Language and words in the news – 17th June, 2011

Posted by on June 17, 2011

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

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

Global English

Ireland improves its strong grasp of the English language market
The number of English language students studying in Ireland rose by 22 per cent in the first quarter of the year, providing a boost to the economy.

Taxi drivers hit language barrier
Fewer than half the people who try to become Adelaide taxi drivers pass a basic English language test.

Language change and slang

Should HR buzzwords be banned?
I know business in general is often accused of inventing all kinds of gobbledygook, but can we in HR be singled out especially for criticism in this regard? In my mind, the answer is, “Yes and no.”

When did Americans Stop “Talking British?”
… it’s clear to me that British English has seen at least as much of a change than American English. So the more pertinent question is, when did Britons stop talking like Americans?

Language teaching and resources

5 Myths about mobile learning
Here are some common mLearning myths I regularly come across in English language teacher training – and some myth-busting lesson plans.

Five Reasons Why Video Games Power Up Learning
The famous videogame designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, known for creating some of the most iconic and successful videogames in history, such as Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda, once said, “Videogames are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock n’ roll.”

Improve your English

S is for Subjunctive
“Damn the subjunctive!”  Mark Twain is alleged to have said.  “It brings all our writers to shame”. It’s not clear what Twain’s particular beef was … But my question is this: is there a subjunctive?  Or is it simply a mythical beast?

Language technology

Ray Kurzweil on Translation Technology
According to Kurzweil, machines will reach human levels of translation quality by the year 2029.

Video of the week

Why don’t more jokes die?
A clip from Australian TV is rapidly becoming viral. Karl Stefanovic, a TV journalist on Australia’s Today show, running out of topics in an interview with the Dalai Lama, tried to tell him a familiar Buddhism joke — a very good one (he says he had heard it the previous night from his 12-year-old son).

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