Learning a Foreign Language

Learning a foreign language…

                It all started last February.  First it was pedagogy, then andragogy, then heutogogy; the study of teaching, of teaching adults and of autonomous learning. 

                Now it is ISD and ADDIE:  Instructional Systems Design and Analysis, Design, Development, Implement and Evaluate – even the author who wrote of it admits they are similar (Moore & Kearsley, 2012).  Honestly?  They look like the good old scientific method or the problem solving plans I learned while studying business.  Of course, the most important steps in each are the planning required for development and the analysis or evaluation – not of the students’ learning (testing), but of the design – did the design accomplish what it intended?  Testing students’ knowledge or their ability to apply the concepts may be part of this analysis/evaluation, but not the only part.  Did the students consider the program successful?  Were they frustrated with clarity of instruction (content or how to use it or accomplish assignments)?  Did the parts of the course fulfill its objectives?

                Admittedly, in these last readings, I ran across the word ‘paradigm’, which I have never liked.  It goes back to TQL ( the military version of Total Quality Management, because the military needs Leaders, not managers); most likely because the first thing said was that TQL was not about buzzwords, after which the word paradigm seemed to appear in every sentence – even though it was not a word that most of the students in the class had heard or used previously.

                What fresh new vocabulary awaits?  It almost seems that with each module there is a new word or acronym for me to wrap my mind around.  Sometimes I just nod my head and try to look wise (or whatever the virtual equivalent is) while my mind races around trying to remember if I’ve seen it – or where I’ve seen it and hope that I find an explanation soon; others I bite the bullet and just ask.  Thus far, my fellow students have been quite lovely about explaining things that may be old hat to them.  Sometimes I just want to start spouting pharmaceutical names, just to see if anyone notices – as if to say, “Look, I can say big words too!”  I wonder if Rosetta Stone has a course in ‘Education for the non-Native Speaker’?

Moore, M.G., & Kearsly, G., (2012).  Distance Education:  a systems view of online learning.  Belmont, CA.  Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


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