In-Depth Post #5

My Progress

Since the previous blog post, I have been practicing most of the same activities, including reading comprehensions, conversations with my mentor, grammar practice, and writing in my journal, so to avoid repetition, I will only be covering the new concepts learned during this period. During this interval, I also had fewer mentor meetings due to packing for my TALONS Adventure Trip and soccer finals.

While reading a poem in my reading comprehension book, I came across a common technique used in Punjabi while speaking in an informal environment. The technique consists of saying two rhyming words, with the first words having a meaning and the latter being meaningless. For example, ਪਾਣੀ ਧਾਣੀ, with ਪਾਣੀ meaning water and ਧਾਣੀ being meaningless. This technique adds flavour and variety to conversations in an informal setting; however, this is not used in formal settings or while writing (except when writing dialogue). I was interested in this technique as I wanted to use it in my story to make my characters more realistic when they are speaking. My mentor explained what the technique is and its uses. Then to become comfortable with this new concept, I practiced using it in conversations with my mentor and around the house while talking with my family. I also used this technique in my most recent journal entry.



The cow’s colour is white.

It has four legs, two ears, and one tail.

It eats grass and drinks water (ਪਾਣੀ means water, ਧਾਣੀ is meaningless).

It gives milk.

Milk is very beneficial for health.

Learning this new technique will significantly benefit my story as it will make it more creative and engaging because my characters will seem more realistic. By practicing this technique through conversation and in my journal, I will develop a deep enough understanding to use it in my story. My next steps are to begin working on my final story as In-Depth Night is on May 31st, which gives me one month to write, refine and record my story. I will likely be presenting my story in video format on stage.

What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor provides me with resources, including workbooks, storybooks, and dictionaries, exposing me to new Punjabi words and concepts. Another learning opportunity my mentor provides is participating in mock conversations to help improve my speaking and pronunciation. My mentor can guide me by having these conversations and correcting my pronunciation or teaching me common idioms used while speaking with others in an informal setting.

What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

Some learning opportunities that I used to reinforce my learning are writing in a journal and trying to speak Punjabi more around my house. These strategies allow me to practice writing and speaking Punjabi outside of mentor meetings and increase my proficiency in these areas. Writing in a journal allows me to reinforce my printing, spelling, and sentence structure. Speaking Punjabi around my house allows me to build confidence and fluency and learn the differences in speaking and writing in Punjabi.

What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

To accelerate my learning, I practice Punjabi outside of my mentor meetings to ensure I become proficient at the concept I am learning, so I can learn something new during the next meeting. Using this strategy makes my mentor meetings more valuable as I can use my mentor’s guidance to ensure I grasp the new concepts and answer any questions I have instead of spending my meetings practicing topics I already know. Since practicing a language involves repetition and using it during daily life, I do not need to spend time with my mentor doing repetitive exercises as I can do them in my own time.

When you get together what do you talk about?

During my mentor meeting, my mentor and I begin by looking at my most recent journal entry. I read out my entry which is usually a short poem that incorporates a concept I learned from our last meeting, and my mentor provides feedback, including correcting any spelling errors and checking the use of the new concept I learned. Then I practice my reading and speaking by reading aloud a short story and then answering questions about the story to check my comprehension. Each story also includes a new writing or speaking element, which I learn with my mentor and try to include in my next journal entry. Finally, I either practice conversations with my mentor or learn about grammar.

What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Something that is going exceptionally well in our relationship is that I know I am in a comfortable and safe environment when working with my mentor, where I can make mistakes and ask questions. Since my mentor is my mother, I already felt comfortable around her, which allowed me to try speaking without the fear of embarrassing myself openly. This relationship allowed me to build confidence in my speaking ability and learn at an efficient rate because there was one fewer obstacle to overcome. Another aspect that is going particularly well in my mentoring relationship is keeping our meeting formal and free of distractions despite having my mother as my mentor. Keeping meetings formal also allows me to learn at an efficient pace.

What are you learning about one another?

I have learned about my mentor that she is very supportive and patient. For example, if I have trouble learning a new topic or keep making the same mistake, my mentor will calmly correct me regardless of how often I repeatedly mispronounce or misspell a word. My mentor will also guide me and provide me with strategies to grasp concepts that I struggle to understand. For example, if I am struggling with differentiating the sounds of two vowels in Punjabi, then my mentor will provide me with exercises I can do to improve and avoid making this error.

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