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2008 Répondez donc aux questions ci-dessous, reprises dans l’ordre où elles apparaissent dans le document PPT. 1. Try this out: does it work? Dina and ACC: “Yes, the sound files work fine and the sound is clear.”
2. What have you already learnt about the sound value of the following Greek and Bulgarian letters: (Gr.) θ, ή, ν (Bulg.) С, ф, и, я ? Dina and ACC: Sound
It is a variation of the sound [th] (as in the English word “thin” not “than”. The sound do not exist in French.
It is the sound [i]. It has an accent.
It is the sound [n]
It is the sound [s]
It is the sound [f]
It is the sound [i]
It is the sound [ja] in API or “ya” in French (ex. the French word “yaourt”). The two letters (ия) present the sound “iya” in the word “Sofiya”
3. Go the map of Greece do not forget to double-click on Ελλάδα / Αθήνα Which new letters/sounds have you learnt? Dina and ACC: Sound
It is like the sound “é” in French (ex. the word “été”)
It is the sound [n] λλ present a germination
It is the sound [a] as in French word “aller”
It is the sound [a] stressed. It has an accent that distinguish it from the non-
4. Go the Greek weather (report) Have you discovered what it is called ? (Ο ΚAIΡΟΣ )
? (Ο ΚAIΡΟΣ ) Dina and ACC: Ο ΚAIΡΟΣ means “the weather” in English or “le temps” in French: O = the / le ΚAIΡΟΣ = weather (weather forecast) / temps (climat) We guessed the meaning, as we know that this activity is about the weather and the clickable image displays a sun, a cloud, and rain. 5. There are two weather maps, and the user is asked to infer what today’s map is and match “today” with its Greek equivalent What is/are the principle(s) underlying this inference task? Dina: “I think that today’s map is on the left. I have the choice between: 1. Yesterday – Tomorrow 2. Tomorrow – Today 3. Today – Tomorrow I inferred the third choice because it is sound more logic. The presentation respect a chronological order: “today” come before “tomorrow”, so it must me put first. Since the Greek is written from left to right so today’s map must be the left one and note the opposite (choice 2). It will be also strange to put yesterday and tomorrow’s maps together and ignore today’s one as in choice 1.” ACC: “I think today’s map is on the left. The word “today” is displayed on the left part of the text (weather forecast on the left) as well as it labels the button to the bottom left. I cannot read Greek and even if I recognize some letters (from my previous high school math classes), I don’t know the meaning and this language is too remote. Therefore, I inferred this from the fact that I know one reads and write from left to right in Greek, and that today comes before tomorrow on the timescale. Hence today’s weather forecast should come first (left) and tomorrow’s should follow (right).”
6. Can you complete these exercises now? Dina: “Yes. I clicked “continue” to perform the next exercise. I found easily Athens. I also discovered how the names of other cities are spelled. Then I clicked “continue”. I distinguished easily the word “Greece” from the word “Europe” because when I passed the cursor on the button the name is pronounced. I also remember the word “Ελλάδα” from the first exercise. Matching temperature and cities was very easy: the spelling was close from English or French equivalent words. The sound file was perfect. I made no mistake. Matching words with Greek counterparts was also easy. I have already encountered five words from previous exercises: the weather, today, Europe, Greece and tomorrow. In
consequence, the last word “the world” must be “O KOΣMOΣ” (the = “O” like in “Ο ΚAIΡΟΣ” (the weather)). The next exercise, placing a Greek letter in the word, was more difficult for two reasons. First, I am not familiar with the Greek alphabet even I have already met these words. Second, there was a mistake: the exercise precise that the letter missed in the word “ПA+IΣI” is П / “P”, but in fact it is the letter P / “R” ⇨ “ПAPIΣI”. In the last exercise, I chose “temperature” because the audio instruction start with “thermo”. Adding that the word is placed at the beginning of a text on a weather forecast.” ACC: “Yes. After the first exercise (see above), I then clicked “next” to perform the next steps. I found it easy to find Athens on the map because I learnt how to write it. I also discovered I could recognize the cities Thessalonica and Heraklion. For the following step, I knew “Greece” (Ελλάδα), so I could deduce that the other one meant Europe. And the sound files help recognise the word that means “Europe”. It was easy to match each city in the Greek spelling because the names have about the same number of letters, and some consonant letters are the same as in English (or French). By “scanning” the city names as if I was reading them fast, I was able to recognize the equivalent in English (sometimes by browsing through the list of English equivalents and most of the time even without checking the English list of choices. London and Brussels were the two I could not distinguish. There again, the sound files are helpful. But I wanted to do the exercise without the sound first. Placing a Greek letter in a city name to complete the word: this was more difficult as the letters are isolated letters. In the previous exercise, a global reading was enough to match Greek city names with their English equivalent. Now, this exercise requires to be more conscious about the choices you make and about the form and sound of each letter (to the left) and each missing letter in the incomplete words (to the right). I did two mistakes. I chose “temperature” because I now know the letters θ and P, therefore the word starts with “therm-“: therefore I chose “temperature”!” Bulgarian section 7. Was this Bulgarian section developed according to the same principles as the Greek one? Dina and ACC: “The section also proposes interactive drag-and-drop exercises. Thus, when we gave a wrong answer, we were alerted by a pop-up and when we answered correctly we received a positive feedback. Sound files were also provided, which helped to learned the pronunciation of some letters easily.”
8. Did you think it was easier or more difficult? Dina: “More difficult. In fact, the first four exercises were very easy. But then, the exercise about finding Thursday’s map did not seem very logical to us. It was specified that today was Tuesday May 3rd, therefore I assumed that the first map referred to today (Tuesday), followed by Wednesday’s one and finally that of Thursday. But I received a message saying that my choice was not correct. So I used the help and found that it started with tomorrow’s map! I had not been able to deduce that piece of information from the clues given in the exercise. I also found the next exercise difficult. I did not deduce that the words underneath each map referred to weekdays, and I did not pay attention to the Bulgarian equivalent of the word “forecast”. But, the last exercise was easy, the sound files was of great help: the pronunciation helped me to infer words’ meaning because of the similarity with French and English equivalent words.” ACC: “I found it more difficult than the Greek activity. The first exercises were easy until I got to this one: “Suppose today is May 3rd. Click on the image that gives you the forecast for Thursday”. I did not find the question very logical or obvious. In fact, I assumed that the map was giving the forecast for today (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday. As if I were reading today’s newspaper. Hence, my choice was wrong according to what I should have inferred (script)! Also, I did not realise that the word underneath each map referred to weekdays. I thought they were city names. Hence I did not find the next activity, which consists in matching English words with their Bulgarian equivalents, very easy. I could not deduce “Wednesday”, “Thursday” and “Friday”. I suppose I should have learnt them in the previous activity to then be able to match them easily. Then the last one (Activity, Moon, Day and Sun) was easier because the sound files helped: the pronunciation helped to infer the meaning.”
9. How much can you now remember from what you learnt in the Bulgarian activities? Dina and ACC: “We managed to perform most activities, but we don’t remember any word precisely.”
10. Have these activities changed your perceptions about the “difficulty” of Bulgarian? Dina: “Yes. I discovered its similarities with other European languages and I think that some letters’ pronunciation is the same as the Greek ones.” ACC: “Not very much I’m afraid. Though, from the sound files I got the impression that it’s not as remote from other European languages as I first thought.”
Now go to the Spanish activities and do them. 11. Your estimate of the difficulty of these activities for the general public Dina: “It is difficult for the general public and also too long. The first and second activities are easy because the words are close to French, i.e.: Peregrinacòn = pèlerinage Bicicleta = bicyclette Clima = climat, etc. The third activity was more difficult. I didn’t find easily the establishments’ names. The fourth activity is introduced by a text in French which gave keywords and made the exercise easy to do. It was a good help. The last activity was difficult and it took time. I didn’t memorize the forecast icons from the previous activity. The text also required a lot of attention. Sometime, I was unable to infer so I made choices randomly.” ACC: “The 1st activity is easy, because all the words are recognisable (very close to French). The 2nd is easy too, as “a pied” and “a bicicleta” are very similar to the French “à pied” and “à bicyclette”… The 3rd one is easy too for the general public: you have to look for a number (distance), the name Xacobeo, and words and expressions are similar or easily transferable into French: “puedes descendar en los hotelos”. The 4th activity is introduced by as text in French so you get the general idea and you can read keywords, which you will then read in Spanish. This is a good help (provided one reads it, which I haven’t!). The last activity (match weather forecast words to the appropriate icons) is a little more difficult, though the words and icons referring to the weather forecast had just been read in the previous activity. In fact, in the 4th activity (trace the route on the map while reading the text), the text is slightly long if you don’t know Spanish. It’s not difficult but it makes you focus on the text more than the images. The reader might try to understand the global meaning of the text. It requires more attention and patience to both read and check the meaning of words with icons.”
12. How you performed yourself: how often did you get negative feedback? Dina: “I did well for the first three activities, but I have several negative feedback with the last one.” ACC: “On the whole, I did very well. I just found the last exercise a little tricky because there are 10 different icons illustrating the weather. This requires to really translate each word in our own language. It’s not enough to get the rough meaning.”
13. How long did it take you to complete the Spanish section? Dina: “It takes 12 minutes, which mean a lot more time than the Bulgarian and the Greek activities.” ACC: “I did not read the questions before performing the activity, therefore I have not checked the time, but I’d say between 5 and 10 minutes maximum. I did not try to do it very fast.” 14. Is there a significant difference with time spent in other sections? Dina: “Yes. The other sections take around 5 minutes.” ACC: “Not really. But the Greek and Bulgarian activities are not based on texts, but rather on graphic and paralinguistic information.”
Now that you have tried the activities yourself, answer the following questions 15. Time: Were you able to complete the activities in a reasonable time? (i.e. did you not get bored before you were finished) Dina: “Yes I get bored. Text was long without an audio registration, and the last activity was a headache.” ACC: “I was not bored, but I found it hard to focus both on the text and the weather icons in the 4th activity.”
16. Clarity: Was it always clear what you were expected to do? Dina and ACC: “Yes. It was clear enough.”
Were feedback and help screens effective in that respect? Dina and ACC: “Yes, feedback and help screens were clear.”
17. Attractiveness Did you find the activities attractive? Dina:
“No, I didn’t find the activity attractive. The text is written in a very small size. It also need a lot of concentration and patience. I would have appreciated having sound files like in Bulgarian and Greek activities.” ACC: “Yes, I think they are easy and attractive enough to appeal to the general public, and to keep their attention until the end of the activity.”
What would have to be changed to make them more attractive? Dina and ACC: “The instructions could be available both as text and sound files, so the user can save time or focus his (her) attention on the target language activity. The 4th activity may be presented as a matching exercise between two columns instead of the presentation as a list of icons followed by a text. Hints on some words which have not a phonetic equivalent in other language will also be of great help.”
18. Text and image Do you think there is a healthy balance between how much text and image you get on the screen? Dina: “No, I don’t think that text and image was balanced.” ACC: “There’s an overall good balance between text and image content. But why not have the instructions as an audio instruction?”
Would you change anything here? Dina: “Choose less texts-icons correspondence and make an audio instruction.” ACC: “Make an audio instruction.”
19. Overall effectiveness Would you say you became more aware of the possibilities of intercomprehension (in a newspaper context)? Dina and ACC: “Yes, we think we are more aware of things and icons. We can spot in a newspaper type of text (e.g.: numbers, dates, proper names, graphics, etc.)”
Do you have the impression you have learnt something of the target languages while you were doing the activities? Dina:
“Yes. I have recognised letters, sounds and words in Greek and Bulgarian. I have been able to infer properly. I discover resemblance between these languages and other European languages. I also learned few words and syntactic structures in Spanish.” ACC: “It is an entertaining approach to a foreign language. I have recognised letters and sounds in Bulgarian and Greek, but I could not write down the words I’ve seen from memory. I have been able to infer and in fact to infer more elements throughout the activities, but I’m not sure what I’ve acquired in terms of language skills.”
Feedback from the professor: Well, in fact, written comprehension is a language skill as well and sometimes, when approaching a language we may just focus on partial compteneces as this one. So... I guess that because you have trained your reception competences, in fact you DID learn, even if it is not a traditional concept of learning. Anyway, you both seem very proficient in Intercomprehension! Congratulations. Because of the quality of your reflexion and remarks, I will note this work with 18, as I did with the first one. I’ll be looking forward to the next ones....
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