April 4, 2013

The Learning of a New Language......

The best way to learn or acquire a new language is immersion and practice. You must take it on whole heartedly. To become fluent you must have exposure on a consistent basis. There is more than just new sounds that must be acquired and produced. The amount of vocabulary to learn can be daunting. Then you have all the new grammatical rules (female, male, formal, informal) that need to be understood and don't get me started on learning accent placement.

For the second-language learner, the acquisition of meaning is arguably the most important task. Meaning it is the heart of a language, not the exotic sounds or elegant sentence structure. There are several types of meanings: lexical, grammatical, semantic, and pragmatic. All the different meaning contributing to the acquisition to the meaning of generally having the integral second language possession. [1]
Lexical meaning – meaning that is stored in our mental lexicon;
Grammatical meaning – comes into consideration when calculating the meaning of a sentence; usually encoded in inflectional morphology (ex. - ed for past simple, -‘s for third person possessive)
Semantic meaning – word meaning;
Pragmatic meaning – meaning that depends on context, requires knowledge of the world to decipher; for example, when someone asks on the phone, “Is Mike there?” he doesn’t want to know if Mike is physically there; he wants to know if he can talk to Mike. --Wikopedia

There is another theory that discusses how a second language learner listens and observes first. They may have acquired vocabulary and their understanding is far more advanced than their production so they do not speak. It is common that they will stop speaking in both languages for a period of time. They are in a listening, observing, and learning mode.

Why the discussion on second language learning? It is my explanation of why I have been so very quiet lately. For many, agility is a like trying to learn another language. There is the Lexicon=vocabulary of American and European handling moves. There is the Semantic=learning of new gross motor patterns (trying to front cross without falling). There is the Grammatical=calculating the course and the many options available to your team and finally Pragmatic=meaning that depends on context and requires knowledge of the world to decipher. It requires experience with factors that may or may not be with in your control.

Do You Speak Papillon?
I just finished my first online class with Daisy Peel. I took her Clear Mind class and learned some very interesting new information. Had a few light bulb moments and a few "I knew that now just need to do it" Still a work in progress. Apparently, a class can not fix years of self depreciation and unrealistic expectations in 6 weeks. Bummer.
I spent a few days with Alen Marekovic learning about international handling and blind crosses. Have to say it was different and fun. Learned a lot but it also raised my expectation for what I want to achieve with Surf. I didn't think that was such a bad thing but I turns out it was. Sent me right back to pushing for something that isn't ready yet and frustrated I don't have it. Not fair to Surf but I did manage to get it together after a small melt down in my car. I can honestly say we are back on track and now steadily with focus working towards the goal of finding more speed on course.

Yes, that is a Zebra in the Barn we practice in.
Surf and I are so very happy to be back to showing outdoors! He is not a fan of the large indoor that all the fall and winter shows are held in this area. I noticed we started out fast in Nov but by March his joy and speed on course had significantly decreased. He was much better this past weekend at our first outdoor show. No double Q because of my error judging a turn but he was so much happier while running which them leads to me being happy!

I will leave you with one of my assignments from the Clear Mind class. You are to make a highlight reel. It should include parts of runs that you enjoyed, it should have a mistake that you saved, and it should have music that puts you in the right frame of mind. Then you should have it with you when you show to watch before a run to help put you in the right frame of mind. Enjoy.
Oh P.S. I was supposed to edit out and phrases that were stated in the negative but haven't gotten to it yet.