Faculty: Arts. Degree Programme: Linguistics. Course title: Research workshop: Postcolonial Linguistics. Level: Master. Course size: 10-15 students.
In research workshops the challenge is often to get students to explore their own interests and focus on a topic. Learning diaries are suitable for feedback and give the lecturer an overview of the possibilities and challenges students are facing.
The student must
Learning diaries help students to reflect on the contents of the course and on their learning process. The specific learning outcomes are
We use the activity in the first part of the course to help the students to connect the new information to previously learned, and to get feedback on how our lectures are being received by the students.
During the first classes of our course on Postcolonial Linguistics, the students write three “Postcolonial Learning Diaries”: one on the integration of postcolonial theory with critical sociolinguistics, another on postcolonial semantics, and finally a report on a specific postcolonial language variety (e.g. Indian English, Greenlandic, Brazilian Portuguese, Tok Pisin).
The length of each diary is about 900 words. The learning diaries are part of the required course tasks, but no grades are given for them. Each diary is to be handed in one or two weeks after the lecture it is written about.
The teacher gives instructions for writing the learning diary and encourages students to be reflective, critical and creative in their diaries.
The first two diaries should reflect the topic of the lecture but not be a mere repetition of what had been said in the lecture. Students' own thoughts, doubts and ideas are central.
The students are given the following questions to guide their writing of learning diaries:
The students hand the diary entries in one or two weeks after the lecture they were written about, depending on the course program. The lecturers give feedback on them (written and oral) before the autumn break, when students start to prepare their own research projects.