Tagged: language

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Who’s Speaking? Guess the Accent.

This game, Guess Who’s Speaking, I designed using the Speech Archives and stock photos. It could be a good listening activity for students (it provides repetition) and also a way to discuss stereotypes. Basically, you first guess who might be speaking (these aren’t the real...

twilight zone 0

Strange Stories of Language Learning Part 2

After writing about some strange stories I’d come across over the years regarding language learning, I remembered a few more ….. So in the interest of a comprehensive list, here are these additional stories – Strange but supposedly true.   1.  Sarah Cowell overnight starts speaking...

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Language In Use

Here is a nice presentation of a lot of “functional” language. Expressions, vocabulary that students can use in certain contexts. They’ll need a teacher’s guidance to help them know the subtlties of using many of them but they are a handy reference available to members...

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Living The Languages

I highly recommend these series of videos. Not just as an anthropologist and a teacher interested in language but as a human being who understands the importance of preserving cultural/ethnic diversity, our cultural genome. I presently live in Guatemala and this episode makes a great...

learning 0

5 Myths About Learning

I spent part of the morning rereading Frank Smith, particularly his thoughts about how we learn. Delightful, insightful, thoughtful.  Here’s an excerpt from his book: Comprehension and Learning but I also highly recommend his book about whole language, Understanding Reading. One of the things that...

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Strange stories about language learning

Over the years, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open for great “thought experiments” for language. Real examples and events that are so extreme, they really force you to think differently about ones preconceived notions about language learning (and by default teaching it). Here are...

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Joking Matters

I’ve spent the weekend reading the Heidegger and a Hippo walk through those Pearly Gates, the sequel to the amazing Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. Amazing books that combine commentary with jokes. As I’m reading, I was thinking of how jokes so...

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Learning To Swear

“I am my language.” What a powerful phrase about how language is so wrapped up with identity. Both our own personal identity and our social identity in a larger group. A language learner aims to get to the moment where they “flow” with the language...

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Accent Agape

I spent a large part of a wonderful day stuck in the car. Thankful, saved by a wonderful interview with Slavoj Zizek, philosopher and iconic social critic. Catch the same interview here. What I love about him besides him irreverence (laughed like crazy when he...

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Free “Won’t”

I’ve been thinking a lot about “free will” and the nature of the choices we make – both in teaching and in life. Recent research, especially since the famous Libert experiment, suggests we make decisions before we even know we make decisions. Meaning, something, a...

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The Idiot’s Dictionary – early release

I mentioned this book previously. Now, releasing it early – I’ll have a hard cover, POD (Print On Demand), for purchase version shortly. Download The Idiot’s Dictionary.doc I’ll only say thank you to my niece Gabriella, who painstakingly went over the copy and edited everything....

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Memory and Language – an experiment.

I’ve always been fascinated by the role memory plays in language acquisition. It isn’t a straight forward relationship (better memory = better fluency) however, looking at student “2nd language memory” does allow us teachers in a very crude way, to gather knowledge about student fluency....

Learning a language 0

Learning a language

This video is raw, raw and real. Meaning, to me it speaks on many levels (both good and bad) because it is from the heart, the belly and the brain – because it has spirit and eyes and emotion. We need more of this type...

stickiness 0

Stickiness – What makes what you do stick?

I’m putting together an online presentation for some Brazilian teachers and I’ll be talking about “Stickiness”. I thought it would be worthwhile to air my own thoughts specifically about what makes our teaching “stick”. In other words, how to make what we do transfer into...

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Insights about SLA …..

I’ve recently been updating articles and resources on the TESOL Teacher Training page/course. One article that I read several years ago has always stood out for me. What do we know about learning and teaching second language – Implications for teaching. Written by Francis Mangubhai,...

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Top Language related posts

Last week I posted up my “Top Teacher Training related posts″ – titled, “On the shoulders of Regular Joe Teachers” and my “Top Education related posts″. Today, I’d like to share my top Language related posts of 2010. I believe it really helps a language...

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Language and Power – WTF?

Today, I watched a CNBC episode of their new series “What the Future” (WTF).  I’ll refrain from commenting on their narrative and how they provide pleasant propaganda to the masses about helping those less fortunate. I find their message of “choice not charity” rather simplistic...

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The #1 translated and subtitled video material

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1. Get the full eBook 6 Billion Others 6 Billion Others is a video series of interviews with real people. All translated impeccably. They really teach us, through humans telling their own stories about fear,...

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The indelible nature of language

Can you be my psychiatrist? May I admit something? I’ve always had a severe sensitivity to language – especially the proclivity to pun incessantly. I kid you not – full blown Foerster’s Syndrome. It is under control but today I’ve had a hard day with...