Language and words in the news – 12th August, 2011

Posted by on August 12, 2011

This post contains a selection of links related to recent language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share.

Global English

Language teaching sector worth €274m
Justin Quinn, managing director of the Centre for Education Studies, said learning English was once a luxury for people but in the face of a global recession, it has become something parents feel their children need to carve out a successful career.

Indians beat English at their language
It’s long been known that Indian students outperform their global counterparts in science and math. But here’s a stunning finding: even students whose mother tongue is an Indian language fare better in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (Toefl) than those whose native language is English.

Language change and slang

Did We Speak More “Properly” 50 Years Ago?
I doubt that we ever, as Americans, abandoned the “formal register.” I certainly speak with more crisply pronounced consonants at a job interview than I do hanging out in a car with my brother. The details of what this register entails may differ from one generation to the next, but I don’t think the phenomenon is going away.

-mageddons and -pocalypses
Disaster is all around us: a constant parade of mageddons and pocalypses, usually traveling together.

Books, words, science and the history of language

Six little words and one very big question
So I sat down and spent a while chewing my pen. Why do I do what I do? After a small crisis that such profound thinking inevitably brings on and after much searching of soul and wallet, I have come up with the following entry: “Money, recognition, gossip, freedom, satisfaction, mirth.”

Strange and Twisted Tongues
Languages are primarily oral; insistence on the fixed form of the written word leads to pedantic objections.

New media: podcast & infographic

The English language and immigration (30:40)
Should the government be forcing people to speak English?

Improve Attractiveness with Body Language
Small non-verbal cues — a smile, length of eye contact, and posture — communicate more to potential romantic interests than that clever line carefully mined from a Hugh Grant flick (though that never hurts).

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