language and words in the news

Language and words in the news – 22nd October, 2010

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

Do contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include. We’d love to hear from you.

Global English

Using TV to teach English in Bangladesh
BBC World Service Trust’s English in Action project aims to use a supernatural detective drama and a comedy game show to help millions of people to learn English.

English language still a challenge for Korean college students
Foreign scholars and experts, who were invited by the government to evaluate the quality of the nation’s higher education, have pointed out that a lack of English language proficiency still holds back Korean students from becoming more proactive in classroom.

Language change and slang

How Important Are Slang and Idioms in Language Learning?
We had made a list of new vocabulary on the board. Gossip, idolize, tabloid. Now, we were adding to it, with “It was nuts!” and (to my grave discomfort) “chick.” The students were insistent though. These terms, they said, must be useful too, if their classmate picked them up.

Improve your English

Its, it’s: It’s a problem
My instincts are less violently judgemental. I don’t get wound up over its/it’s confusion – but I often wince at it, particularly when it appears in edited prose.

Cartoon: Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater
To understand this cartoon you need to know that ‘throw out the baby with the bath water’ is an idiomatic expression used to suggest an avoidable error in which something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad, or in other words, rejecting the essential along with the inessential.

Language teaching and resources

Modern workplace demands critical skills
The four Cs – critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity/innovation – will become more important to organisations in the future, says the American Management Association.

The videogloss – with a little help from Shaun!
Over the years, I’ve found that this works best with videos that have no spoken dialogue in them (it is possible to do it with other videos with the volume turned down, but I’ve generally found it doesn’t work as well — videos that are designed to communicate without dialogue do some things differently, and better, for the purposes of the videogloss).

9 Tips for Successful Language Learning
As we all know, studying a language is different from living a language.  There is a very directed and purposeful process that occurs when we study a language.

Books, words, science and the history of language

True to type: how we fell in love with our letters
From easyJet to Facebook, road signs to clothing labels, we are surrounded by a world of type. But what messages do its different kinds convey? In this extract from his new book, Just My Type, Simon Garfield looks at the history of typefaces, the obsessive care taken over their design – and the role they play in shaping our lives

Dictionary Day honors Webster — and the frustrating science of spelling
Dictionary Day observes the Oct. 16 birthday of dictionary creator Noah Webster.
It is also a time to review those words that just rankle when we try to spell them.

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Kati Sule

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