Posted by & filed under How to learn languages with songs and the media, Resources.

Great video of a lecture by Aniruddh Patel on the relationship between language and music at the Library of Congress. The discussion of how language background can effect classical music from England and France is fascinating. Notes from the You Tube description: In our everyday lives, language and instrumental music are obviously different things. Neuroscientist and musician Ani Patel is the author of a recent, elegantly argued offering from Oxford University Press, “Music, Language and the Brain.” Oliver Sacks calls Patel a “pioneer in the use of new concepts and technology to investigate the neural correlates of music.” In Patel’s presentation, he discusses some of the hidden connections between language and instrumental music that are being uncovered by empirical scientific studies. The Music and the Brain Lecture Series is a cycle of lectures and special presentations that highlight an explosion of new research in the rapidly expanding field of “neuromusic.” Programming is sponsored by the Library’s Music Division and its Science, Technology and Business Division, in cooperation with the Dana Foundation. Aniruddh Patel is the Esther J. Burnham Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the Neurosciences Institute.

Posted by & filed under Free Language Learning Resources.

1. Are you having difficulty learning English? Check out this videos about how to make difficult English sounds with the help of food: 2) Here are some tips on learning Spanish by listening to music: 3) Learn the Spanish verb conjugation song: 4) Popular You Tube video, The One Semester of Spanish – Love Song, 5) Teaching French to children through music (Slangman):

Posted by & filed under Free Language Learning Resources, How to learn languages with songs and the media.

My admiration for Dr. Oliver Sacks is no secret. He was just on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night talking about the effects of music on the brain. I am thrilled that he was discussing this on mainstream TV as more people watch The Daily Show than have read his excellent book, Musicophilia. He discussed that even after a stroke, people will still remember music even if they forget language. I wonder what would happen to someone who had learned another language through music. Would he/she have a better chance of retaining their language skills after a stroke? Watch this clip from The Daily Show: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Oliver Sacks www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party This man is a wonderful gift to humanity.

Posted by & filed under Budget travel tips.

I’d never heard the word staycation until this year. Journalists send out queries to travel writers asking about how to write tips on staycations. While waiting for the bus to La Guardia airport in Queens, New York, I saw a sign that read, “Daycation: Treat yourself to a hot dog for 50 cents”. I chucked at the site of the ad and wondered what a staycation would be. Believe it or not, I am exhausted from traveling. This summer will be full of staycations for me. Here are some ideas for a staycation: 1) The summer is full of free concerts, outdoor movie screenings, dance performances and festivals. I’ll be there. 2) Not working. That’s quite simple. I will just take time to take walks, read for pleasure and spend time with my friends. 3) International Photo Album Potlucks. My college mentor organized a potluck seven years ago where all the guests brought photo albums from their international trips and prepared foods from those countries. We passed around albums and heard about people’s trips and stories. It was an inexpensive way to eat foreign food and “see” life in another country. 4) Videos and documentaries about other places. Oh yes!… Read more »

Posted by & filed under Multilingual identity.

Political barriers shouldn’t be linguistic barriers I was recently in the former Yugoslavia as an election observer in Macedonia and was pleasantly surprised at how I was able to use Serbo-Croatian to communicate with various people: a Slovenian diplomat, an ethnic Albanian woman in Macedonia and a Macedonian man. When the Slovenian diplomat and I started speaking to our ethnic Albanian interpreter and our Macedonian driver in Serbo-Croatian, we were feeling uneasy about the Albanian’s reaction since she might link Serbo-Croatian to the former Yugoslavian government and its actions against the Kosovar Albanians. (We were in Tetovo, Macedonia, where there were ethnic clashes between Albanians and Macedonians in 2001. So, the topic of ethnic violence was quite relevant.) But, she was fine with our speaking in Serbo-Croatian and responded to us in English or Macedonian. The language surpassed political barriers. The former Yugoslavs reminisced about Yugoslavian sports teams and music groups that existed before the fall of the former Yugoslavia. The Slovenian diplomat told me that children in Slovenia no longer learn Serbo-Croatian and focus only on English and German. Since Slovenia broke apart from the former Yugoslavia and joined the European Union, the country is concentrating on being European… Read more »