Sunday, June 14, 2009

A retake on LiveMocha!

Well, I am still sitting at my PC and I haven't dusted off any of my Greek grammar or poetry books. But I did go back to an earlier post on this blog and check out LiveMocha again. When I tried LiveMocha last time there was a very limited range of languages available and the site was very new. From the choice available I chose French, not because it was new to me but because I feel it was a lost skill.

I worked my way through quite a few lessons but found some of it a bit frustrating. I felt the course needed clearer instructions and some components to the course did not add value for me. There also seemed to me to be mistakes in corrections made to my work but I was too slack to chase these up. A reason for that could well have been the voluntary, social networking type of learning approach and that's fine.

LiveMocha has regularly kept in email contact with me since I slacked off with my French last year so I knew that there were new languages available and somewhere in my head was a memory that Greek was now available. So today I checked it out! Three hours later I have completed the six lessons in Unit 1 of Greek 101, including optional sections and quizzes! I have two more units to go to complete Greek 101.

Greek 101 is for absolute beginners, so given the fact that decades ago I did complete Modern Greek 1 at University level it wasn't too hard for me and it really wasn't until Lesson 6 that I found I had to bother about some vocab. I thought LiveMocha had improved: there were good instructions for each lessons and the components of lessons were useful and clear. It was good to have revision exercises.

I will try to continue with reviving my lost (and never very good) Greek and might even go back to my French. However, I do wonder with Greek how an English first language person with absolutely no knowledge of Greek would go at starting the Greek. There is an assumption that you know the alphabet it seems to me, but maybe I am wrong. One day I will try out a language I know nothing about but for the moment sticking with Greek will be a good learning exercise for my brain.

Mikis Theodorakis in East Berlin 1987: 22 Sto Perigiali (Arnisi)

My sister tells me that practising another language is a great way to exercise my brain. Today I decided to try to mash up my Web 2.0 skills with language learning to help me with this. And I found this absolutely fabulous little gem on Youtube: it features Mikis Theodorakis himself singing his own composition based on Giorgos Seferis's poem Arnisi (Sto perigiali). As this is one of the few Seferis poems that I understand the words for, I was overjoyed to find it.

I have previously done some Sophia Vembo hunting on Youtube but must remember that Youtube is a great source of assistance for language maintenance and language learning. Now to dust off my Seferis and try to read some of his poems in printed form? And I could see if one of the onlines tools I experimented with earlier in this blog now does Greek? They didn't before.

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