27 January 2014

PLE ponderings.......

Ah yes..... the PLE. It makes me increasingly reluctant to contemplate a return to a conventional learning structure such as one inevitably finds in schools, with time neatly partitioned into units and little choice about the 'how, why and when', even if there is a certain amount regarding the 'what'.

Reflecting on my own PLE, I recognise that it has always been pretty learner-driven, which has sometimes brought it into conflict with expected outcomes. I have always felt myself to be at odds with any prescriptive approach to learning. As a result, I always responded much better to the open-ended task where the outcome was a product of my own exploration than the task which required me to quote the recognised experts and regurgitate the lecturer's notes.

My PLE is benefitting greatly from having my daughter at home for 6 weeks. She has been helpful in channeling my thoughts about my future career. Whereas I'd been rather lacking in direction, she encouraged me to do a bit of brainstorming to clarify things. For herself she has a sort of mantra of 'Hell, yeah!' or 'Not at all'. In other words, she's keen to eliminate things from her life that she's only half-hearted about. It then requires a lot of effort to create or build on the opportunities that will lead to her being thoroughly in her ELEMENT (Ken Robinson). So, I've been thinking a lot about what makes me feel in my element. It entails using my skills and talents to meet challenges and break new ground. It entails interacting with interesting people, people who are on a similar learning path, possibly, or at least people who believe that existing educational structures need radical overhauling. it also entails a sense of agency (which was sadly lacking last year).

I've identified that I find translation very satisfying (as long as its not drivers' licences and birth certificates) and that I would like to factor it into my future on a more official basis. I've begun by contacting the people I know who work in the area of translation. Out of this I've gleaned some very valuable information to inform the next steps. I had been thinking that maybe the AUT course for translators would be a good starting point but that it may be too elementary, in which case I would be paying fees and wasting time. The most helpful info from a friend in the game, has led me to NAATI, the Australian accreditation organisation for translators and interpreters, which has reputable qualifications. Instead of having to follow a course in order to get the qualification, it operates more like the DELF/DALF, except that you can sit it when it suits you. They have sample kits and books to guide you through the pitfalls of becoming a self-employed translator.

So, the plan of action is taking shape. I'll assess my level according to the sample material and aim to sit the test when I'm ready. I also intend to do the DALF C2 sometime this year, as I think that would add to my credibility.

What about getting oneself out there? Louise is on hand to get me up and running with a web-site, as she is currently doing this for herself. So, once I've got the domain name and Wordpress, I should be ready to roll (well, ready to start marketing my services). I might yet be seen on Twitter !!

You mention the challenge of making boundaries between personal and professional self. I have always found this difficult but it's not something I've ever really been concerned about, as, in the past, my professional interests have been so closely linked with my passions. I don't think it's helpful to have a union-minded approach to these things. I'm happy with periods of intense activity followed by periods of calm and reflection. At the moment I'm enjoying one of the latter. They're vital if you're to avoid just being swept along in the tide of someone else's decision making.

I keep hearing echos of the session on start-ups from U-Learn and thinking about the desirability of having a product rather than a service to offer, but I can't see how this can be avoided in the area of translation. I don't intend it to be a great source of income but more a means of keeping a valuable professional identity and having a continuous challenge to keep me intellectually on the ball. What if it fails? As it doesn't involve a large initial outlay, I'm not really worried about that.  On verra.......
^. .^

1 comment:

  1. Very happy that my PLE post prompted you to post! It is a year ago since we started our co-blog Ruth! And somehow it has naturally kept going, without either of us feeling "they had to"! And how many times have we gone back to the drawing board in 2013, for the small and bigger iterations? :-) I like how you too see the significant influences in your life as pillars of your PLE. I don't think any of my PLE would have the shape it has now if it had not been for the time I actually spent in the company of inspiring people. I am interested to see how your entrepreneurial approach will take you, mine is taking me so many fascinating places I have now got to sieve to identify the best direction for me in terms of what I offer and wish to do. It is definitely anchored in social learning and knowledge sharing and I want to explore more around massive collaboration and its rewards. I am interested to read you write "what if it fails"? Good if it fails, it will give you the opportunity to take another step. Let's have another great BTTDB year Ruth, I could not do it without you!


Let's go Back to the Drawing Board!