Bonjour! At this point I'm writing this to myself but perhaps it'll be possible to interact with others, sharing ideas about learning language, and hopefully posting experiences with my beginning journey of learning French will also serve as a resource for the dissertation. It's a bit of an experiment with the genre--why blog when you can journal privately? Or as others these days might wonder, why journal privately when you can blog? But Blogger, where I've had this blog sitting for a while, used previously for the Language and Power class with Professor Kramsch, is also where the tutors for the Francais en Premiere Ligne project have their group blog. And I've certainly been inspired, or want to feed into, the idea of journaling about experiences of learning language like those that we've tried to build UCB's Found in Translation blog around. And there are of course studies in the field of Second Language Acquisition lurking in the background, where people have tried to make general observations about language acquisition processes through introspective analysis of their own learning processes...like Richard Schmidt?
Anyway, my idea is to make notes here about experiences learning French from a broad cultural, affective, identity-based perspective. I'm less concerned with the transformation of the (imaginary?) grammatical and lexical mental black box than with the subjective experience of learning, how the learning of a language in the particular context I'm in, and with the particular technologies being used repositions me, redefines me...
And lest this become too much like some kind of narcissistic, Deborah Cameronesque project of 'self-development', I'd like to cast my own experiences in the light of others I find online learning French, the students who are part of the Berkeley-Lyon French learning and teaching project...I hope, j'espere que, there might be a community of people who I can share these experiences with, comment on their blogs, have them comment here on mine.
So, welcome, and although I won't be about to write au francais for a little while, I'll try to include more and more here as we go. And maybe soon I'll even be able to type with the correct accent marks. Gotta figure that out right away considering my French is going to be learned so much online. :)