March, 2012

More About the Scary Science: Linguistics

Tweet An article in the Arts section of The New York Times this morning, “How Do You Say ‘Disagreement’ in the Pirahã tongue?” points up the gulf between the soft science of Linguistics and ordinary mortals.  Since there is no whiff of this science discernible in high school courses (at least in the U.S.), students […]

Bilingualism makes us smarter longer

Tweet An article in The New York Times today makes the case that not only does bilingualism make us smarter as children, it also wards off mental deterioration in older people. I might add my own two cents on this subject. There is no time in life when bilingualism is anything less than a great bonus […]

A comment on English-only

Tweet Max Markham, a recent Stanford graduate with some impressive international experience, even at his young age, has written an article which appeared on the blog policymic and presents some of the compelling arguments against having English-only legislation passed in the U.S., whether on the state or national level. It was written five months ago, and […]

Journals: a comment on literacy

Tweet This weekend I saw Dr. Andrew Weil speak about mental health at the Book Fair in Tucson, Arizona.  Dr. Weil is a well known author and doctor who advocates integrated health care, using both traditional and modern medical techniques. Among the many elements of maintaining mental health, he mentioned gratitude. We should be grateful, […]

Area X: The Genes of song

Tweet I learned something new today — yes, our genetic makeup influences how we  behave, but our behavior also changes or enhances our genetic makeup.  It’s a two-way street. That is somehow hopeful. As reported in the journal Neuron, a UCLA team of researchers “discovered that some 2,000 genes in a region of the male zebra […]