Since my last blog post, I have made a great deal of progress towards my goal of writing and reciting a story in Punjabi. I implemented the changes I made to my plan to accommodate my faster pace, and I began reading comprehensions at the grade one level and writing practices.
To ensure I stayed on top of my learning and continued to progress steadily, I began reviewing the content from my previous meeting. My mentor tested me on the content covered during the prior week’s meeting to ensure I grasped the content I was learning. This strategy allowed me to identify areas where I needed to delegate more time for more practice and areas where I am strong and can continue to more complex topics.
Most of my mentor meetings were spent reading aloud to develop my pronunciation and flow while reading. I used a Punjabi to English dictionary to look up words that I did not know, which ensured I understood the story I was reading and helped expand my vocabulary with new and exciting words. I have noticed improvement since my previous blog post as I am reading faster with more accuracy. I am also confusing the vowels kannaa and lavan less frequently, which shows I overcame the challenge mentioned in my second blog post. However, I have not successfully added emotion to my reading yet as I cannot read fluently enough. I understand that building the fluency to read accurately with emotion will take time, and my mentor told me I should not be frustrated over this as it is a difficult skill to learn.
After completing each story that I read, I answer some questions about the story in Punjabi. This activity allows me to check how much of the story I understood and practice my writing skills. A small project I completed during this biweekly period was writing my introduction.
My name is Mahtab.
I am fourteen years old.
I am in the nineth grade.
I live in Canada.
I have one brother.
My next meetings goals are to continue reading comprehensions at the grade one level, try some mock conversations with my mentor, and complete more simple writing projects. Continuing to practice reading aloud through reading comprehension will further increase my fluency and understanding of Punjabi and eventually lead to reading with emotion. Practicing mock conversations with my mentor will force me to develop sentences in my head instead of reading them off a page. These conversations will improve my pronunciation and confidence while speaking. Finally, completing more simple writing projects will further my proficiency in printing and improve my grammar.
What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
Some aspects of my mentoring sessions that went particularly well were that I felt comfortable while communicating with my mentor, I had access to many helpful resources during meetings, I was making steady progress towards my goal. Since my mentor is my mother, I did not have to face the barrier of becoming comfortable while communicating and learning with my mentor. Comfortably communicating and asking questions helped me progress quickly and understand and practice concepts thoroughly because I openly talked with my mentor. Also, having access to many different resources, including workbooks at different grade levels, storybooks, and dictionaries, allowed me to effectively learn and practice new skills with the guidance of my mentor and clear confusion independently without needing to ask my mentor. Having access to great resources and communicating openly with my mentor allowed me to progress towards writing and reciting a story in Punjabi.
What learning challenges emerged?
A learning challenge that emerged during my mentor meetings was that I became frustrated after making similar mistakes repeatedly. For example, I frequently confuse ਹਾਂ (first person, present form of to be verbs) and ਹੈ (singular, third person, present form of to be verbs). To overcome this challenge, I need to take a second to calm down when I am frustrated, as I cannot effectively learn when I am angry. Then I need to ask my mentor to explain the situations where each word is used to understand the words better because once I understand how each word is used, I will be able to apply this knowledge while I am reading. This plan should allow me to overcome situations where I repeatedly make the same mistake. To hold myself accountable for my learning, I started each mentor meeting by reviewing the content from the previous one and having my mentor test my knowledge to see how much progress I am making. This strategy also allows me to adapt my plan to accommodate areas that I might need to emphasize by taking time to do extra practice or areas that need less emphasis and continue can to the next concept.
What logical challenges affected your communication?
Some challenges that affected my communication were maintaining a consistent schedule for meetings and getting distracted. My mother is often busy doing chores around the house, and although we agreed to meet on Friday evenings, we are occasionally unable to meet and are forced to reschedule our meeting to a later date because the time is not suitable for my mentor or myself. To overcome this challenge, my mentor and I could try to ensure we can attend the meetings on Fridays by finishing any work beforehand and clearing our schedules, or we could decide to change meetings to a more suitable day that accommodates both of our schedules. However, meetings must be consistent as have a set day each week to ensure they stay formal and productive. Another challenge I face is becoming distracted by other family members in the house, which reduces meeting productivity and formality. To overcome this challenge, I have already implemented the strategy of informing my family members that I will have a meeting with my mentor and moving to a quiet environment to have meetings, such as my living room. This strategy has proved effective as there are much fewer distractions while I am attending meetings.