The first blog I reviewed was at http://www.encathymini.fr/duboutdeslettres/2011/07/25/matinale-de-la-sft-ce-que-les-chasseurs-de-tete-ont-dans-la-tete/ . It is written in French by a woman who discusses the importance of a French CV, and most essentially, what you can add to make it stand out. I found this blog useful as I have just begun to learn about how to write a French CV in college, and the layout and style is quite different to that of an Irish CV. The author also gave tips on writing a ‘profil’, which I can only liken to a cover page where details of personality etc. are given. While outlining the dos and don’ts of writing these documents the author writes in an informal and humorous style, making it an easy read. She also lays out her discussion in bullet points, which is helpful when you’re not a native speaker. The only criticism I would have of this blog is that ‘la SFT’ is referred to but not explained and I couldn’t find an explanation online however this isn’t entirely a show of the authors negligence as it is likely an abbreviation that most French people would understand. I will definitely refer back to this blog in the future when writing my own French CV.
The second blog I read was at http://www.everydaylanguagelearner.com/ . It is written by a man who is American but has a Mexican wife and so their son is being raised bilingually. The blog is mainly about the methods of learning vocabulary in another language. I found this site useful as the author goes through the different ways in which one can understand the meaning of a word, both by seeing a word and eliciting a meaning, known as passive vocabulary, or by thinking of something and coming up with the word for it yourself, known as active vocabulary. The author also mentions a method of learning known as spaced repetition which is particularly useful for language learners. I found this blog particularly useful as the author included links to other blogs relating to language learning. One failing of this blog is that despite the fact that the author mentions the importance of other factors such as listening and communicating in another language he includes no links to these and therefore the article is aimed mainly at vocabulary learners only.
From my second blog I found a link to the third log I will discuss, http://www.everydaylanguagelearner.com/2012/01/12/anki-bringing-flashcards-out-of-stone-age/ . This blog discusses the uses of an App which can be used to learn vocabulary on the go, known as Anki. The person reviewing this App is an avid language learner and this blog was of particular use to me as I can use it as a guideline to review language learning Apps myself. As I do not yet have Anki I will soon download it to my own phone and see what improvement it makes to my language learning, I might even review it myself. The author had also begun to encourage his Japanese students to start using this App in order to learn English which just goes to show how valuable technology is becoming in the classroom. I would have little criticism for this blog as it is cleanly laid out and written in a direct manner. The only problem that the author refers to is the fact that Anki costs approximately $20 in an Iphone App store which could be problematic to students.
The final blog I read was about how speaking to people about the fact you’re learning a language encourages you to keep studying it. (http://www.mezzoguild.com/2013/09/15/language-learning-and-public-accountability/ ). The entire blog was very encouraging and humorous as the author made reference to ‘positive nagging’, in other words if people keep asking how you’re doing in your language learning it will spur you on to keep learning it. I can relate to this myself, especially as a student, as I’m surrounded by people in the same course every day and we all discuss our progress from time to time. It’s definitely more useful to be outspoken about learning a language than learning it privately since the purpose of language is communication. The only problem I had with this blog was that it was adults learning a language privately rather than students who were the target audience however I still found it useful as a source of encouragement to continue studying my languages.