Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Networks of Personalized Learning

With my coming trip to Guatemala and Costa Rica I thought it would be most helpful if I learned some key phrases in Spanish. After all, I'll really just need to know how to say "I'd like a beer", "Where is the bathroom?" and "I don't eat fish". Four years of French in high school isn't really helping out and I don't have a lot of time. After reading about Live Mocha in Dr. Bonk's book I decided to give it a test run recently. It's a good way to spend my lunch break at work. For those unfamiliar, Live Mocha is a language learning site that also involves a social aspect. You can be paired up with someone that speaks the language you wish to learn, practice your conversation in their language and also help someone trying to learn your native tongue. It is free, although a crash course will cost you. Interestingly enough, the article posted for this week's topic goes right along with my frustration of language learning in schools. Vocabulary is great, but good luck having an actual conversation with someone. I have downloaded an audiobook for my iPod to listen to in the car, but I really hope I can get some mad Spanish speaking skillz before I head down that way using Live Mocha. After all, I don't need to write an essay. I simply need to engage with the locals and immerse myself in the various cultures. I think the social feature of Live Mocha will prove rewarding. I've been studying flash cards for about a week now, and hope to engage someone in conversation in the next month!

If not, I may just be downloading Jibbigo for my iTouch. Would be an interesting way to have a conversation, that's for sure.


  1. How do you like Live Mocha? I've never used but does it help learn the language? I've always been a believer that you can only learn so much by reading it or studying it. Communication and dialogue is the best way to take a foundation understanding of a language to be conversational or fluent.

    By the way, how would you say "I'd like a beer" in Spanish? ;)

  2. I know Cerveza is beer. Or at least I think. They haven't gotten to it on Live Mocha yet! I'm not sure how to ask that entire sentence but it will probably be one of the first I learn.

    I have only gotten to the flashcard part of LiveMocha and like you say, I think you have to comunicate in order to learn. Hopefully I get to that step before June 21st. I plan on using my iPod to study while I'm working out.