linguistics

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, […]

Fiction Exercise: Final part

Tweet The fiction-writing exercise described in the posts of February 2, 7, 13, 16, and 21 was the first assignment of a class in which the students would later write essays on assigned subjects, using works of fiction and poetry as sources.  The goal was to provide the students with some insight into what it takes to write fiction. (Poetry […]

Linguapax Award

Tweet Do you know there is an “International Mother Language Day?”  It’s today, February 21st. It is sponsored by Linguapax, a non-governmental organization supporting linguistic diversity, in the belief that “…essential vehicles of identity and cultural expression are inseparable from the goals peace and intercultural understanding.” The Linguapax Award for 2012 is being given to: […]

Text messages and language change

Tweet Imagine what a Shakespearean era mom would think of the way we speak today. Moms from a couple of hundred years before that would have been appalled at the way Shakespeare spoke. Language is always changing, sometimes slowly, but always inexorably. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that researchers in Canada and Belgium are studying text […]

Where do ideas come from?

Tweet One area of linguistics, Psycholinguistics, concerns itself with how the mind creates the matter which produces ideas.  Ideas are a precursor to the words which express them — a Chinese speaker and an English speaker can view a work of art or a car accident and have the same “idea,” but the words which […]

Fiction Exercise: Part 2

Tweet The fiction-writing exercise described in the post of February 2 was the first assignment of a class in which the students would later write essays on assigned subjects, using works of fiction and poetry as sources.  The goal was to provide the students with some insight into what it takes to write fiction. (Poetry writing was […]

Goals and Motivation in Second/Third… Language Learning

Tweet This is a guest post from Rebekah Palmer (http:palmerlanguage.blogspot.com). Cross fertilization of ideas amplifies the abilities of all of us. If any of my readers have experiences or suggestions, please feel free to share them. As educators, we often talk about goal setting. We set long-term goals for courses and short-term lesson objectives. We […]

Whence English?

Tweet Perhaps you have heard of “World English.” This is not a single language, but a concatenation of versions of English, as spoken in America, England, Australia, southern Africa, the Caribbean, India, Pakistan and neighbors, Hong Kong, Belize — all over the world.  Each version is different in vocabulary, accent, and sometimes in syntax. Standard […]

Heritage languages

Tweet Diversity is often just a concept. Many people live in a diverse town, yet never visit the “foreign” parts of it. Students can be members of a diverse class, yet never come into contact with the parts of their peers’ lives that reflect their different backgrounds.  Students with an Italian background, for example, often […]

Non-human translation not quite up to snuff yet.

Tweet If you are even vaguely familiar with another language, and you are feeling bored and depressed, a visit to an automatic translation site such as Babel Fish might give you a giggle or two. One article in GMA News, writes that in a Malaysian Defense Ministry publication, “‘pakaian yang menjolok mata,’ which means ‘revealing […]