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Archive for September, 2015

I Bet You a Kangaroo… Posted by on Sep 30, 2015

A while ago at work, someone described a particularly obscure piece of trivia as “That’s about as useful as knowing the Norwegian word for ‘kangaroo’!” (I love working with language people.) We all laughed, but after I thought for a minute, I said, “I bet I can guess the Norwegian word for ‘kangaroo’… maybe not…

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How to Teach Languages to Digital Natives Posted by on Sep 28, 2015

Nearly three-quarters of students (74%) claim they would do better in school if their instructors used more technology. 61% agreed that learning would improve if homework were more interactive. Whether these claims, gathered in a survey of 519 students, would produce the expected results is unclear. But one thing is crystal clear: younger generations of students…

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The Case for Heritage Language Teaching Posted by on Sep 23, 2015

In the United States, any language other than English that is spoken at home by a family or community is considered a “heritage language”. It makes sense, then, that someone learning a minority language in their home or community is considered a “heritage language learner”. We’ve made our commitment to language learning very clear, so…

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How to Deal Graciously with Embarrassment Posted by on Sep 21, 2015

Now, we all make mistakes. Sometimes, we make embarrassing mistakes. I’m no stranger to this myself. To paraphrase the Red Queen, why, sometimes I make as many as six embarrassing mistakes before breakfast! And when you’re learning something, you simply can’t help but screw it up. That, as we all know, is how we learn. Learning…

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Language Learning in the Real World Posted by on Sep 14, 2015

Itchy Feet: Adventure Shopping

These days, learning a language from the comfort of your armchair is as easy as 1, 2, internet! We’ve got software, we’ve got websites, we’ve got resources of every imaginable sort. We’ve got endless pages of grammar tables and translation searches and color-coded graphs and entertaining blogs and ways to Skype and communicate with real…

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How US Libraries Survive—and Thrive—in the Changing Linguistic Landscape (Part 2) Posted by on Sep 9, 2015

The United States is now home to more Spanish speakers than Spain, the number of foreign language speakers has grown 94% since 1990, and 1 in 5 U.S. residents now speaks a foreign language at home. As libraries strive to serve their communities, they must consider more carefully how best to serve members who speak…

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Rooster Dialects and the Age of Information Posted by on Sep 7, 2015

Itchy Feet: Odd Bird Out

You know what I love about the internet? I love the fact that you can learn almost everything you need to know by just looking it up, and information about just about everything humanity has ever done is available instantaneously. The dumbest things can be checked and, in some cases, verified. Take, for example, the comic…

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