Review of Language as a Way of Knowing Presentation

When I got my group, to be completely honest, I was a little worried about how the project would go. I barely knew Rebekah, rarely talked to Jada outside of debate, and almost never saw Gabe talk for five minutes straight. I knew Nykia, but almost never saw her in academic classes. I also was not very interested in language because to me, it seemed kind of boring. How can speaking change your thoughts at all? It's just language. I was worried and honestly, a little stressed I would have to do this all by myself.

Once we started working though, I knew I was wrong. One of the many challenges of IB is having to work with people who are very different for you and being able to recognize their strengths, which is usually something that I am not very good at, however, when grouped with strong, smart, individual people like the ones in my group, there is no way in which you can not notice your own failings and their strengths. 

Without the people in my group, my presentation probably would have gone along the lines of "Here is all of the information about language ever written on a not pretty slide" and there probably would not have been any discussion at all because I would have been so long-winded and information focused. However, Gabe knew how to edit down all of our ideas to what we really needed while also making the presentation actually presentable and not just the signature Eva word soup. Nykia helped me research and also get off of tangent to get back on track, which is one of my major problems. Jada is one of those people who is not afraid to tell you when she thinks something is stupid or just is not going to work at all, and that save our group from many things that probably would have led to a terrible presentation. When Rebekah and I talked about language and what we could present, I had my ideas on what we should talk about and am usually resistant to any change, but she brought up many possibilities and ideas that I never would have though of in a million years and made the presentation infinitely better.
Image result for language

I even started to really enjoy learning about language. By the first day, I had fallen into an internet black hole about how we think without languages and how we seemingly create them out of thin air. I found a RadioLab (that I highly suggest everyone listen to) that I probably would have never listened to without this project, and I learned about a sign language I never even knew existed that turned out to be one of the most famous linguistical phenomena in the past century. Not only did this project help me learn how to work with others and see everyone's value but to also realize that there is something enjoyable to learn in everything. 

When we eventually presented, the group got through everything we wanted to with very few stops, pauses, or fumbles. The class paid attention and they were engaged and seemed to enjoy the content, and the group presented well together, with everyone doing their part and enjoying presenting, without too much evident stress. The discussion in the class was integral to success of the presentation. Our format of information then questions in order to get the class to think about it helps everyone pay attention and be engaged. I also think that since everyone in the group appeared happy and engaged with the presentation which then encourages the class to be engaged. In the end, this project helped me become a better IB learner, more open-minded and knowledgeable, but also more excited for future group projects, which is new, but good.

Edited September 6, 2017 to add more information


  1. A great honest reflection on what turned out to be important about this process. The presentation was great, but even better is that it wasn't (on some level) even about the presentation. Your assessment here of the strengths of each of your group members feels spot-on to me, and I am glad that you helped me be able to enunciate them. Your critical self-reflection feels rewarding, if in a small way: Like feeling out your own boundaries and then poking a few little holes in them.

    It's funny that you thought you would be bored by language, given how much you love it. I have grown to love language BECAUSE of its many paradoxes, and I think your group did a great job of highlighting some of them.


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