Nous nsommes pas fatigués

Nous nsommes pas fatigués

My experience with online learning began about 26 years ago as a recently divorced, mother-of-three (in those days), with the CNED (Centre national d’enseignement à distance). My aim was to, once the kids had gone to bed, prepare for the French competitive teaching exam. Back in the days before online learning platforms, this entailed receiving by post a learning pack including books to read, lessons to follow and homeworks to be sent off. I’m sure there was good teaching out there and that I learnt lots but, if anyone had asked me (they didn’t) about how I felt during this learning experience, I would have said alone (forsaken?), discouraged and exhausted. I remember receiving work back, covered in red ink, marked by one teacher in particular who wrote ‘vous ne maitrisez pas assez le français pour effectuer l’exercise proposé’ – basically translateable by ‘I’m not going to waste my time providing constructive feedback for someone who is never going to pass this course’. Well, I did, eventually, but it was no thanks to him and anything but a pleasurable experience.

This anecdote is a preamble to explain why the online blog course that I run (a follow-up course to the creative writing course) at Paul Valéry University, is the way it is. In previous posts I have explained some of the theory behind these courses that explore online interaction, mediation, and negotiation and recognise the importance of creating online presence (socio-cognitive, socio-affective and pedagogical (Jézégou, 2012) and setting-up collaborative work and peer evaluation in remote learning. But perhaps the most important characteristic of both courses is that they are designed for learners (and teacher) to have fun. To make learners want to write, mess around with and meaningfully engage with the foreign language.

This year’s blogs have been created by cinema and art buffs, horticultural afficiandoes with plant identities, mountain lovers, cultural warriors and creative manuscript writers as well as desparate housewives who’ve discovered religion. What perhaps is new this year is the fact some groups have adopted radically different identities and felt comfortable enough in the learning environment to experiment with humour and parody. Bring it on I say! Whether it be to  battle boredom or to subvert teacher-imposed language tasks, ‘humor serves as a resource for students (and teachers) to negotiate personal identities, as well as play with institutional identities that may be imposed upon them’ Pomeranz and Bell (2011, p.150).

So, for your enjoyment check them out. Please don’t hesitate to leave comments:

Ps. Nous nsommes pas fatigués, la rue est à Montpellier, tu nous donne 64 on te (re)mets 68.

Day 394

Jézégou, A. (2012). La présence en e-learning : modèle théorique et perspectives pour la recherche. Journal of Distance Education / Revue de l’Education à Distance, 26(2), http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/777/1349

Pomerantz, A. & Bell, N. D. (2011) Humor as Safe House in the Foreign Language Classroom. The Modern Language Journal , 2011, Vol. 95, Supplement 1: The Supplementary Issue: Research in and Around the Language Classroom: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 148-161.

Thanks for Lou’s hellebores

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