Creating your own guided reader to learn a language

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One other page worth mentioning that I remembered when taking a look at the Openlanguages site for Afrikaans is one here and here, where a story in Afrikaans is presented first entirely in English, then in a version approximately 70% English and 30% Afrikaans, then vice versa, and finally 100% Afrikaans. Though the word order in the two languages differs somewhat, for the most part it's the same and this makes it easy to do. To make your own version of this (in any language with a similar word order to English) videos on Ted.com can be the place to do it, giving an end product that can then be printed out and taken to a coffee shop or library as the vocabulary to work on for the day. This video on mathematics provides a good example. The text in English, Afrikaans and other languages can be seen to the right of the video, and this is what you copy and paste from. Then paste the content into a site like Textalyser (making sure to select 1 character as the minimum word size) to get the word count, and then change approximately 30% of it into the target language. This will first give you something like this.

Now, if President Obama invited my to be the volgende Czar of Mathematics, then I would have a suggestion for him that ek dink would vastly improve the mathematics education in hierdie land. En dit would be easy to implementer and inexpensive.

Die mathematics curriculum wat ons het is based on foundation of rekenkunde en algebra. And alles wat we learn after that is building up towards een vak. And at toppunt of that pyramid, it's calculus. And ek is hier om te sê that ek dink that that is the wrong summit of the pyramid ... dat die correct summit -- wat al ons students, every high school graduate should know -- should be statistics: waarskynlikheid en statistiek.

I mean, don't get me wrong. Integrasie rekenkunde is an important subject. Dis een van the great products of the human mind. Die wette of nature are geskryf in the language of calculus. En enige student who studies math, wetenskap, engineering, economie, they should definitely learn calculus by the end of their erste universiteitsjaar. But ek is hier to say, as a professor of mathematics, that very few people actually use calculus in a conscious, meaningful way, in their daaglikse lives. Daarinteen, statistics -- that's a subject that you could, and should, use on daily basis. Ne? It's risiko. It's reward. It's randomness. Dis understanding data.

I think as ons students, as our hoërskool students -- if all of the American burgers -- knew about probability en statistiek, sou ons nie in the economic verknorsing that we're in today nie. Nie net -- thank you -- not only that ... [but] if it's taught properly, kan dit be a lot of fun. Ek bedoel, probability and statistiek, it's the wiskunde of games and gambling. Dis die analyzing trends. It's toekomsvoorspelling. Look, die wêreld has changed from analog na digital. And dis tyd for our mathematics kurrikulum to change from analog na digital. From the meer classical, continuous mathematics, na die meer modern, discrete mathematics. The mathematics of onsekerheid, of randomness, van data -- and that being probability en statistics.

In op te som, instead of our students learning about die tegnieke of calculus, I think it would be far more betekenisvol if all of them sou weet what two standard deviations from the mean beteken. En I mean it. Thank you very much.
Note that the changes should not be uniform; that is, in some places and is replaced with en, the with die and mathematics with wiskunde, but you do not need to replace every instance when doing it since the objective is just to learn new words, and the more new words the better.

Then take the same version and add another 40% or so, making it now 70% in the target language with English now being in the minority. By this point it becomes impossible to always maintain the original word order, so some shifting around can also occur. Now it will look like this. Then put the four versions next to each other, print it out and take it with you to work on for the day. The whole process takes about 15 minutes for a short video.
Now, sou President Obama invited my to be the volgende Tsar of Mathematics, then I would have a voorstel for him that ek dink would vastly improve the wiskunde opvoeding in hierdie land. En dit would be maklik to implementer and inexpensive.

Die mathematics curriculum wat ons het is gebaseer on foundation of rekenkunde en algebra. And alles wat we leer after that bou op towards een vak. And at toppunt of that pyramid, is differensiasie en integrasie. And ek is hier om te sê that ek dink that that the verkeerde summit of the pyramid is ... dat die correct summit -- wat al ons students, elke high school graduate should verstaan -- should be statistiek: waarskynlikheid en statistiek.

I mean, don't get my wrong. Integrasie rekenkunde is an belangrike vak. Dis een van the great prestasies of the human intellek. Die wette of nature is geskryf in the taal of calculus. En enige student who studies wiskunde, wetenskap, engineering, economie, they should definitely bemeester calculus by the end of hulle erste universiteitsjaar. But ek is hier to say, as a wiskunde professor, that bitter min mense actually gebruik calculus in a conscious, betekenisvolle manier, in their daaglikse lives. Daarinteen, statistics -- that's 'n vak that you kan, and behoort, use daagliks. Ne? It's risiko. Dis vergoeding. It's randomness. Dis die verstaan van data.

Ek dink as ons students, as our hoërskool students -- as alle American burgers -- about probability en statistiek geken het, sou ons nie in the ekonomiese verknorsing that we're in today nie. Nie net -- dankie -- not only that ... [maar ook] if it's korrek taught, kan dit be a lot of fun. Ek bedoel, probability and statistiek, it's the wiskunde of speletjies en dobbel. Dis die analyzing trends. It's toekomsvoorspelling. Kyk, die wêreld has changed van analoog na digitaal. And dis tyd for our mathematics kurrikulum om te verander from analog na digital. Van the meer classical, aaneenlopende mathematics, na die meer modern, discrete wiskunde. Die wiskunde of onsekerheid, of randomness, van data -- dit is being probability en statistiek.

In op te som, instede of our studente about die tegnieke of calculus leer, dink ek it would be veel meer betekenisvol if all of them sou weet what twee standaard afwykings from the mean beteken. En I mean it. Baie dankie.

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