Instructional Resources: Folium Task Guide

Instructional Resources: Folium Task Guide

  • Improve your cultural awareness through critical reading and reflective writing.
  • Improve your critical thinking skills through critical reading and reflective writing.

This task will help you consider the long-term benefits of learning different languages, opening your mind to travel, and experiencing new cultures as they relate to you!

1. Select ANY Folium: Living Global article from The LEAF Project. You may use the link provided below.
(Please do NOT select articles from Aero, Terra, or other LEAF blogs.)

2. Read the Folium article. Then, explore the links at the end of the Folium article for additional background information.

3. Submit a thoughtful and introspective reaction, in complete sentences, guided by each point below. In order to receive full credit you will need to post a full paragraph for each point. Your completed task should reach a little over one page in length (400+ words).


Use a proper heading for your submission:

  • Line 1: YOUR First and Last Names
  • Line 2: YOUR Class Designation (SPN101-U1 WINTER SESSION, etc…)
  • Line 3: The TITLE and LINK of the Folium article.

Write three thoughtful and introspective paragraphs about the article and the background information (media, links, videos) contained therein. Folium Tasks may be written in English, or in the target language for additional practice (language choice has no impact on grade).

  • Paragraph 1:

Why did this article catch my attention?
What types of information did I expect this article to include?

  • Paragraph 2:

What did I know about the subject before reading the article?
What did I learn from this article that was new to me?

  • Paragraph 3:

How is this new information relevant to my current interests / career path?
How can I incorporate this new information into my personal or professional life?


The Folium Task Guide contains examples of work from previous students and may serve useful in writing your reflections. If you have problems with writing tasks in general, please contact the FLCC Writing Center for writing assistance.

Folium Task Guidelines

1. Access the Folium Tasks through your Modern Language course.

Folium Tasks are included in each Learning Module in your Modern Language Course. Each Folium Task links directly to the Folium article archive.

2. Learn about The LEAF Project creator.

Professor Michael Van Etten from Modern Languages @ Finger Lakes Community College is the architect for The LEAF Project. He’s a real person!

3. Pay nothing for LEAF access. It’s all free, all the time.

LEAF will never ask for a login or password, and you’ll never have to pay for online access to any LEAF resource at any time.

4. Utilize The LEAF Project on iOS and Android devices.

LEAF works on all major web browsers including Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. LEAF also works well on iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android devices. Access LEAF from anywhere at any time.

5. Browse the various Folium articles, and find one that interests you!

The Folium archive is in blog format, and contains six articles per page. At the bottom of each page you’ll find a page index number that lets you search the entire catalog of articles. Browse as many as you would like!

6. Read the Folium article carefully, and understand the perspective of the article.

Take the time to read the article carefully. Try to understand the content of the article as well as the perspective of the author. If there is media (photos, videos) attached to the article, please take time to review those as well.

7. Follow the resources provided at the end of the article. Gain additional insight into the content.

There are additional web resources at the end of each Folium article. Please take the time to do some additional research on the additional information in order to gain a deeper understanding of the content.

8. Write your submission in the Folium Task, carefully following the directions in Blackboard.

You will not be able to view other submissions until you have made your submission. Make sure to follow the formatting directions carefully!

9. Share your thoughts on the Folium article by sharing the link on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.

The social media bar contains shortcuts to services like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and other sites. If you like a certain lesson or resource, share it with everyone and keep the conversation going!

English, Spanish, French?

Your Folium task should be written in English. However, if you feel confident enough to write in Spanish/French, you’re welcome to do so! Either will work fine!

Additional Resources

The definition of the word “introspection”.

Introspection (or internal perception) is the self-examination of one’s conscious thoughts and feelings. In psychology, the process of introspection relies exclusively on the purposeful and rational self-observation of one’s mental state; however, introspection is sometimes referenced in a spiritual context as the examination of one’s soul. Introspection is closely related to the philosophical concept of human self-reflection, and is contrasted with external observation (Wikipedia).

The definition of “Human self-reflection”.

Human self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence. The earliest historical records demonstrate the great interest which humanity has had in itself. Human self-reflection invariably leads to inquiry into the human condition and the essence of humankind as a whole (Wikipedia).

Here are some examples of responses from previous students. These examples earned 100%

Student #1:

Note how this student broke the task down into three small paragraphs, and then used a mix of personal reflections and experiences to consider how this article could impact her future.

1. For this week’s Folium post I read the article “Make It Count” via YouTube/Nike. I’m Nike fan, so that is why this article caught my interest. I loved every second of that video. For me, I think it accomplished everything that it was meant to: motivation and inspiration. I was smiling through most of it, and wishing I could be doing all the things that they were.

2. I supposed what I learned, when I really stopped to think about it, was that I can do those things. What is holding me back? Time? Money? Where there is a will and a way. I want to do those things, and I will someday, and I don’t want to be too scared to do them. Motivation and inspiration are two things that you can never have enough of. Most of the time we are looking for personal motivation and inspiration, but often times we forget that we can motivate or inspire others! What could be more motivating or inspiring then that!

3. This article can help me do what I want to do. Maybe it could be that one thing that gives me that extra push just to do something. There’s so much more out there. Alot of the time, I forget that there’s alot out there even just right out my door that I have yet to discover. Perhaps even just one more point of view, one more extra thought can be the key to help me look outside the box.

Student #2:

Note how this student’s passion is clearly evident through their writing. This topic was well-pondered and considered before the student began to write. The use of personal experiences is woven throughout the piece. While definitely longer than required, you can tell that writing this reflection was not a chore for the student. It resonated with him, and he cleared his mind to express himself.

1. I found myself immediately interested in reading this article.  This is because I lived in Japan for ten years and had many interesting experiences acquiring the Japanese language.  Consequently, I have become very interested in how people learn a second language.  I also witnessed my children acquiring both Japanese and English.  Their native language is Japanese but it was interesting to see them acquire English from me.  They learned Japanese from their Japanese mother and English from me.  Actually, my children never spoke English to me.  I would speak English to them and they would respond in Japanese.

2. What I learned most from this article is that research does seem to show that learning a foreign language is good exercise for the brain.  People who are bilingual tend to be free of dementia and other infirmities of old age.  I think other evidence of this is that most of my professors have lived long and productive lives due to their academic interests.  I have met many of them after being taught by them 40 years ago.  They are in their 70s and 80s and quite sound mentally. (Student continues on…)

3. I will now mention how the article has helped me with future life choices.  I would say that in the future I would always advise somebody who has a bilingual child to realize that they have a treasure.  Allow the child to take advantage of his/her of her bilingual heritage.  Encourage their children to stay in contact with the rich bilingual heritage which is theirs.  They will see their child grow into a very talented and wholesome adult.  An adult who can bridge two cultures, and will be without a lot of ethnocentric qualities.  In short, an educated open-minded individual.

Student #3

This is a more philosophical example of a Folium response. The topic was still well pondered, AND it is clearly evident that the student read/explored the additional resources at the end of the article. Reading the “Resources” at the end of Folium articles will greatly increase your knowledge and understanding of the article, and is highly recommended.

1. This week I have read the post “Folium: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave… and Languages!” This article was very captivating. It’s a very interesting concept that makes complete sense, but one that most people wouldn’t think of themselves without having it explained to them first. The scary thing about this, is that it makes you wondering how much of your life, and how much of what you know is a mere shadow of reality.

2. We are so blind and ignorant of so many things because we have never actually seen through another’s eyes. We may have been introduced to a glance of another’s perspective, but how often do we take the time to understand it? This is one of the biggest faults of the human race, and it all has to do with selfishness. Most of the time, we fail to see someone else’s perspective, because we don’t care, perhaps we are scared, or just simply because we don’t want to step outside of our comfort zones.

3. This article can help me to see the truth in striving for the right perception. By right perception, I mean the perception that holds the most truth. How can we know what truth is? The more that we seek and research something, the more we know, and the better we can place our judgement.

General Writing Tips For Folium Responses

1. Writing the phrase “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” gives the reader the impression that you really haven’t taken the time to consider the content of the reading or what it means to you. Stay away from those phrases!

2. Make bold statements! This isn’t a right vs. wrong answer! Tell us what you think, and do so proudly! Uncertainty leads to doubt, and don’t make the reader think that you doubt yourself!

3. Don’t make broad general statements. “Languages are good”. We already know this! Tell us how and why these ideas in the article relate to YOU on a personal level. If you’re an engineer, scientist, programmer, mechanic, writer, nurse, then why should YOU care?

(rev. 04 JUNE 2017)