Learning Journal for WL4102

In my final post for this semester, I would like to reflect on my learning over the course of the module.

Coming into the module, while I was familiar with a lot of linguistic concepts, I admittedly knew very little about information technologies. The extent of my knowledge regarding the intricacies of I.T. (besides general use of computers, phones and the internet) extended to the fact that programming included programming languages, one of which was called python.

Despite most of the information being new, the combined double topic of languages and I.T. made it easier to digest. I struggled initially when when learning about XML- it made sense in theory, but it didn’t click for me in practical use until the day our project of coding a poem in XML was due. I had been struggling with the assignment and it was not until I looked at a website which explained the working theory alongside examples that I was able to finish the assignment in Visual Studio Code. Once I became used to using XML, it started to intrigue me further

Setting up WordPress for the blog was a less challenging issue. I found using hypertext and creating posts to be straightforward. Installing plugins was slightly more challenging- or to be precise, finding my way around the WordPress control panel was challenging. Once I found how to tag and categorise efficiently the rest was not overly complicated. One of our very first tasks was to create a short blog post about WordPress, and I found this helped a lot with becoming familiar with the website.

In terms of the way this module has helped me learn more about the languages I am studying, being introduced to the concept of Unihan helped me learn more about the use of Chinese characters in Asian languages. I study Japanese which uses Chinese characters, but I was unaware of how much variation there was between different regions East Asia, with one character having variation not only in pronunciation and meaning but also in stroke order and appearance. Creating a presentation on Unihan and the challenges that come with it allowed me to really deepen my knowledge of this specific area.

Unicode as a whole was a topic that was brought up early on in the module and I found myself exploring it on an individual basis as time progressed. I found myself becoming well versed not only in Unihan specifically but with Unicode as a general topic. Despite being a subject I had no familiarity with, I can now say I am more than simply aware of this fundamental building block in our technological existence.

For my main blog essay, I attempted to challenge myself by exploring some aspects of technology I had not yet delved deep into. I found writing for my main essay, discussing entity linking and word sense disambiguation to be challenging, as I did not fully understand these particular concepts. Upon completing the essay and reading through many sources I found myself emerging with a more complete understanding of these issues and resolutions for them.

My second blog essay was on a topic that interested me personally, and it was a joy to write for. I found myself able to incorporate previous knowledge of topics such as Unicode into the essay in necessary and meaningful way while also researching and exploring a light-hearted facet of linguistic internet history. While writing this essay, I unlocked an interest in how language use online changes across geographical borders and have been exploring more similar topics independently, such as how web design changes across countries. This is something I would like to explore more in the future.

Overall, I found this module to be very interesting and am glad that it was an option within our course, as it allowed for knowledge to be gained in an area that previously seemed daunting and inaccessible. In reality, my main take-away was that information technology studies are a lot more accessible than I had previously believed, and that many of them were valuable study aids for my particular area of study, linguistics.


“The Unicode Consortium.” Unicode Consortium, Unicode, Inc., 2023, https://unicode.org/consortium/consort.html.

“Unihan Database.” Unihan Database, Unicode, Inc., 2023, https://unicode.org/charts/unihangridindex.html.

“Introduction to XML.” XML Introduction, Refsnes Data, 2023, https://www.w3schools.com/xml/xml_whatis.asp.

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