It’s so strange how despite doing software development for over a decade, I never quite developed an appreciation for periodic functions…until I did VFX work recently. Suddenly I needed sine and phase shifts and periodicity to make the visuals behave the way I wanted. Suddenly all those formulas I learned in school made sense. The main difference? I had a specific goal for which the math was a necessary tool.
Which brings me to the way we traditionally teach math and many other subjects: we silo each subject into meaningless slices that don’t tie in with one another.
Why isn’t education structured around interdisciplinary projects for which students need to use everything they learned in all their subjects (math, history, science, english) to complete the project objectives?
Why are subjects taught in a way that’s so divorced from the tasks in which they will actually be useful?
First off, a bit of background: one of my goals is to learn Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Yes, all three. Yes, I know it’s kinda crazy. Anyway, as part of this goal, I originally planned to start learning basic Korean or Japanese as soon as I attained an advanced level in Mandarin Chinese.
Actually, I will be re-taking Intermediate Level 6 (out of 6) at the Confucius Institute in Ateneo Professional Schools, Makati next week in order to further polish my skills before proceeding to the Advanced classes. So, not quite at the advanced level—yet.
Regardless of which, I decided, against sanity and the advice of some people, to enroll in a Basic Korean class at the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines. On the same day. Chinese in the morning and Korean in the afternoon. Saturday was the only schedule that was feasible for me due to my work schedule. I’m not yet sure if this would cause some linguistic confusion but I hypothesize that it would not due to the level disparity. Well, let’s see how it plays out.
For now, let’s just focus on these two government-supported institutes. Having attended classes at the Confucius Institute for over a year now, I’ve noticed some differences in their approaches, which I’ll talk about in this post. This is not about which one is better; I’m simply contrasting them should you be interested in learning Chinese or Korean from these institutions.
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It’s inspiring how one person can collect and build such a great body of work at Guide to Japanese. Strangely enough, I found this blog when I was looking for a specific construction on Chinese.
Wikis are immensely useful for collecting and organizing information on languages. The Korean Wiki Project is a great example. I looked for an equivalent for Chinese but haven’t found one yet.
Professor O’s Learn Korean Videos are not only informative but also entertaining. I like the way she uses graphics and different characters to give examples of language use.
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