Tag: language

Despite Brexit–or maybe because of it–there is a desperate shortage of world language teachers in the UK, so the government is launching a program to train native speakers of French, German, and Spanish to become teachers. The plan is to create opportunities for people with linguistic skills, whether they are living in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. “There may be people who speak French, German, or Spanish – in the UK or abroad – who would like to consider a career change and go into teaching,” said Gaynor Jones, director of the National Modern Languages SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). “For some, it could be an opportunity to experience a different culture as well as using their talents for the benefit of students keen to learn a new language.

According to a new study focusing on language acquisition in the brain, even short repetitive exposure to new words induces a rapid neural response increase that suggests memory building. The University of Helsinki's Lilli Kimppa studied neural response dynamics to new words over brief exposure and measured the neural activation of Finnish-speaking volunteers with electroencephalography (EEG) during auditory tasks...

Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev has announced a timeline to switch the country's writing system over from the Cyrillic to the Latin script with full implementation occurring by 2025. According to the state-owned "Egemen Kazakhstan" newspaper, Nazarbayev has asked the government to start "preparatory work" and "create a schedule for the switch" with the first deadline looming at the end of this...

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Languages Develop Simultaneously  But Independently in Young Bilinguals A new study of Spanish-English bilingual children by researchers at Florida Atlantic University published in the journal Developmental Science finds that when children learn two languages from birth each language proceeds on its own independent course, at a rate that reflects the quality of the children’s exposure to each language.  Spanish is Vulnerable to Being...

The English language has progressed over time without a handbook or guidance, so one would think that the structure within the language would be nonexistent. A new study, however, proves otherwise. The study, by Kristian Berg of the University of Oldenburg and Mark Aronoff of Stony Brook University is titled “Self-Organization in the Spelling of English Suffixes: the Emergence...

Last week we saw the release of Google Assistant, an electronic assistant that follows commands on mobile phones. While these tech super-giants are in a heated competition to close in the voice-assist market, Siri has the advantage of being able to speak 21 languages localized for 36 countries. The latest, Shanghainese, is a variety of Wu Chinese spoken in...

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) delivered its final report on the future of language education to the U.S. Congress yesterday, recommending “a national strategy to improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.” “America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century,” which was produced in response...

The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the computing industry standard for digital writing systems, is allowing people to adopt an emoji or any Unicode character in order to give speakers of more languages the ability to communicate online. English was the first language used online and by the mid 1990’s made up 80% of web-based content. Now 80% of the...

Research also demonstrates brain's plasticity and ability to adapt to new language environments In a paper published in December's Nature Communications, researchers from Canada's McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute demonstrate that even brief, early exposure to a language influences how the brain processes sounds from a second language later in life. Even if the first language learned is...

As travel experiences go, there are few things as satisfying as ordering a meal in a foreign language. But while the practical and social aspects are obvious, multilingualism also has a transformative effect on the brain - improving brain power and changing the way we see the world. Read on for an illustrated journey on how language affects the brain! How...