About a few weeks ago, I found the Etudier en France course on Coursera that is at a B1-B2 level.
I hadn’t completed a Coursera course for many years and when I saw this, I thought it was time to get back into it again. If you do a search on MOOCs (massive open online courses) on this website, you’ll see that I have written a lot about these over the years. I’m a great fan of them but know they’re not well liked by my peers in corporate Learning and Development.
Of course, they have their pros and cons, and I get that. Ultimately, I see MOOCs as an opportunity to provide access to learning to a wide group of people and to get them started – or introduced to self-directed learning. Who knows, maybe these courses inspire them to undertake more formal education or to find new work.
If MOOCs inspire people to learn, to be curious, to take their studies further then I see absolutely nothing wrong with them.My quote
It’s like the argument of whether we should allow children to read comic books. Let’s look at the fact that they’re READING. Ehat’s it matter if they happen to be reading animations? Why do we have to determine the medium and categorise these as acceptable vs non-acceptable?
Instead, let’s look at how they can inspire them to love learning in all its forms.
That’s why I usually don’t get into arguments with people in the field of corporate Learning and Development when it comes to MOOCS.
Really, I have better use of my time with such arguments – instead I can be focussing on my own personal or professional development. If I want to do a MOOC, I’ll do a MOOC.
I found this French Language MOOC which is created by the Ecole Polytechnique and I’m currently in Week 3. It’s actually a little beyond my level of comprehension. In fact, I’d say that it is more a B2 course than B1 but I’m doing it as a means of trying to improve my aural comprehension.
The course is intensive to say the least. They say that it takes about 5- 7 hours to complete all the exercises eery week and they’re not wrong.
There are exercises for:
- Discussion and Debate
- In Video Exercises
I have open Microsoft One Note and I use that as my notebook but otherwise I use the Translating service on Bing (right click on the text and click on Translate) and it translates entire paragraphs for you.
The only thing I don’t like about this course is that you’re correcting other peoples work BUT the rubric that they’ve selected is less about whether or not they’ve phrased their assignments correctly but more if they have followed the question – so we IDENTIFY if they’ve used certain grammar or certain words. NOT whether they’ve written the paragraph correctly.
I guess it’s difficult to learn a language through a MOOC but that aside, any astute student would consider alternative methods to pick up oral skills and use the MOOC as a complementary activity to language learning NOT as a sole way to learn a language.
If anything, this MOOC has taught me the experiences of living and working in France as a student; ideas for what movies to look out for and see in full and most of all, an opportunity to watch and listen to videos with subtitles to improve my aural skills.
If you haven’t done a MOOC, don’t listen to others whether they’re good or bad or whatever – if it seems interesting to you, then just do it.
Your life, your learning, your way.
Here’s a short video of what the course looks like behind the scenes.