Is America Experiencing a Creativity Bust? This is a great article from Newsweek about how too much standardization and rote memorization in school is bringing down our ability to think creatively. Foreign languages classes are often based on boring rote memorization. Maybe this is why kids don’t get creative with learning languages. Time to add in some much needed music and media to language learning!
Posts By: Susanna
I don’t see this as a black or white issue. One CAN speak in their native tongue at home and outside of their home AND still learn and speak their target language. Take Montreal for example. People there are mostly totally bilingual.
Learning English has always been important for those living in the US. Now it may be even more vital for those who want to become legal citizens. According to Obama, learning English may be a key part in becoming a citizen: Obama seeks middle ground on immigration reform
Support a reality show on learning languages and cultures! Jose Ricardo-Osorio, has submitted a reality show idea to the “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” contest and needs your vote! The submission is for a show featuring a group of individuals competing to learn the language and culture of a country they don’t know; watch the video (listed as Jos’s audition) for full details. The winning ideas will compete in “Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star” on the OWN network in 2011. Jose needs you to vote for his show to ensure he makes it to the next round! Voting closes July 3, 2010!
After seeing Prof. Rachel Shively’s paper, From the Virtual World to the Real World: A Model of Pragmatics Instruction for Study Abroad about the importance of using online communities and technology even for students studying abroad, I saw on her website that she and her colleagues have made a wiki wiki is to collect language teaching resources. Look here for technological resources for language learning: Technology and Language Teaching
This Daily Show clip is hilarious! There is controversy at Hacienda Middle School in California. Some adults are afraid that having kids learn Mandarin will indoctrinate them into being Communists. It’s sad to see that people are actually scared about this. McCarthyism all over again?
Thanks Aasif Mandvi of the Daily Show for pointing out their idiocy.
However, when we are learning our second language, we rely more on declarative memory to learn grammar rules and structure rather than only by procedural memory. (In my words, we are like parrots than copy when we hear native speakers say.) This doesn’t mean that we can learn a language well without learning grammar and structure, but it shows that listening and repeating serve a real purpose in how we can learn the syntax and structure of a language. Listening to and repeating song lyrics CAN help us learn grammar!
This is a short and informative blog post on how to learn Portuguese if you already know Spanish. Written by Jared Romey: How To Use Your Spanish To Learn Portuguese I agree with Jared’s approach as I taught myself Portuguese when I already spoke Spanish, Italian, and French by using an EXCELLENT book called, “Com Licença!: Brazilian Portuguese for Spanish Speakers_“. Its written in English and explains the differences between Spanish and Portuguese for those who speak Spanish already and want to learn Portuguese. Using that book and listening to my local Portuguese immigrant radio station in Silicon Valley, California, I could understand almost everything in Portuguese. When I went to Brazil and Portugal, I could communicate better than other people I met who had formally studied Portuguese.
New study may revolutionize language learning The teaching of languages could be revolutionised following ground-breaking research by Victoria University, New Zealand, PhD graduate Paul Sulzberger. Dr Sulzberger has found that the best way to learn a language is through frequent exposure to its sound patterns–even if you haven’t a clue what it all means. http://www.physorg.com/news152292870.html
In his book, “Healthy Aging,” Dr. Andrew Weil recommends learning a foreign language as a way to prevent Alzheimers. From the ABC News story, “Learning a Foreign Language Can Help You Live Longer“: “Weil believes that by learning a foreign language we can reduce the risks of getting some of the most common age-related symptoms and diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s.” Foreign languages are not only fun, but also a way to prevent memory loss.