Thursday, September 30, 2010

Atúriahani (Studying)

I haven't posted much lately because I've been busy with an online master's degree program in applied linguistics that began recently. It's through the University of Massachusetts, and language learning is one of the central parts. I think it will be useful for teaching, missions, and my own language learning, which all tie together. One good thing is that I get to study Garifuna for some of my classwork.

The first class is applied linguistics. Not everyone in the program has a background in the field, so it's an introductory course, but aimed toward language learning and language teachers. One of my projects for this class is fieldwork in Garifuna. I'm looking at how imperative verbs (commands) work: intransitive, transitive, affirmative, negative, singular, plural, etc.

My second class is about cross-cultural perspectives. We have to spend time in a cross-cultural context, take field notes, and write a paper about several cultural themes. Since I get to interact with Garifuna friends in their homes, at Bible study, at church, etc., I can focus on some areas of interest and write about them.

My third class is about bilingual/multicultural education, and we are required to observe and write about some kind of program along these lines. There are Garifuna classes at an elementary school in a nearby community, and I'm hoping it works out to do my observations there.

My "cohort" ("classmates") and I have online discussion forums, so I get to share my experiences and learn from others. I'm still figuring out time management; the advantage is that I can program my own hours each week. I've done a lot of work today, so now I get to reward myself reviewing Garifuna verbs in a computer program. =) More on that next time. =)

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