How about this for a New Year’s resolution? Learn a Language!

December 31, 2014


Still wondering what to choose as your 2015 New Year’s Resolution? Let me humbly suggest – yes, you’ve guessed it – learning a language or brushing up on one you already know. Here’s why. 1. It’s tangible. “Be more organised” or “be on time” are (in my experience) not only doomed to failure, they are […]

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Reasons to Learn a Language, #1402: It’s Attractive

February 14, 2014


In a recent BuzzFeed quiz (“which Disney character are you?”, if memory serves), the following question was asked: “Which random thing turns you on?” Not sure about random, though. I mean, take this as Exhibit A. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Reasons to Learn a Language, #926: Indulge Your Other Obsessions

January 31, 2014


When I switched on my DVR today, I found that something new had recorded: Little Manhattan. I muttered something about how I already have that, you silly machine, but before I deleted it I hovered over it just long enough to notice that it had recorded in Spanish. So I kept it.  This is a film […]

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Language Learning and Me: American Sign Language

January 18, 2014


When we talk about language learning, it’s easy to forget that not all language is oral. Around half a million people in the U.S. and Canada use American Sign Language.  Laura is one of them, and now works as an ASL interpreter in and around Washington, DC. Why American Sign Language? When I was 13 […]

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Reasons to learn a language, #823: Google Translate is not enough

January 12, 2014


I know, I know: I’ve said it before. Google Translate is no substitute for real translation, and even less so for learning a real language.  You don’t have to take my word for it, though: Nataly Kelly of the Huffington Post explains why computers will never be perfect translators in this piece.

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Reasons to learn a language, #419: emotional well-being

January 10, 2014


Watching the film Julie and Julia over the Christmas holidays, I was reminded of an important aspect of language tutoring, or at least of my language tutoring. In the film (recommended if you like France or food, a must if you love both), Julia Childs is frustrated that a French woman won’t let her take cooking lessons. At her […]

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Resources for learning and teaching Arabic

January 7, 2014


Originally posted on Literacy, Languages and Leadership:
This semester I am involved in a Calgary Board of Education (CBE) pilot project to teach Arabic in a blended learning course at the high school level. I’ve been working with a fantastic team of educators comprised of an instructional designer, a curriculum development specialist and a native…

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