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The boot’s on the other foot now November 24, 2009

Posted by IaninSheffield in research, TELIC.
Tags: , ,

From "It'sGreg" on Flickr

Two of the guys on the course I’m working on are Belgian.  They join us fortnightly in an Adobe Connect meeting room, we contribute to discussion boards and a forum and we’re working collaboratively on a wiki . . . and all that takes place in the English language.  I never cease to be humbled by how well they’re able, not only to converse, but also to work at such a high level and cope with the technical terminology too, in what is their second language.

We’re currently critiquing research papers in preparation for a forthcoming case study.  The first two were in English; this third one is too, but was written by a previous student on the course, a Dutch guy.  What’s more the report has been produced for good reasons in blog format – it’s online.  So whilst I can understand the main body of the text – in my first and only language (discounting a soupçon of French and ein bisschen of German), half the references are by Dutch authors and many of the comments on the blog posts are in Dutch too.  I’ve tried translating a few using Google Translator, but of course it’s so laborious.  So I’ve learned two things:

  1. I’m even more impressed with the capability of my Belgian friends
  2. That there are vast reaches of the WWW to which I have no access by dint of my linguistic shortcomings


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