April, 2012

Italian university decides to teach all classes in English

Tweet The Politecnico University in Milano, Italy, has decided that it will teach all of its classes in English.  As you might imagine, this has caused controversy. As European (and other) universities attract a student body from various countries, there is something of a trend to teach classes in English.  Montclair State University, for example, […]

Paying the piper 2: The failure of American high schools

Tweet A couple of blog posts ago, I presented some cockamamie sentences from my students. The sentences suggested to me that the students did not have a handle on the rules for constructing sentences. They confused spoken English with written English, but the sentences cited would not be used in spoken English.  This baffled, and […]

Virtual reality

Tweet Years ago, a friend said he thought that young people today were blurring the distinction between real and virtual relationships.  I said that was ridiculous, that human beings would always need the sights, smells, and touch of other human beings. A relationship based on language alone would never prove gratifying. Now I wonder.  My […]

Paying the Piper – the failure of American high schools

Tweet A second semester college student included this language in the third, and final, draft of her essay on “love and marriage.”  I like many other people are surprised by the amount of time couples stay together.  Not to mention adopting a child. After the final drafts had been turned in, I culled 22 similarly […]

Language learning tool

Tweet I have just learned about a very interesting tool/game for learning new languages.  Here’s a synopsis, copied from a LinkedIn contact: “Language Hunters (http://www.languagehunters.org/) is a not-for-profit organization in Portland, Oregon that utilizes a fun, collaborative and communal accelerated learning tool in the form of an interactive game, utilizing sign language, to learn and […]

Playing with language

Tweet A recent article in The New York Times, “My Life’s Sentences,” by the author Jhumpa Lahiri, mentioned one of her favorite sentences. It is in the short story Araby, by James Joyce: “The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed.” Since we had just read this story in class, I […]