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Archive for May, 2017

Drinking in the sun and tickling camels? In some languages, there’s a word for that. Posted by on May 31, 2017


Whether you’re a subscriber to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis or not, it’s undeniable that certain words provide a window into their respective culture. Language gaps and “untranslatable” words exist for a reason: when you have different values, follow a different schedule, or even live in a different climate, your vocabulary reflects those differences. Want unique insight…

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Thé Jøy öf Dîáçrïtícs Posted by on May 29, 2017

Getting to write with new accent dashes, dots and squiggles is part of the fun of language learning. But is it even better when writing whole new alphabets? Well, they’re all real, but a lot of them are just math symbols and not used in any actual language. Still, the heart of the comic is true…

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Temptation Bundling: For When Motivation Falls Short in Language Learning Posted by on May 24, 2017

temptation bundling

Sometimes willpower and motivation alone are not enough. More and more, we find ourselves working with people for whom learning a language is not optional. They need it to do their job well. But even for those motivated individuals, learning a language is an arduous journey. So how does the average learner—whose job isn’t on…

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Into the Linguistic Wild Posted by on May 22, 2017

Reaching further than your grasp can give you a handful of stardust, or it can leave you flat on your face. The risk is worth it. Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach. When traveling, it’s easy to get yourself lost in the middle of backwater nowhere, on the hunt for an “authentic” travel experience. I…

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Why We Prioritize Educational Methodology, Not Just Educational Technology Posted by on May 17, 2017

educational technology

Using the right tools the wrong way will not produce the best results. In a guest post for EdWeek, Spanish teacher Kaitlin E. Thomas explains precisely why educational technology has yet to revolutionize every language classroom: “Effective integration of instructional technology in learning environments is the unicorn of successful curriculum design and implementation. Yet, one…

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You Can Homeschool in a Foreign Language You Don’t Speak Posted by on May 15, 2017

spanish elementary homeschool course

Homeschooling is a unique opportunity to shape your child’s education and pass along your wisdom. But what if your vast pool of knowledge doesn’t extend to a foreign language? Given the many good reasons to learn a language (and the fact that many colleges require at least 2 years!), it’s likely not something you want…

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Can foreign languages make America safer? Diplomatically speaking, yes. Posted by on May 10, 2017

There’s been a lot of talk in today’s political climate about “keeping America safe.” Last month, we examined how international scientific and medical collaboration—enabled by foreign language capabilities—makes us safer. International security extends far beyond public health, of course. Perhaps the best-known agency working to keep us safe and prevent conflict is the U.S. State…

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