Icelandic pronounciation moodle resource
1) What was your initial idea for the project and why was there a need for this particular material?
This was originally Daisy's idea, but she asked me to take over the project, which I very willingly did. The main reason for the need for this material is the fact that Icelandic has a very high entry level, especially grammatically, which means that grammar takes up a lot of time on the beginner level. This means that pronunciation practice (both students practicing their own pronunciation and recognising correct sounds) cannot be practiced fully in the class-room. Furthermore, Icelandic has very few pronunciation variations (dialects) and native speakers have limited experience in understanding nuanced ('foreign-sounding') pronunciations, which makes it extra important for our students to obtain correct pronunciation.
2) How did you go about creating and shaping the materials?
Some material already existed from previous years, which has been used in classes. I structured the course on the basis of this existing material. Then with the help of Sybille, I recorded a great portion of the material, before sitting down and editing the Moodle-site, with great help and assistance from Jakob. My original plan had been to only use this as a read-and-repeat practice, but with time I have developed an interactive section, which is mostly based on sound recognition. The material is open for further development and editing which I hope will make it even better in years to come.
3) What were the challenges and rewards in the process?
The technical part was a small challenge, learning to use audacity and the different aspects of the Moodle-site. Also, choosing the appropriate tools in the interactive part of the course. I've learned a lot in the process, and I expect to be able to use online resources in a better way in my future teaching and research presentation.
4) Describe the final outcome of your materials?
The material is not fully finished, and I really expect it to continue to be a work in progress, which Daisy and other Icelandic teacher may be able to add to/edit in the future. As it looks now, it's a 12-lesson course, which can both be accessed and used in lessons, but most emphasis is on students taking the time to actually sitting down and practicing the pronunciation. I do see this as a course which students do not really finish with, but is there for their needs when they feel that they need to refresh their pronunciation, especially during leaves.
5) Do the materials do what you wanted them to do - what would you do different or how would you improve on them?
I believe that the material needs to be smoothed with time, probably the interactive part especially, as it may be too easy or too difficult for beginner levels. At the same time, I believe that the listen-and-repeat will work for those who take the time and use it!
6) How have you used the materials in your teaching?
I'm not teaching the first year course, so I have not used them myself. Neither has Daisy, yet, but I'm certain they will be very useful in the new academic year.
7) What did your students think about the materials? (here you can draw on the questionaires you asked the students to fill in)
Has not been evaluated by students yet, unfortunately.
8) And you could conclude with some remarks about the value of this project to your own teaching.
I'm certain that this material will be extremely useful in future teaching. It will give the students a source to go to at the beginning of their studies, and will hopefully work as an on-going source for them throughout their studies.
The Norwegian wiki
What was your initial idea for the project and why was there a need for this particular material? My initial idea was to make use of material that I had written over the years. It was my intention to present students with information about Norway not normally found in textbooks. Norwegian textbooks tend to be attractive, (colourful illustrations etc.), but the content is often extremely dreary, and of little or no interest to people studying Norwegian outside Norway.