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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Heaven   » MOOCery, and Other Lifelong Learning

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Source: (consider it) Thread: MOOCery, and Other Lifelong Learning
LutheranChik
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I have been having a lot of fun taking free online classes via FutureLearn and Coursera -- mostly humanities classes like philosophy and informal logic, to fill in the gaps in my education. Any other recreatiinal scholars out there? Or those who might like to give it a try? Is there aparticular website or school you favor for open courses? Any subjects you favor in particular?

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6228 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
MaryLouise
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I've done a number of courses through Coursera, EdX and FutureLearn. Because I work from home as a freelance writer and editor, I can choose when and how much I participate in free courses. I have done these courses since 2012 -- the beginning of the global MOOCs -- and made some great friends, learned a great deal.

*MOOC* stands for Mass Online Open Course. Many now have payment options, but at the beginning they were free and attracted very large groups.

One of my favourites has been the EdX MOOC given by Professor Greg Nagy of Harvard on the Ancient Greek Hero, a study of the Iliad and Odyssey, followed by studies on Pindar, Sappho, the Oresteia trilogy, etc. Here was where I unlearned all the sweeping assumptions acquired at school about the Greek classics. Through this course, I went on to join study groups at the Centre for Hellenic Studies online.

Each year I do a stint as a teaching assistant with one of the most popular and acclaimed MOOCs ever, Modern and Contemporary American Poetry led by Al Filreis of Kelly Writers' House at Penn State University and on Coursera. It's known colloquially as ModPo and has received a lot of attention in the media for creating a new collaborative kind of pedagogy.

This year, ModPo begins tomorrow and goes on until November. The course stays open all year long after that with study groups carrying on discussions and close collaborative readings on, for example, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, the Harlem Renaissance, HD, Wallace Stevens, the Beat Poets, the New York School like Frank O'Hara, Language Poets like Susan Howe and Charles Bernstein. Performance poets, emerging poets, neglected poets. There are extensive online resources of readings, videos, podcasts and archived materials.

What amazes me about those participating in ModPo is that they often hated poetry at school or were intimidated by 'difficult' poems. Many are scientists,lawyers, teachers, retired professionals, IT workers, health workers, people from Europe, Asia, North Africa, Latin America. They go back to look at old favourites, hate some of the poets studied, discover new poets, watch the videos, join the discussions, write essays if they want a course qualification. They come back, as I do, year after year, as much for the community as anything else. It is free of charge and will stay that way.

If you are interested, you can enroll here:

Modern and Contemporary American Poetry

Please PM me if you have any trouble accessing the url.

[ 09. September 2017, 04:33: Message edited by: MaryLouise ]

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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Tree Bee

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I've done 2 Futurelearn courses, Genealogy and Quaker history.
Found both enlightening and fascinating. I appreciated the flexibility of studying exactly when I wanted to, and having support and feedback via the comments of other students.

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"Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple."
— Woody Guthrie
http://saysaysay54.wordpress.com

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leo
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I don't see the point of taking courses when one can read books.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

Posts: 22957 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Because the book isn't challenging thinking the way a course does.

Duolingo is a great app for computer and smartphone for language learning. It also provides reminders and video-game like reinforcement.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10748 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

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And books don't provide certificates of learning, which can be useful to demonstrate self-directed CPD or knowledge of a something.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Schroedinger's cat

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I have never done any (My PhD is quite enough), but Ilike the idea. THey give people an opportunity to learn things that they would not have any access to otherwise.

I am a great fan of Lifelong learning, and this seems like a good way of doing this for people who cannot attend things.

It isn't an aternative to books. It is progress from just books.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18470 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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I thoroughly enjoyed FutureLearn's Logic and Critical Thinking class via the University of Auckland. I also thorougly enjoyed Coursera's "Thew Bible's Prehistory, Purpose and Political Future," taught by Jacob Wright of Emory University...one of the best courses I have taken. In the past I took courses on Greek mythology and ancient Greek culture -- I think they were through the University of Virginia.

Right now I'm taking two philosophy classes on Coursera, one on Plato and one on Aristotle-- for some reason they offered both classes in this two- part series simultaneously. And I'm working on Spanish and French via Duolingo, although T some point I know I need to buy a textbook to understand the whys of the grammar.

What are everyone's favorite language courses? Again...feeling a need to go veyond Duolingo.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6228 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mili

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Khan academy is a great free maths website. Kids can use it to learn or revise maths concepts, to go over gaps in their maths knowledge and also extend their learning above what they are currently learning at school. But it's lessons also cover higher maths up to college level, so it's also great for adults who missed out on certain concepts at school, didn't study maths at a higher level and want to learn now or want to revise their knowledge to help their children with homework etc.
Posts: 1000 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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I hated algebra in high school, and an item on my bucket list is to revisit algebra and trig, without the pressure of grades and peers, and just prove to myself that I can master it. I had wanted to do aln EdEx allgebra class, but it's not compatible with smartphones...so I did visit Khan Academy, and found it pretty easy to use. I am already overenrolled in this kind of thing -- when the Coursera classes come up zi feel compelled to take them before they disappear for a year or more, or forever...when my current crunch is over I may take an algebra class in earnest.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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Aravis
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I've done a few FutureLearn courses, some better than others. There is a truly outstanding course led by Jon Bate on literature and mental health which they run once or twice a year. I have a degree in English Lit (admittedly from quite a long time ago) but this course gave me new insight into many well-known writers, and inspired me to start memorising poems again. There was also an excellent (and rather difficult) course on recent advances in cancer treatment from Glasgow University.
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wild haggis
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It's sad that so many courses now cost a lot. Hampers life long learning at a higher level.

I never did my PhD although asked to by my Master's dissertation supervisor a few years back ......couldn't afford it at Kings, London.
Even searching to see if I could get funding from trusts etc - I seemed to fall between too many stools.
I looked at the Open uni options- but the cost was still too much, for someone retired now but then working part-time due to health issues.

Extending advanced learning is great but it's no good if you have no money.

I joined a theology forum group in Suffolk. That was very good with many excellent speakers and you could follow trails with discussions. Now we have moved; so looking for one here - think I might have found one!

I'm doing a free course in learning Welsh on line at the moment. It's not brilliant but fun and slowly, slowly..........A course at Cardiff uni costs £500 per term, from what I was told. I can't drive so am limited to public transport.
I'm enjoying my free on-line course though......if I can get it into my thick head!

BBC 4 has some good programmes on telly, that make you think and follow up interesting leads. Inter-library loans are great if your local library doesn't have the books.

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wild haggis

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Because the book isn't challenging thinking the way a course does.

It is if:

a) you belong to a book group
b) you preach and lead study groups

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

Posts: 22957 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
And books don't provide certificates of learning, which can be useful to demonstrate self-directed CPD or knowledge of a something.

Luckily I have enough 'letters after my name' not to have to prove anything more.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

Posts: 22957 | From: Bristol | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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How nice for you, Leo.

No prophet's flag and Curiosity: Indeed. I find the extra intellectual challenge of lectures, discussion questions and peer commentary very useful in remembering/internalizing what I have read. And if I were younger and had something to prove academically or professionally, I'd love thr certifications. Fr that matter, if I were even tounger, I'd love the opportunity to go beyond my grade level and take university lwvel courses in subjects Ii liked...how great for homeschoolers and afterschoolers.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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St. Gwladys
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Well, I failed my biochemistry degree, eventually got an OU Social Work degree, but I still have areas of interest which I haven't explored. Future learn often offers interesting courses - I too did the one on the Quakers. Some I have skimmed, some I have abandoned, some have been riveting. It's nice to be able to continue to learn.
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MaryLouise
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There seems to be as much debate on what 'learning' might be as there is on another thread about what 'prayer' might mean.

Few of us think learning stops with a qualification or certificate. That is often just the beginning to a whole new learning curve in a career or research trajectory.

As a solitary child, books were my primary companions and I have learned a great deal from sitting alone reading and rereading books. I've also learned a great deal from reading good reviews of books and learning to think more critically about what I am reading and what 'reading' involves beyond just turning the page to see what happens next.

I loved post-grad study at university and it almost bankrupted me. Most people now don't get that kind of opportunity. I learned most from seminars with my peers, as well as from writing essays and papers. I learned least from lectures because I don't find it easy to follow spoken lectures any more than long-winded sermons. And I don't learn well from podcasts and videos, a pity because there are great free lecture series out there.

When I join forums or MOOCs, I learn by interaction. With MOOCs I can go away and study on my own, develop reading lists, bookmark resources. But it is the exchange of opinions between participants that sharpens or broadens my thinking. And because online participation involves writing posts and replying to posts, I like to think I become more adept at expressing myself. I also find that these exchanges often lead to me changing my views, or refining positions, thinking twice.

And with that interaction often comes online friendship. That is what I find most helpful, the building of community so that over time I learn to listen more carefully, trust others to hear me say unpopular or complicated things, where I feel not just heard but understood, accepted and befriended.

It all sounds a bit idealistic put this way, but I have found online learning opportunities to be transformative.

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

Posts: 433 | From: Cape Town | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

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Real life example, I do a lot of project management as it's something embedded in much of what I do and have done. I do mot have the specific vocabulary (jargon) to demonstrate I have those skills at interview. (My daughter is an engineer and part of her degree involved group work. When one of her colleagues was slacking I told her how to manage the situation by setting up meetings and logs. Apparently, when she covered project management this was all in the course and she got kudos for implementing this.) The cost of taking a course in project management is £1000 plus. Future Learn are offering a course free, £49 with certification.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Graven Image
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Did and EDx class on St. Paul and really enjoyed it. It was a while back and it was free from Harvard. I enjoyed the on line discussion part of it. This year I am taking an art class from Willowing Arts. It was $100.00 for a year of more then 52 lessons. . A good deal I would say.
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Jane R
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I don't do MOOCs - except for Duolinguo, which is helping me to brush up my German. Once I have (re) achieved fluency in German I plan to move on to other languages...

The other thing I'm interested in at the moment is music (piano and voice) and I'm taking lessons with real-life teachers as online courses aren't really suited to that sort of thing.

Reading non-fiction books is Work. I only do it for fun if the book is exceptionally interesting.

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Kitten
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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:


I'm doing a free course in learning Welsh on line at the moment. It's not brilliant but fun and slowly, slowly..........A course at Cardiff uni costs £500 per term, from what I was told. I can't drive so am limited to public transport.
I'm enjoying my free on-line course though......if I can get it into my thick head!


Do you have a link to the course?, I would be interested in it

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Maius intra qua extra

Never accept a ride from a stranger, unless they are in a big blue box

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Jane R
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Duolingo has a Welsh course - not sure whether this is the same one, though.

Duolingo

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Kitten
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Thank you

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Maius intra qua extra

Never accept a ride from a stranger, unless they are in a big blue box

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LutheranChik
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Any free Latin classes? I took Latin back in high school and am curious to see how much of the grammar I can rwtrieve from my increasingly foggy memory.

Duolingo: I agree that it's great for a refresher. It helped me rwmember a lot of my German. Very frustrating to tackle a new language, tbough, without grammatical backup.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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LutheranChik
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Are there any free Latin classes out there? I'm curious to see how much grammar is tucked away in my memory after 40 years of disuse. (Some Shippies may ve interested to know that YouTube has a video course on Homeric Greek for the highly motivated -- you do have to purchase a textbook to follow along. Too ambitious for me, but perhaps not for other fans of Classical studues.)

I agree that Duolingo is great as a refresher, and to keep up on current idioms_/casual usage. Very frustrating to use in learning a new language, tbough, at least without grammatical backup and more robust spoken practice.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6228 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
wild haggis
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My Welsh course is "Say Something in Welsh" It is audio, which you need because of the vagaries of the Welsh phonetic system. A bit over heavy on the same phrases, just building up verbal strings, but it does help with pronunciation. You also need another human who speaks the language to help correct you.

Not interested in doing courses just for letters after my name but for doing research with top academics in the discipline.

I'd hate to stop learning new things. The world is too big a place to be content with your own wee corner.

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wild haggis

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wild haggis
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Just checked our Duolingo Welsh course: doesn't seem to have an aural/repeat section. So how do you learn to speak the language? Maybe I'm doing something wrong (being a haggis of little brain!).

If you are learning a language you actually need to hear it and be able to use it. Each language has a different phonetic structure, so just by sounding out Welsh using English phonics will give you very weird words - not Welsh.

Think I'll stick with the one I'm on and try and find a free course I can get to here in Cardiff.

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wild haggis

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Ethne Alba
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I use Alison a fair bit, especially while off work with health related issues and contemplating (each time) whether or not i will be able to return.

I find that there is a wide variety of subjects on offer and for people like me who don't have a university background, Alison gives me enough basic knowledge of any given area to start things off and take it further if and when i want to.
Certainly Alison has given me a head start then completing various obligatory courses.

I quite like OUs free courses and they do change from year to year as well.

On the basis that if i don't use my mind then i run the risk of loosing it....it's kinda fun

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Jane R
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wild haggis:
quote:
Just checked our Duolingo Welsh course: doesn't seem to have an aural/repeat section.
You click on the little icon of the speaker to get it to repeat the recording. If you have a headset with microphone you should be able to get it to assess your repetition of the phrases as well, but when I tried that it didn't like my voice or something (I know I wasn't mispronouncing anything; my German pronunciation has been commended by native speakers). So nowadays I pretend my headset doesn't have a microphone.
Posts: 3835 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Just checked our Duolingo Welsh course: doesn't seem to have an aural/repeat section. So how do you learn to speak the language? Maybe I'm doing something wrong (being a haggis of little brain!).

If you are learning a language you actually need to hear it and be able to use it. Each language has a different phonetic structure, so just by sounding out Welsh using English phonics will give you very weird words - not Welsh.

Think I'll stick with the one I'm on and try and find a free course I can get to here in Cardiff.

Ahem, just a heads-up, if you look at https://learnwelsh.cymru you'll find that there are courses not far from Cardiff that cost a lot less than it does there. In some places it costs £60 for a whole year of classes.

If you are talking about the free class that I think you're talking about (SSI Welsh?) you'll find that your spoken language might be good in a very narrow collection of phrases that you've learned, but you'll have little understanding of the structure of the language.

Both the duolingo app and the classes spend more time building up the structure compared to the free course. In addition, the free classes are said by some to give Welsh which is very regional and doesn't sound much like the Welsh spoken in the rest of South Wales.

But then you'd probably not learn a whole lot if you only went to classes once a week - unless you happen to be around Welsh speakers in Cardiff, you're probably going to have to use a mix of the resources to improve.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
If you have a headset with microphone you should be able to get it to assess your repetition of the phrases as well, but when I tried that it didn't like my voice or something (I know I wasn't mispronouncing anything; my German pronunciation has been commended by native speakers). So nowadays I pretend my headset doesn't have a microphone.

I think you can have it (duo lingo) assess your spoken language in some languages, but not in Welsh. In Welsh is is solely about listening and typing the words.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
My Welsh course is "Say Something in Welsh" It is audio, which you need because of the vagaries of the Welsh phonetic system. A bit over heavy on the same phrases, just building up verbal strings, but it does help with pronunciation. You also need another human who speaks the language to help correct you.

Not interested in doing courses just for letters after my name but for doing research with top academics in the discipline.

I'd hate to stop learning new things. The world is too big a place to be content with your own wee corner.

Sorry, I missed this: yes, the problem is that SSIW is only repeating phrases - and some of the way the sentences are put together are only relevant to a small area in Western Wales.

If you try to use SSIW in addition to other resources like DL and classes, you'll probably get confused pretty quickly.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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LutheranChik
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Futurelearn currently has a class on weather from the University of Exeter -- veey informal, adult- enrichment level meteorology. I live in a weather- intensive part of the world, so it's interesting to me to go beyond the little 30- second factlets the local meteorologists sprinkle into their reports.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6228 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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One of the best I took was an archaeology course on Coursera many years ago. In another life... We did clay pressings, used 3D modelling software to convert photos to 3D, researched a site... Great fun. And the class was fun, as were the instructors. We posted our fails for ridicule (good natured!) as well as successes. Great sense of camaraderie.

Since then I've done Scandinavian cinema, astronomy, history of humanity with Yuvel Noah Hariri, data science, languages and more. So much to learn.

Posts: 7337 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
wild haggis
Shipmate
# 15555

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Thanks folk for all the help. Much appreciated.

Sorted out the sound on the "Duolingo" course and can hear it now. Told you I was a haggis of little brain - these heather hills in Wales do bog one down!!!!!

Problem with the free or cheaper courses is that being able to only travel by bus from the hills of Cardiff ...........................never mind continuing with "Duolingo" and "Say Something in Welsh" (better than "Duolingo") and trying it out on the old ladies in church.
Diolch. (thank you)

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wild haggis

Posts: 78 | From: Cardiff | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged


 
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