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Showing posts with label LANGUAGE and CULTURE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LANGUAGE and CULTURE. Show all posts

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 23

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills and have fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CULTURE: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Portraits of a complex marriage, by Kelly Grovier. Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera painted each other for 25 years: those works give us an insight into their relationship, argues Kelly Grovier.
Seen side-by-side in photographs, they struck an almost comic pose: his girth dwarfing her petite frame. When they married, her parents called them ‘the elephant’ and ‘the dove’. He was the older, celebrated master of frescoes who helped revive an ancient Mayan mural tradition, and gave a vivid visual voice to indigenous Mexican labourers seeking social equality after centuries of colonial oppression. She was the younger, self-mythologising dreamer, who magically wove from piercing introspection and chronic physical pain paintings of a severe and mysterious beauty. Together, they were two of the most important artists of the 20th Century. (Continue reading)

From BBC TRAVEL: The country with 11 official languages, by Denby Weller. Before coming to South Africa, the last thing an Australian would think is that there might be language difficulties.
[...] Discussion of the evolution of the colonial languages of South Africa is controversial, not least because they are just two of the 11 official languages in use today, and neither one is the first language for the majority of South Africans. In the 2011 Census, IsiZulu emerged as the language most spoken at home, followed by IsiXhosa. Afrikaans was a first language for 13.5% of South Africans, while English was spoken in just 9.6% of homes. Yet it is English that has emerged as the lingua franca – albeit a unique, local dialect enriched by the company of the many languages of the land. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
What causes antibiotic resistance? - Kevin Wu (4:34 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
BBC 6 Minute English: What Makes You Laugh? with English Subtitle (6:03 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
How to Survive Long Haul Flights - Travel Tips, Hacks & Tricks (11:42 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
VOCABULARY: Find out when to write hyphens (6:14 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
English Grammar - comparing with LIKE & AS (9:10 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Monday, October 29, 2018

What is the best age to learn a language? By Sophie Hardach (From BBC Future)

πŸ‘‰ GO TO FULL ARTICLE: What is the best age to learn a language?
πŸ‘‰ By Sophie Hardach

When it comes to learning a foreign language, we tend to think that children are the most adept. But that may not be the case – and there are added benefits to starting as an adult.
Credit: Getty / From: BBC Future

It’s a busy autumn morning at the Spanish Nursery, a bilingual nursery school in north London. Parents help their toddlers out of cycling helmets and jackets. Teachers greet the children with a cuddle and a chirpy “Buenos dΓ­as!”. In the playground, a little girl asks for her hair to be bunched up into a “coleta” (Spanish for ‘pigtail’), then rolls a ball and shouts “Catch!” in English.

“At th
is age, children don’t learn a language – they acquire it,” says the school’s director Carmen Rampersad. It seems to sum up the enviable effortlessness of the little polyglots around her. For many of the children, Spanish is a third or even fourth language. Mother tongues include Croatian, Hebrew, Korean and Dutch.

Compare this to the struggle of the average adult in a language class, and it would be easy to conclude that it’s best to start young.

But science offers a much more complex view of how our relationship with languages evolves over a lifetime – and there is much to encourage late beginners.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The 10 personality traits English cannot name, by Alex Rawlings (From BBC Future)

πŸ‘‰ GO TO FULL ARTICLE: The 10 personality traits English cannot name
πŸ‘‰ by Alex Rawlings

From the “un-take-out-able” to the “magnets for bad luck”, other European languages have a rich vocabulary of personal characteristics that English struggles to describe succinctly.
An 'I-don't-care-ist', someone who is overly complacent, indifferent or apathetic (Credit: Javier Hirschfeld/Getty Images)





The English language may be one of the richest in the world. It draws on its unique combination of a Germanic heritage and strong Romance influences to offer speakers a broad range of nuances when expressing themselves. Just consider the difference between a ‘hearty welcome’ and a ‘cordial reception’ to see where the possibilities lie.

Yet, as English continues to rise as the world’s de facto lingua franca, it’s important to also remember its limitations. Languages encapsulate culture. They are an embodiment of the way in which a particular group of people has agreed to communicate. As a result, they reflect those people’s experiences of the world through the idioms and expressions that become common parlance.

Learning other languages offers insights into the way that other cultures see the world. For someone like myself, gaining those insights can become addictive, and that fixation has led me to study 15 different languages. My recent book, 'From Amourette to Ε»al: Bizarre and Beautiful Words from Around Europe', explores some of the words that other languages have, but that English doesn’t. The following 10 words, for example, describe character traits and behaviours that may be familiar to us all, but that the English language struggles to succinctly express. (Continue reading)

πŸ‘‰Alex Rawlings is a polyglot and writer, who in 2012 was named Britain’s Most Multilingual Student after being tested for fluency in 11 languages. His most recent book is From Amourette to Ε»al: Bizarre and Beautiful Words from Around Europe.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 22

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills and have fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

F
rom BBC CAPITAL: How similar you are to your partner can affect your happiness, by Christian Jarrett. Researchers have found that how similar you are to your partner can affect your happiness – but it’s complicated.
Among many monogamous species, from cockatiels to cichlid fish, studies have revealed a clear pattern: it helps to be more similar to your mate. When mating pairs are behaviourally similar, their reproductive success tends to be higher.
In human terms, this would imply it’s better to be similar to your partner. Indeed, for a long time psychologists and others have argued that similarity is probably beneficial – after all, then we will be more likely to enjoy the same pursuits, values and outlook on life.
But no matter how intuitive the idea seems, for decades nearly every study has failed to support it.
Now, though, a team of psychologists at the University of Amsterdam think they know why. They have taken a far more sophisticated and nuanced look at the issue than in previous research. (Continue reading)

From BBC REEL: Reel: The oldest coffee in the world. From huts in remote villages to internet cafes in the capital city, coffee ceremonies are the centre of social life and hospitality in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
How to show annoyance (4:11 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Salary Negotiation: 6 Tips on How to Negotiate a Higher Salary (9:56 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
HISTORY: CONSUMERISM (10:52 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
VOCABULARY: Words with more than one spelling (6:16 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
Learn English: "last year" OR "in the last year" (8:26 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 18

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills while having fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC NEWS: Body clock scientists win Nobel Prize, by James Gallagher. Health and science reporter, BBC News website. Three scientists who unravelled how our bodies tell time won the 2017 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
The body clock - or circadian rhythm - is the reason we want to sleep at night, but it also drives huge changes in behaviour and body function.
The US scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young will share the prize. The Nobel prize committee said their findings had "vast implications for our health and wellbeing". (Continue reading)

From BBC TRAVEL: The rarest fabric on Earth, by Meg Lukens Noonan & Tom Garmeson. The once-endangered vicuna is thriving in the Peruvian Andes, thanks to a bold plan to sustainably gather and sell its valuable fleece – and give locals a stake in its survival. (Go to full article)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Why do blood types matter? - Natalie S. Hodge (4:41 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
How does your body know what time it is? - Marco A. Sotomayor (5:08 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
Biomedical & Industrial Engineering: Crash Course Engineering #6 (10:29 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
'Ensure' or 'insure'? (1:45 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
BBC English Masterclass: Infinitives of purpose (3:44 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 17

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills while having fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CAPITAL: What would happen if we all took smart drugs?, by Zaria Gorvett. More and more people are turning to drugs to improve their performance at work. Do they really work? And what would happen if we all started taking them?
[...] For centuries, all workers have had to get them through the daily slog is boring old caffeine. But no more. The latest generation has been experimenting with a new range of substances, which they believe will supercharge their mental abilities and help them get ahead. (Continue reading)

From BBC CAPITAL: What's driving the rise of the McVegan burger? (This story is from You & Yours on BBC Radio 4, presented by Winifred Robinson and produced by Kevin Mousley. To listen to more episodes of You & Yours please click here. Adapted by Peter Rubinstein.) The Big Mac is changing in response to growing demand for vegetarian food that looks and tastes like meat. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
THE BEST HIDDEN LONDON PUBS (3:45 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
BBC 6 Minute English January 14, 2016 - Is modern life making us tired? (6:02 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
Visit New York - 5 Things You Will Love & Hate about New York City, USA (10:11 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
Learners' Questions: The difference between 'what' and 'which' (2:07 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Sunday, September 09, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 16

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills while having fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CULTURE: THE REBIRTH OF BRITAIN’S ‘LOST’ LANGUAGES, by Holly Williams. Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish, which is spoken by fewer than 1000 people. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn.
“A eus le rag hwedhlow dyffrans?” So goes the first track on Le Kov, the second album by Welsh singer Gwenno Saunders. But it isn’t Welsh: it’s Cornish, a minority language spoken by fewer than a thousand people. The line translates as “is there room for different stories?” – and this is the question at the heart of her record, which celebrates variance in language, culture and identity. (Continue reading)

From BBC TECHNOLOGYSocial media terms 'jargon-busted' for teens, by Alli Shultes. Technology reporter. A set of jargon-busting guides that teach children about their rights on social media sites has been published.
Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield said Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and YouTube had "not done enough" to clarify their policies.
She simplified the websites' terms and conditions with privacy law firm Schillings. But Instagram said the simplified version of its terms contained "a number of inaccuracies".
The slimmed-down guides are a response to the Commissioner's Growing Up Digital report, which found that most children do not understand the agreements they sign when they create social media accounts.
All the sites require children to be over 13 to create an account. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Learners' Questions: How to use 'be likely to' (2:09 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
How to Wake Up Early - And Not be Miserable (7:39 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
RSA ANIMATE: The Paradox of Choice (10:43 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
Learn English - ALL or WHOLE? (9:23 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

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