mercoledì 20 maggio 2009

YouTube or not YouTube???

Today, we listened to some songs such as Coldplay’sViva la Vida” and Amy McDonald’s This is the life” and we also watched two videos from YouTube: “Medieval Helpdesk” and “ Katherine tate language translator”. I have to say that my e-learning profitted from the lesson of today.It is very important to use the tools of the Internet, in order to improve and fortify our PLE. If we download some music or videos, we can derive benefits from that. I think that some immediate positive effects will be firstly, an improvement in understanding the foreign language we are learning, then a richer personal vocabulary and finally, a better pronunciation.
Moreover, YouTube could be useful to discover how others’ culture are, how we are seen abroad, and how people from other cultures consider us. Stereotypes and prejudices are the first barriers we have to bring down when we get in touch with other folks. This is the secret of a civilized cohabitation.

Interpretation of Viva la Vida (Coldplay)

I have never thought that the text of this song could be so complex. There are lots of interpretations on “Viva la Vida” and this is mine.
I think that “Coldplay” wanted to highlight the fact that if someone has the opportunity to exert his/her power and authority on someone else, like a king do with his subjects, he/she has to do it brightly and in the right way. Moral values are important elements someone should take into account every time he/she has to do something, otherwise contempt and hate are the damages he/she will pay. On the other hand, if someone uses his power to help other people, without becoming arrogant or assertive, he/she will be remembered with love also after his death.

lunedì 18 maggio 2009


During this last year of university, I succeeded in my English learning process thanks to the course run by Prof. Guth both in the first and in the second semester. In the first semester, we used a Wiki Page, which purpose was to write and to work together with American and Italian colleagues in order to learn to be fluent in our writing and speaking. Indeed, I improved both my writing and spoken production. Skype and the Wiki Page were two useful tools that supported my learning. The activities carried out in the first semester made me focus attention on:

_ American students’ lifestyle;
_ on their culture;
_ on their learning process with the Italian language and on their problems in learning it.

Anyway, after the end of the first semester I became aware that to learn a foreign language is a hard work that requires time and a total commitment. Once we reach a goal we have to keep on working on it and to do our best in order to make progress. In the first semester my speaking and my writing became more fluent, but I realized I had to take a step forward. My next goals were accuracy, conciseness, the acquisition of a more formal writing avoiding repetitions and to the proper use of relative clauses and punctuation.

The semester is at the end and I’d like to take stock of ‘my daredevil challenge’ with the English language (see my blog’s name =)). Firs of all, I think to have acquired more familiarity with the world of Internet and of its tools. Google Docs, Google Books, Google Scholar, Google Blogs, Bloglines, Delicious and Flicker are only some of the e-learning tools that helped me to reach my targets for the second semester. I realize that even if I make lots of mistakes when I write, I am more concise and my wordiness has notably reduced.

My Personal Learning Environment is made up by different elements that I use in learning foreign languages. I divided my Mind Map in six sections: the abroad experience, the free time learning, the academic learning, the working experience, the Internet and technical books. My idea was to show you what are the most important things I take into account when I learn a language. At the end of this month I’ll start to write my thesis and then I will decide if to go on with my formal learning or to stop for a while and enter in the working word. However that, I want to keep on learning English on my own and I’ll try to have an ever-increasing study, in order not to regress. I am sure I have to work more and more in order to keep the language level I reached and I have to be eager to learn, in order to be on a level with my future work. Professionalism and proficiency are some important values that each student should consider, and these are mine.

I thank you all for your help in these two semesters. I learned a lot and I will never forget this year of university. Thank you Francesca and Francesca for the corrections to my blog posts. Thank you Anna and Elisabetta for having worked successfully with me during the first semester and finally, I am especially grateful to Sarah for her patience and her enthusiasm in having thought me things I would have never learned at all. I’ll retain you as a wonderful teacher =).

martedì 12 maggio 2009

BBC Article

Read this BBC article and tell me what you think about this case.

sabato 9 maggio 2009

What are the risks of the internet? Look out!!! Someone is spying you!!!

On Wednesday we dealt with a very debated issue: the risks people could ran in using the Internet. The main problems we can meet with are: viruses, online fraud, Internet addiction, dangerous encounters, hackers and the problem of data protection and sexual harassment such as stalking.

To be sincere, I think that the technological findings of the last few years are showing their side effects. It is important to use the Web, being aware that we are not alone there, but that millions of people from all over the world are using it at the same time. I'm not an Internet expert. Therefore, I am afraid of it. As matter of fact, in the “sea” of the Web there are hackers and have specific intention of damaging other who are not so aware of the risks of a regardless use.
As far as Msn, Facebook , and other social networks are concerned, I use them to keep in touch with some friends of mine who live abroad. Instead of waiting months before answering their mails, I prefer using Skype or Msn and reply to them in a few minutes. As they are not always online I use Facebook to let them have my messages. My friends and I usually do not write on our public pages, but we prefer creating a private conference. It is important to be careful using the Internet. Privacy invasion is a problem we have to prevent maybe through firewalls, antivirus and antispyware, softwares.
I strongly believe that parents should teach their children how to use the Internet and how to surf correctly. Safety measures are necessary to protect them and their ingenuousness and inexperience. Beside this, it is important, and this is addressed to everyone, not to become addicted, as it happens with the mobile phones. There is a life outside and everything has to be taken with moderation.

Phishing Scams in Plain English

sabato 2 maggio 2009

Google Docs: a new elixir of life

This week I learnt to use Google Docs, which allows users to edit an online document, collaborating in real-time with other users. Therefore, I can use this new tool not only to write and share documents but also to work together with other people preparing, for example, PowerPoint presentations . Isn’t it fantastic? If you have to write a book or a paper with other students you can simply use Google Docs, save everything you write on a document folder and keep on working on it wherever and whenever you want.
If I had only known about the existence of Google Docs also in the 1st semester! I would have certainly spared time, while I was preparing my PowerPoint presentation with my peers. We could have written everything at home and shared files at any time we wanted and where we wanted. Needless to say, it isn’t never too late to learn something!. While using a Wiki no more than one person can edit the same page at a time, with Google Docs more than one user can edit at the same time. Moreover, I can see who is editing the page and once I entered the text and saved it, everything will be saved and available for the other users, who are working with me.
On Wednesday, I started using Google Docs to correct some bibliographic references using the APA style. An hard work!. I did this task working together with my group peers.I think that Italian students have always problems on writing references, as it is something they learn when they are at University. There are several ways of making references and following the APA style we made corrections on the bibliography of group 2. Google Books and Google Advanced Searched have been really useful to find immediately the right references of some books and scholar articles. However, it turned out to be difficult to find the suitable style to cite web pages and transcripts of interviews published on-line
All in all, I think that this new tool is quite easy to use and it facilitates collaborative work tasks. Moreover, I’m also sure that only the people invited on Google Docs will see what I’m writing and this is very important to protect my Privacy and that of my peers.