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MIT open courseware -how to do it?


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I'm trying to fulfill the foreign language req for ds#3. Because of his LD it has been suggested that Chinese is a good option for him. Someone also suggested the MIT course.

 

I have looked at several of these but haven't figured out the practical day to day implementation. I see that there is a text as well as mp3 and YouTube aspects as well. But the syllabus is written for the college course or so it appears. How would one provide testing for these courses? Or is there another way to evaluate the student?

 

What does a day with a MIT course look like?

 

Also, would you transcript these the same as other college level courses such as 1 semester equals a full high school credit?

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I break the syllabus down into two semesters instead of one. Therefore, an assingment that might have taken one week to complete will be given two, a daily assignment will be given two days, a paper that might be given a month to complete will be given two months, etc. I look at the textbook, break it down by how many chapters need to be completed each month, and assign my child a month's worth at a time, expecting them to begin self-scheduling to have their work in my in basket by the due date I establish. If youtube is involved, I have to stay on top of the scheduling of that because we don't allow ds (8th grader) on youtube without supervision since there are some raunchy things out there and he's a bit immature for handling that.

 

If tests are not offered, then I make my own and kind of hark back to my old college days. "What did a freshman level or sophomore level chapter test or mid-term or final look like? Did I have blue book exams for this subject, did I have some essays, some multiple choice (not much because I went to a small liberal arts university with strict standards), etc." I then try to create my own fair exam and give ds plenty of warning that he needs to study.

 

A day with MIT tends to be reading, notebooking, possibly working on a paper or other writing assignment/project and generally about two hours worth of work unless he's really efficient which he is occasionally.

 

I transcript it as an "honors" class and give a full high school credit. Though ds is doing 8th grade level math and science, he's doing 9th grade level History, English, and Electives so I'm still trying to figure out how to transcript this as most colleges only want to see credits completed in the last four years of school. If ds graduates early, then this year would count. If he does not, then this year doesn't count but yet he's doing work that most of our local high schoolers have never dreamed of, so it's hard not to count it. My best guess that when we are ready to graduate him and have him apply to college, we'll pick the last four credits completed in the core subjects, and then the last four in each elective or possibly, include this year's two MIT courses because they are so unique but definitely not include his 8th grade algebra and physical science and none of his 8th grade electives.

 

Faith

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Cynthia, are you keeping up with the foreign language thread on the SN board? It just keeps getting more and more interesting! I would consider the Learnables Chinese for him. Totally auditory, no reading, no written. Not typically what you'd expect for a high school language course, but this ISN'T french or something with a real standard for comparison, kwim? I would then add on a study of the chinese written roots. I'm not saying that right, but that's what they are, the parts to each character that act sort of like roots in english. They're individual components he could learn without having to collect them into a whole. They would sort of up the academic ante while still working with his abilities, not against them.

 

If you want, I'll go pull the text I has that has those roots. It's a really cool study. Someone else here may have an even better resource. For kids who can memorize parts but not synthesize the whole, it would give them parts, interesting parts, to memorize.

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Ok, I went back and found them. They're called particles, and I thought they were really nifty. They're in the book "Chinese Made Easy" which has a textbook, workbook, and audio cd. You could do the particles along with Learnables, then go back and do CEM *after* completing Learnables. So you'd be going auditory to written, much the way he learned english. That's the theory being advocated in the language thread, and that would be one way to do it.

 

CEM has the english letters written over the chinese characters, so even if he never gets that far, at least he'd be doing something. But I'd go for spoken first. You know what would be really cool is to take the Learnables, photocopy the book onto white tagboard, and turn the whole thing into moveable placecards so you could rearrange words and make phrases. It would actually work with chinese, unlike many other languages.

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:auto:

Ok, I went back and found them. They're called particles, and I thought they were really nifty. They're in the book "Chinese Made Easy" which has a textbook, workbook, and audio cd. You could do the particles along with Learnables, then go back and do CEM *after* completing Learnables. So you'd be going auditory to written, much the way he learned english. That's the theory being advocated in the language thread, and that would be one way to do it.

 

CEM has the english letters written over the chinese characters, so even if he never gets that far, at least he'd be doing something. But I'd go for spoken first. You know what would be really cool is to take the Learnables, photocopy the book onto white tagboard, and turn the whole thing into moveable placecards so you could rearrange words and make phrases. It would actually work with chinese, unlike many other languages.

 

BTW, I can't guarantee particles will stick in his brain. I just thought they were nifty and would make an interesting study, that sort of written/paper side, just to say there was one, kwim?

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PS. I guess I should say my exposure to Chinese is extremely limited. I helped a friend a bit with it in high school, just trying to memorize vocab and things, and then let my dd dabble in it in early elementary, hence having the books. I think it can work for you. I just wouldn't worry about what the "standards" are for a class like this, since there surely can't be. French or something, yes, there are things you expect to cover in a 1st or 2nd year class, but not for Chinese.

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Thanks for the suggestions, Elizabeth. I have been following the foreign language thread and it's what started me thinking about settling on something. He will be in 11th next year and we need to get that 2 years out of the way. A year or so ago, I asked a more general question about how to do languages with a "stealth dyslexic" and the two that were recommended were Chinese and Sign Language. So the new thread on the SN board is re-affirming what I was told earlier.

 

This son is very artistic and is always doodling. He doesn't draw recognizable objects (people, trees, animals, etc.), rather he likes the abstract. And his abstracts are rather interesting - they are typically geometric. So I thought that he might enjoy the Chinese symbols.

 

I will check out Learnables. The MIT open courseware looks intriguing as well. I will really need something already planned out for me because foreign languages is the bane of our homeschool. With my older boys I just used the concurrent enrollment option at our local college. But those boys can memorize pages and pages without much effort and spit it back out. This one cannot.

 

I'll keep watching the SN board to see what else is recommended. I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one struggling with this :D

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Have you looked at The Learnables? It's on Rainbow Resource. It's inexpensive and would be very straightforward for him to implement for himself. I have it. It's very novel. You look at pictures and listen to the speaker saying each word. It's nothing earth-shattering, and I could even think of some criticisms. But really, I liked it enough to buy it. In your case it would do what the other thread is saying, letting him do it entirely auditorily. Foreign language classes are notorious for being written-driven.

 

I think you could go either way with the characters. He could either attempt to memorize useful characters (a good idea!) or just do the particles. There is an order to the way each character is written, so it's not like he can just whisk it out any which way, kwim? But even that, in and of itself, is a good study.

 

People who speak chinese are quite happy to speak it with you (in restaurants, etc.) if you have even a modicum to work with. That's what I'd work toward. He can do the Learnables and create basic sentences of dialogue which he memorizes and attempts to practice on willing victims.

 

BTW, my dh, who has his own challenges but the engineering mind (and degree) is a FABULOUS auditory learner. I think it's just that flipside of not being so visual. Have you determined if your ds is this way? If so, then it's merely a matter of harnessing it. He learned to speak simply by hearing, seeing a context, and responding, so he can again with another language. Gladys Aylward learned chinese when they pronounced her too dumb. They're just not going to be the bookish sort.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Thanks, Faith. This is helpful. We're looking at the Chinese language course so I will really be up a creek if I have to develop a test :tongue_smilie: I was so surprised when I looked through the website at how many offerings they now have and how much easier it looks (to implement). I looked at it several years ago and my mind just went numb trying to figure out how/what to do with it all.

 

Are you using their high school courses or their college level courses? The high school levels look fun - the "make your own guitar" caught a lot of interest around here. I'd love to hear about the specific classes you are using and what you think of them. I can see that they may be useful in the next couple of years for my last two fellas. I need a world history 2nd semester to complete ds#4's course this year. He has been taking an online course, but they are not going to offer any more courses due to lack of funding from the state. So he will finish the first semester of World History sometime around March of this year. We enrolled sometime around Thanksgiving so there was no way to get both semesters in this year.

 

Thanks for the feedback, Faith.

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I think it can work for you. I just wouldn't worry about what the "standards" are for a class like this, since there surely can't be. French or something, yes, there are things you expect to cover in a 1st or 2nd year class, but not for Chinese.

 

I don't know that I would agree with this; quite a few high schools offer Chinese, so I'm assuming they would have standards like any other language? It's not as popular as French or Spanish, but hardly unheard of.

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I don't know that I would agree with this; quite a few high schools offer Chinese, so I'm assuming they would have standards like any other language? It's not as popular as French or Spanish, but hardly unheard of.

:iagree:

Most states (as far as I know) have state testing at the end of the year for Chinese, just like they do with French and Spanish.

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Stephanie, I'm trying to find more information on this and having a hard time. Any links or anything? Here in Ohio we have a state-mandated exit exam for graduation, and a quick google found that 20 states have exit exams. However in Ohio there is no foreign language component. Maybe some states have a foreign language component and others don't?? I don't know. Things keep changing, so I'm always interested to learn more. I've just never heard of anything like this in our state, where budgets are being cut, schools closing, and reading still is not taught. Nuts, when I was in school in one poorer state there weren't even TEXTBOOKS in the french class! Moved to another state mid-term and had to do some serious catch-up!

 

Things may have changed. When I went to school, the russian, chinese, and japanese were taught with college texts. I'm not sure there are typical high school texts available. Since any student going into a college level class is going to do a placement test, and since a high school transcript is often defined in terms of units (time spent), not credits (material covered), it is perfectly reasonable to determine your material, spend the time, and call it done. That is what I was advocating. When you have a dc who learns differently, getting a bit outside the box makes a lot of sense.

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A few links that might be helpful:

 

http://learningchineseonline.net/

 

http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/page.aspx?id=18128

 

If you click on the link immediately above, off to the right is a small box labeled "Class Links" where you should be able to find information describing how this school teaches Chinese.

 

The only info I have about texts are as follows:

 

Chinese Link by Wu put out by Pearson

ISBN 9780205696383

ISBN 9780131375475

 

Another high school that has a slightly better language department, but it doesn't list books, etc.

 

http://www.goramblers.org/Languages/

 

HTH.

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Stephanie, I'm trying to find more information on this and having a hard time. Any links or anything? Here in Ohio we have a state-mandated exit exam for graduation, and a quick google found that 20 states have exit exams. However in Ohio there is no foreign language component. Maybe some states have a foreign language component and others don't?? I don't know. Things keep changing, so I'm always interested to learn more. I've just never heard of anything like this in our state, where budgets are being cut, schools closing, and reading still is not taught. Nuts, when I was in school in one poorer state there weren't even TEXTBOOKS in the french class! Moved to another state mid-term and had to do some serious catch-up!

 

Things may have changed. When I went to school, the russian, chinese, and japanese were taught with college texts. I'm not sure there are typical high school texts available. Since any student going into a college level class is going to do a placement test, and since a high school transcript is often defined in terms of units (time spent), not credits (material covered), it is perfectly reasonable to determine your material, spend the time, and call it done. That is what I was advocating. When you have a dc who learns differently, getting a bit outside the box makes a lot of sense.

 

I found this for Ohio. You'll have to scroll down because the links aren't working.

If you scroll all the way down, Chinese isn't mentioned in Ohio foreign language.

 

All this to say, I agree that someone who learns differently should be able to learn in the way that makes the most sense to them. If they don't test well, that's fine. But if being used as a foreign language requirement for colleges, I would definitely find some way to assess the student. Assessments simply show what the child has learned. Taking the child to a Chinese restaurant and having them order a meal, for example.

 

HTH!

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This is the NY regents exam for Spanish, but they don't seem to have Chinese:

http://www.nysedregents.org/Spanish/

 

I hear rumors that this is a regents test in Chinese, but I'm not finding any info on it.

 

ETA:

a more complete site of regents exams (not just languages):

http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/regentsexams.htm

 

These seem to open in pop up windows which some browsers may be set to ignore.

Edited by flyingiguana
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But this looks useful:

http://stuychinese.com/

It seems to be a site a Chinese teacher put up to help students study for the Regent's Exam and the AP test -- it also has some stuff for the earlier classes.

 

I'm not sure it's so great for learning from, but it might be pretty useful to figure out what gets done in each year. There is also a syllabus and a text book mentioned for at least one of the courses.

 

A sixth grader I know who is in a Chinese immersion school says she currently knows 100 characters. I don't know how much she can speak and understand. I would have thought a typical Chinese student would know more characters by that grade, but maybe the school isn't as immersion as it claims to be.

 

When I took Chinese in college, we were expected to learn about 300 characters per year (in addition to actually learning the language). I imagine that would mean a one year high school class should learn about 150 characters, with the concurrent language skills. Seeing as you have to learn a certain amount of the language to get that far in writing, that gives some indication of how far a one year college class would go. (As I recall, we didn't get to learning much character writing until we were 1/3 of the way through the class. Then we did the 100 characters in the last 2/3 of the year.)

 

But the high school near us, I believe, doesn't even get close to 100 characters in the first year (maybe even into the second year they haven't gotten that far). I've heard this from students who were frustrated by the class and went to take it at the local college instead. They may do some speaking in the high school class, but they don't focus on writing much.

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Stephanie, very interesting, good find! It looks like they're suggesting it, not requiring. I'll have to keep my ear to the ground as I talk with people, just to see if any schools in our area use it or something similar.

 

Flyingiguana, I'm not the op, but that's really interesting to hear the #'s of characters being covered in college and at your local high school, very interesting. Definitely something to remember when my dd gets there! I remember going into a 3rd year summer russian program right out of high school, and there was a girl in there who was a rising SENIOR from a small private college where she had been majoring in russian. Unfortunately, her college program didn't cover quite as much as the norm, and mine (in high school) covered more than the norm. So once you get out of these more traditional programs, things really vary with expectations and what is covered.

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Cynthia, could he actually go to China for a summer?

 

That would be cool! But he could only do that the summer between 11th and 12th because we have plans for this summer. We do have several friends who have sons majoring in International Business with an emphasis on China. These young men have studied the language and may prove helpful with ds. One particular young man (my previous co-op student) has many connections there and is planning to go to graduate school in China next school year. So maybe we could arrange something....

 

Do you know of any programs that enroll foreign high school students? Would he go as a "foreign exchange" student?

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Well I was thinking a little something more off the beaten path, lots of immersion, but I'm sure there are lots of good options. Might be interesting to stay with one of those friends. He could hire a tutor. My friend from college who has lived there for years either takes language classes or uses a tutor, not sure which.

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