All posts by Niina Pekkanen

Inspiration

 

Seven deadly sins of speaking: oh no, I new I’m boring/awful person! But I’ve noticed this before and tried to get over those bad habits.

HAIL: H for honesty, being straight and  clear, A for authenticity, being yourself, I for integrity, being your word and L for love, wish them well. First three made me think about Finnish group communication especially in work: Finns tend to be straight in their words and being almost too exactly their word: if I say this out loud it is straightly a promise (Remember the Iron Sky, Finland was only one who kept the promise not to create war stuff or atom bomb or something). This came to my mind because of the other course and the presentation I had today.

And then Treasure talked about speech communication and prosody and I’m again so excited about my field and my studies I don’t know what to write down! After my essay, I’m extremely interested about prosody, and I had in my speech communication course a voice train part and it was so fun and I just feel I’m now exactly where I need to be!

And I’m really excited about tomorrow’s presentations.

Presentation

Against all the odds I survived through the presentation!

There was so much to say, I forgot so many things, stuttered and everything, but I were after all a bit quicker than when I rehearsed the presentation. Okay, I admit, I rehearsed it through only with myself, it felt too nervous to go through the presentation with my boyfriend or any other with whom I interact more than those whom I see only in the class… It just felt way too confusing.

But it was fun to moderate and moderate Prezi. But I’m not going to pay any more notice to the fact there were things that should have been white board and they weren’t. (Even minutes before presentation I tried to remodel Prezi, but the app doesn’t support Android…)

After the presentation I barely remembered what I had talked, and only hoped that someone had caught some information from my presentation, although I was so nervous and possibly unclear. I really tried to get it straight! (And it was funny that the next presentation was also about conversation analysis, and the next also about speech… I felt really sorry I had to leave early.)

 

It feels wonderful I can now concentrate to the other’s presentations!

Feeling great!

Today in the lesson I got really excited about the presentation and especially about Prezi although I didn’t yet understand it fully I want to make more and more stuff with it and can’t wait the other course when we have to have presentations and I will get a possibility to use this cool aid! It feels just awful I don’t have at the moment more time to figure things out (having now just a pause in the cooking for forty persons)

I have kept reading the book of sequence organization. At the moment I’m getting to know the retro-sequence which in short means the conversation doesn’t move forward, the talkers are just talking about the matter and the adjacency pair has been completed long time. (This means I haven’t exactly got to the end of the book but I trust I don’t have time in my presentation to get very deep in the sequence organization.) Last year we didn’t really have enough time with all the types of expansions and retros have made me understand what post-expansions may also be.

My hunting for the opportunities to speak English haven’t really been hard enough but for example today I got hold of myself and talked with her longer than ever before.

Reading

I’m not so scared anymore, things have figured out: I’ve got to know what’s the essay and I’m now feeling just really nervous about the presentation. But my point this time is reading.

During this semester I have possibly more academic books than ever before in my studying time. That’s not only because of the English course but because I have done more exams of the faculty than before. I have for example read about theatre historiography and the angles of the study of the literature, and right now (and last half of a year) I have got to know the fairy tales and their importance. Before I have mainly read one book now and then but this fall has been a hard piece. Mostly the texts I’ve read about and of my field have been articles from different sources.

For the English course I wanted to take a book which I would have read last year if I would have gone to the same course and that time it would had have something to do with my other studies also. Last year I did my bachelor and therefore studied my field, conversation analysis and got to know the introduction book of Schegloff’s. Because of the long queues in the library I bought the book from the amazon, but didn’t have enough time to read the whole book even if I wanted. That is why it was really nice to get the chance and compulsion to read something own-field-related. Other books I have recently read have been about my minor subjects. Reading has been fun and nice because the terms have been common for me in comparison to the language and terms of the theatre science which surprises me continually. The harder side of the reading has been the fact that Schegloff uses way too often unbelievably long sentences. Every now and then I have no chance of remembering the beginning or the meaning of it when I come to an end of it…

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m reading Emmanuel Schegloff’s book Secuence Organization in Interaction, which is a basic handbook of the sequence organization. This means I’ve been and I’m studying how people in interaction talk about certain topics or move to the topic. The conversation analysis do not judge the talking of the people but tries to find out the ways of talking, how certain structures build up, trying to find out the theory of conversation like how the other knows when the speaker is going to end speaking or how people get over of the problems. Sequence means the part of the conversation which is of certain topic or moving towards or continuing it. The basic sequence includes adjacency pair, but may have expansions before, in the middle or afterwards.

Main part of the sequence organization is also preference which means that certain kind of first pair part (beginning of the adjacency pair) waits for certain kind of second pair part (last part of adjacency pair). Interesting about preference is that how people try not to answer unpreferred way, those times they answer after a moment, circle around the straight answer and try to make the unpreferred answer sound preferred. Fascinating! I’ll go back to read…

Girl who is afraid of English course

Recently I’ve had problems with my English course. I’m so afraid and extremely nervous with the course. I’m not sure what to do: there is presentation coming and I haven’t yet read my independent book through, I’m not sure what to put to my essay or am I writing about article which I’ve found or can I write about my book.

The problem is I don’t exactly know why I’m so afraid, I trust I’m capable of speaking and writing English quite properly at least with some help and preparation. Still I’m thinking about the course all the time and feeling very very nervous about it even when I’m trying to do my Estonian homeworks or to read short stories to literary course. I’ve had fun at the English course but about three last times I’ve not been myself: words don’t come out properly, writing is hard I don’t remember the words even as much as usually.

At home I feel bad if I’m not reading stuff for English course but to the becoming exam and other way round, even when the book for exam is also in English. I watch much videos and series in English and think about it how I’ve developed (but accidentally don’t write about it to my blog…), but it just feels those things doesn’t some way matter.

 

So, at the moment this all feels quite bad. Must find a way to make also this course my cup of tea!

 

 

P.S. I think I wasn’t quite clever when I didn’t do this course a year ago when I would have read same materials to my BA-stuff vs. now when I study mostly literature instead of conversation analysis (which I found as my field but not the main point this semester).

Differences + Martin

Firstly, I have slightly tried to learn the differences between British and American English vocabulary and I must say that I have no idea of those. I spell words British way if there’s a same way pronounced word but of actual vocabulary I have no idea. Reason for why I think that I’ve no idea of the different vocabularies is the quiz I’ve been trying to do and the fact that I can even guess correctly is like one out of ten. With some words I may know that there exists also another word for the same thing but I usually can’t say which one is British or American. So there is absolutely one point on which I have to concentrate when writing academical texts in English, knowing the fact that I’ll have to check most of the words if there happens to be other word that I should use.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/audio/2014/aug/12/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-books-podcast

Secondly, I have now listened a podcast first time, or at least an entire podcast. I found that really hard because there were no helping hands or any kind of gestures or images which would have helped me to make sure I understand things correctly. Second hardening thing was that the sound came out only from the other earpiece there was some bug or fault in the sound file.

Whatsoever I listened Guardians podcast from Edinborough book happening where G. R. R. Martin told about his book series The song of Ice and Fire. He told bits of his background as reader and writer, how he came up doing this kind of characters and whom he had used as models. There were information how long Martin have done his saga and what he has done before and why (to irritate some people who say some genres can’t get blended), how much he have done background work, if it can be called that. He have been interested of history and about created the whole saga because he thought the wall in Scotland being so amazing (and then made it hundreds of times bigger in The sing of Ice and Fire).

He also told about plotting how some people think certain details over and over and find out who did certain things years before the exact book comes out. This made me think how I don’t usually want to do that thinking myself or either watch it from the internet. If I want to know what will happen, it won’t be a happening so far as three books from now but to make sure the current character will live through this book, meaning that I hope there will be happy ending. So, I’m also quite bad because I usually peek to ending of the book… Which isn’t certainly bad with Martin’s books because the straight ending tells only one character’s happiness in the end of the book.

I’m one of those who call the saga Game of Thrones because I watched the TV series first and after that started reading. I haven’t been an active on either but have been trying to read first what will happen in TV after a BIG BAD thing came out from TV and I didn’t have a moment to get prepared to mass-slauther. I can some way handle bad things in books but because the TV series is so raw, violent and stuff I’ve decided to be a bit informed early.

Thirdly I’ve tried to be a good girl and have done preposition quizzes to improve my understanding with prepositions and phrasal verbs.  And well, I have done hours of them and I think I’ve also learned something. With time prepositions I just wondered why nobody had told me those ruling things before! Now I usually have some idea of the preposition in time situations.

How to get motivated?

I watched a video about motivation from ted.com this week.

Dan Pink tells how the managers should or should not reward their subordinates. He argues that usual rewards aren’t as effective as a possibility to do anything one wants to do.

This feels quite right if I think only myself, of course I in the end like more about those jobs I have to do for the course which I can form myself. Then I can observe things I’m most interested. Although with course works deadlines are always complicate part: I have to figure what I want to study before the deadline… contrary to Pink’s aim about free-job-days when a subordinate can do anything s/he wants. Usually this creates new wonderful ideas which wouldn’t have came to anyone’s mind without this special day. Pink says that different companies make out different amounts of time for free-working.

This may be why I liked doing my bachelor and why I’m interested of being on researcher, possibility and certain motivation to conversation analysis! This means also that I haven’t yet found out what else I’m capable to do being a conversation analyzer.

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Pronunciation is clearly a part of language I have to pay attention. In the class it was here and there confusingly hard to figure out the contrasts in English, I don’t recognize nor understand nearly any accents, I can only say that some accents I do understand and the others I do not (and after all I’m supposed to be a linguist!).

After watching some more pronunciation videos I have to admit it would be nice to learn to  say words out correctly…

Browsing and will to understand

I’ve been trying to find a suitable article for course but found the task quite hard because I’ve already read the most of the articles I find about my field from different databases. During my  BA-work I tried databases for many and many times usually not knowing the correct words to find new stuff. Instead I normally found new interesting article from resources of the article or book which I was at the time reading. Same problem lies here again: I can’t imagine the new suitable words to find new interesting articles.

I have become to think that that might be because I’m trying to find article about exactly same thing I’m studying which means relating conversation analysis with performance studies. Maybe if I try some other way to come to same place… In my BA-work I studied news sequence and how that is created firstly to the play and after that to the performance. So if I start from more far away not trying to relate these things yet because that haven’t really happened before very much. That means I’m going to find something about news sequence or some other sequence – some other kind of telling for example? Or I try to find something that includes only theatre studies something about theatres language? I’m already trying to understand more deeply the sequence organization itself in my independent work, reading Schegloff’s Sequence Organization in Interaction.

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Same time I’ve been trying to find interesting material I’ve watched Endeavour, Inspector Lewis and Father Ted with Finnish or English or without subtitles. I’ve found that I can concentrate to the vision if I don’t have subtitles in Finnish. If they’re in Finnish I watch almost only them and try to understand the story through them and I watch the exact vision only now and then. Lately I have also sometimes noticed if the translation isn’t correct – but mostly that is done by my companion.

With English subtitles I follow all three the vision, the subtitles and the voice. I also notice if there is something said that isn’t mentioned in the subtitles. With English subtitles I’ve also began (during the English course) to repeat new or interesting words I hear and see. Of course there usually is many jokes or happenings I don’t notice because I don’t understand but I’m developing.

Some series I’ve tried to follow without any kind of subtitles but if all the speakers aren’t familiar for me it becomes now and then hard to follow the story even if vision is helping. Still it has been so far quite easy to follow speaking in ted.com also without subtitles. I suppose I concentrate to telling different way while watching those videos.

 

This kind of things so far, let’s hope I’ll find suitable article!

Playing and new reality

I have played lots and lots of Free Rice but forgot to get to know what new words mean although I now almost know what are synonyms to those words. I also loaded quizlet app, but havne’t yet played it very much because I think there isn’t yet enough new words in it. But I hope I’ll soon remember give it a new try.

I also watched a new video from ted.com (link below).

Barnett tells there about his book which adds to child’s world a new level. He tells about times when he has told stories which child has wanted to be truth and that how child wants that story to be true although the child also knows that it isn’t the truth. Meaning that child hopes s/he will find another door to Narnia or that s/he really can call to whale when s/he wants.

After the video I began to think my childhoods favourite books  and bookseries and those really did had their secret doors in them. After I read Eoin Colfers Artemis Fowls I began to see elves all over the places (in real heat over the grill), understood where and why they hide from humans and have of course felt their presence after that behind me. After Harry Potters it was okay for me that I wasn’t accepted to Hogwarts but still I have hoped I would see someone doing magic or rather remember it because I know that there exists spells to wipe your memory.

I have thought this quite a lot and now I’m hoping I can help another children to find same kind of books or stories that make them feel that there is a bit more in our reality.

Starting up

Here it begins … again.

This is now my second time starting up this English course learning blog because I happened to delete the first one. I assume that this will be easier after things get settled. Or at least I hope I’ll learn the tricks of blogging during this autumn…

Well as I said this blog will be learning blog, mainly metacognitional. I’ll write about my watchings, doings, readings and listenings, what have I learned, understood or thought and the aim is to develop as English writer and feel more easy with it.

What I have done with English lately is that I have watched films in English (mostly with English subtitles) and read coursebooks. My main subject is Finnish language and speciality in conversation analysis of which there is literature both in English and in Finnish, but my BA demanded me get to know mostly with stuff in English. I’ve also read academic texts about literature and theatre studies. That’s briefly my latest background and now I will move to course contents.

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Last week I watched from ted.com video which is one of the most popular in the site, Amy Cuddy’s  Your body language shapes who you areCuddy begins with basics about how body language truly is part of the conversation and how people recognize certain gestures and poses loaded with certain meanings. Then she moves to the research she had done and revealed that already a two-minute confident posing increases our testosterone levels and makes us feel and seem more powerful. Finally she told two stories how one can feel that s/he isn’t part of certain society but can become one by faking so long s/he begins to feel to be part of it. For motto of the video becomes “Fake it until you become it!”

I hadn’t really thought how position really matters, of course I try to keep up good posture but that it has an influence to our hormones was partly news for me. All the same I felt quite relieved when I heard you can pretend to powerful or smart or feeling part of the group and that way also at least become it. I think it really can help posing for example in the toilet before job interview and feeling confident already when going in instead of bad-posture-sitting and reading your notes again and again.