more you understand it. It takes time, which is okay.

Written Composition: Un parc à visiter

Describe. The written assignment was a way to gather information from the web and build a written blog about which French park or garden you would like to visit. The assignment was a conversation in order to give full descriptions of the park/garden, when you visited it, and why you chose to go there. The collection of information divided by headers, an introduction, and conclusion was constructed to engage an audience. This blog insisted on the audience to travel and visit to the park or garden as well.  I chose to visit Claude Monet’s beautiful garden and home in Giverny, France. The objectives of this assignment was to use simple words and short phrases to complete full sentences. I completed this assignment by studying the garden, who made it, and record my experience by using pictures.

Evaluate. I believe this activity was very beneficial to my learning. The strengths of this activity was giving me the opportunity to gain knowledge of a French park/garden and how to appropriately explain how wonderful Claude Monet’s garden is in the past tense. I think practicing my written French online definitely made me comfortable in expressing my own thoughts.

Reflect. This activity was most helpful in acknowledging popular French attractions or tourist areas. The parks and garden are special because they involve fun and entertainment for anyone any age. The main importance of learning to write French correctly is being able to get your message across clearly by having your information organized. This activity definitely gave me confidence and encouraged me to succeed with my goals for the class. It was a fun assignment.

Future Application. I would change my approach for future written material by taking more time to incorporate key words, phrases, and descriptions from the textbook.

Animated Presentation: Mon Carnaval 

Describe. This activity was a two-three-minute video presentation built from Adobespark. The video was to create a power point video including pictures and phrases in order to fully explain the main idea of the assignment. The main idea was to: describe a carnival you attended in French and describe your experience. It gave me the knowledge in describing the activities of the carnival, where it took place, and when it took place. Once I collected all my information and organized it I added cool images to show the carnival. Then, once the power point was finished, I created a recording to explain the material on each slide.

Evaluate. The assignment’s strength was helping me to learn about the cultural perspectives and activities of the carnival, Mardi Gras, in New Orleans. I preferred this carnival the most because it looked like the most fun and have always wanted to visit. I was able to clearly design a presentation to enhance my skills with simple sentences and my French speech. I had to take my time when researching my material on the carnival but the website my professor provided helped. It was definitely time consuming to put the entire activity together and then record the material. I probably recorded myself at least 50 times before completing it. But, I did it!

Reflect. This assignment was helpful because it helped me learn how to successfully make a recording and presentation properly. I was able to practice my speech continuously until I was comfortable with the outcome. I also liked building a presentation based off of pictures because it made the activity a little more enjoyable.

Future Application. I would change my approach for future assignments similar to this presentation by not procrastinating until the last minute to collect all my information. I would be more organized in building my power point and use as little text as possible. I would also incorporate an engaging introduction and conclusion for my audience.

Conclusion

Describe. I believe this course was a great experience because it gave me the knowledge in being able to to fully communicate French to an audience through my blog. I am always nervous when communicating out loud information that I am not certain of, so it definitely built my confidence a little more presenting video blogs. It took a lot of time, patience and practice to complete them. In the end, I always felt like I had accomplished walking over a big stepping stone. I admired myself for my finished work. I was very optimistic about learning the French language and getting a step closer to the next course level. I can only imagine how much more intense 2001 is going to be but I know it will continue to be beneficial to my education.

Advise. The advice I have for myself and other students is to continuously practice the French language and pronunciation skills. Understand the difference between feminine vs. masculine, present tense vs. future tense, differentiate verbs vs. adjectives, and create appropriate interjections when conversing with a partner. Also, watch out for the “é” and final “s.” I continuously find myself making certain small mistakes from these different categories. Focus on language control by developing phrases and opening a conversation as well as creating a positive way to end them. Practice written skills as much as possible. The advice to my professor is to give the class a guide of terms during the semester for each student to focus on. I would like to have worksheets to develop my memorization skills on French terms/words so I may retain the information more easily. Maybe even suggest apps to try in order to engage the students. The homework is great but the more specific the better our French could be.

Connect. I consider this class to relate to my other studies by enhancing my communication skills and developing my research skills. I able to effectively create a rough draft document, gather criticism/helpful notes from my professor and classmates, and then make the corrections as needed in a final revision. Also, this class gives me the strength to work well with others by communicating French through social media and blogs. It is always beneficial to speak another language especially when deciding on a new career choice.

 

French 1002 – Les tâches chez moi

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Comment j’ai appris à nettoyer.

Comme j’étais petit, j’ai toujours appris à faire des corvées et à nettoyer. Tout d’abord, ma mère m’a fait apprendre à retirer mes propres jouets et à les mettre à l’écart. Ensuite, elle m’a appris à toujours nettoyer après moi-même et garder ma chambre bien rangée. À mesure que je vieillis, j’ai commencé à aimer le nettoyage. Je n’ai jamais aimé cuisiner, mais j’ai aimé nettoyer la table après le repas. Parfois, nous nettoyons ensemble pour accomplir rapidement des tâches.

Mes tâches de nettoyage dans ma maison.

Normalement, je sous vide et je garde les sols très propre parce que je déteste avoir de la saleté ou quelque chose sur mes pieds. Je m’assure également que tous les vaisselles sont lavés et stockés, et il en va de même pour tous mes vêtements. J’essaie de garder la cuisine et les salles de bains impeccables. J’aime garder tous mes appareils brillants et non contaminé.

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Est-ce que j’ai de l’aide pour le nettoyage?

En général, je me débarrasse de mes propres ordures la plupart du temps. Quand mon copain vient visiter, il est assez gentil pour me débarrasser des ordures. Il aime également cuisiner dans la cuisine, ce qui est un plus. Habituellement, nous prenons des mesures pour nettoyer la vaisselle et essuyer la table.

Prendre soin de mes chats

Enfin, ma plus grande tâche consiste à changer la litière pour les deux de mes chats. Je nettoie la litière normalement une fois par jour. Je m’assure également qu’ils ont de l’eau propre et des aliments frais. Je fais ces tâches régulièrement parce que j’aime mes animaux et qu’ils méritent le meilleur.

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Je prends le nettoyage au sérieux.

Je suis très OCD, donc je ressens personnellement que je suis toujours en train de nettoyer ou d’organiser quelque chose dans ma maison. Le maintien d’une belle maison fait partie de devenir un adulte responsable et je me sens à l’aise et heureux. Alors, comment aimez-vous le nettoyage? Êtes-vous un fan?

The Meme Taking Over Communication

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Nothing defines our use of the internet as clearly as the concept of the meme (“pronounced meem”).

Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend in the way people communicate, at least in the way they communicate online. The only way I can describe it is “communication by meme.” They often take the form of pictures, videos, or other media containing cultural information that, rather than mutating randomly, have been deliberately altered by individuals.

The more time people spend online and the more their online activity becomes a part of their lives, the more they build up shared context, the meaning of which can only be derived from exposure to similar online activities.

BLog 4 8The decontextualization of memes within the internet has allowed for the huge expansion of memes and memetic communication, along with the dramatic increase in social media use. Online communication has allowed for memes to nearly become a language in their own right! Memes become so recognizable to experienced net users that they can be used to express sentiments or ideas, without the need for explanatory text. This may not always be the case in more popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

What I have found fascinating is that the Internet is allowing for the buildup of a tremendous amount of shared context, of backstory that can be left out of conversations and replaced with nothing more than a meme image. Memes appear out of nowhere and within days it seems as though all of your friends are communicating in a completely foreign language … until you figure out the source of the meme, and then suddenly it all makes sense.

Notes from Danah Boyd…

Genes rely on their hosts for transmission, and memes are no exception: in creating the internet it turns out that we have developed the ultimate meme hothouse.

In danah boyd‘s terms, the internet is a “networked public” that has four features highly conducive to making and spreading memes:

  • Replicability. Digital objects are infinitely reproducible and exploitable across a range of platforms.

  • Searchability. Finished versions of memes as well as raw materials and templates are easily found.

  • Scalability. Digital objects are created for a particular audience but with the knowledge that they can spread to an unknowably large audience wherever the internet is available.

  • Persistence. Although individual digital objects may not last as long as analogue objects, they are infinitely transferable and storable in many locations.

Successful memes abound on every social network, often going viral to reach tens of millions of viewers in days as they are rapidly shared with an ever expanding network of friends. Collectively, memes generate tens of millions of impressions an hour. Every day, millions of people laugh at LOLcatsdog shaming, and music videos without music, while others mock injusticesupport marriage equality, poke fun at NSA surveillance, or call out racism.

We use memes not only for absurd humor but also for societal and political commentary. At this time in human history, every single thing that we think or do can be turned into a meme and is likely a meme already. Memes can be jokes about miniscule everyday observations or the endless woes of mental illness. Memes are cathartic and allow us to process information through the abstraction of tragedy and global events. Whatever our interests or needs, a meme exists for us.

Examples: Popular Meme Activity

Reaction Faces and Videos

The most common form of memetic communication is the use of reaction faces and reaction videos. There are hundreds of examples of both, sometimes associated with text, or just ideas.

Rage Comics

The use of individual rage faces as reaction faces is extremely widespread, and remain one of the most widely-recognized forms of memetic communication on the internet. Due to the diverse nature of rage comics, there are tons of possible examples with a variety of meanings. Rage faces are generally used to conclude or to react to stories or images, and rage comics, compilations of rage faces, are used to illustrate stories with well-recognized image.

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Create your Own

There are a number of ways to begin creating memes. You can use nearly any painting or word processing program, or, choose the quick and easy option and try one of the many free online tools.

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In the age of the internet, the ways in which we communicate with one another and share cultural information change every day and do so at alarming rates. We can speak with anyone anywhere at any time and relay information about the space and time we are situated in in moments or as it happens. This ability to virtually participate with billions of others in meme-making means that the sharing and exchanging of information is limitless. Memetics is an emerging discipline and as the way we communicate and share information continues to be ever-changing, this will be an area of study for decades to come.

The real question I have is what does this mean for the future of communication between people? Are we headed for a future where we do nothing but exchange images of memes to convey meaning intermingled with emojis and icons, and nobody actually exchanges words or complete sentences ? Is the use of memes and shared context for communication contributing to the “dumbing down” of average people?

More importantly, what impact will this have on books? You already see more and more contemporary references to things that might be funny to readers of the time appearing in books (which will, of course, mean nothing 5 years from now). Will books of the future be nothing more than a bunch of meme images pasted together like an old ransom note?