June’s Chatterbox: The Lowdown on Language Learning

Pimsleur Approach • June 29, 2012 • Language LearningComments (1)

June ChatterWelcome to this month’s Chatterbox! We’ve got all the important language learning news, scientific developments and advice, as well as a blog we love and a heads up on the best online competitions of the month. Enjoy and feel free to chip in with your suggestions for the Chatterbox!

The Science of Language

Further light was shone on the relationship between language and evolution, as Princeton scientists found that the facial movement and basic noises we make while speaking mirrors gestures performed by primates such as chimpanzees, baboons and macaques.

At the other end of the evolutionary scale, a robot names Deechee has learned to talk like a human infant, learning the name of shapes and colors with the help of human instructors. I can’t decide whether this is the creepiest or most amazing thing I have ever seen!

News ‘n’ Views from Around the World

The European Commission published the European Survey on Language Competences, which provided an interesting snapshot of language learning in Europe and also highlighted the importance of language learning outside the classroom.

The right or wrong way to teach foreign language came under scrutiny again in the Washington Post, as esteemed linguist Stephen Krashen laid out the benefits of listening and speaking, and pointed toward numerous studies that have found intensive grammar study and memorizing vocabulary to be of limited value.

Meanwhile, Google has launched the Endangered Languages Project, a collaborative effort with the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, in which it aims catalog over 3,000 languages on the edge of extinction.

But could it be too late for these languages? MentalFloss.com rounded up 11 languages that have 11 speakers or fewer.

Advice

Keeping in daily contact is crucial while learning a language, which is why this new Language Immersion Extension for Chrome is brilliant! It randomly translates small parts of the text you’re reading online into the language of your choice as you’re browsing and is available in three different skill levels.

Boost your cognitive reserve, says Time Magazine; your cognitive reserve helps you slow down the aging process and fight against degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. For a couple of ideas how, take a look here.

Are you learning Spanish? If so, this guide to Spanish music from The Guardian will help you choose what music to start listening to- you’ll be singing along in Español in no time!

Competitions

Our blog contest has drawn to a close- Sadly, because the entries were incredible: funny, moving and enlightening, often all at once! We’ll be revealing the winner on July 6, so stay posted!

If you’re dreaming of a summer vacation then take a look at this contest from Caribbean Travel+Life Magazine- you could win a 5 night stay in Aruba!  Elsewhere, the National Museum of Women in the Arts has this trip to Paris up for grabs! Bonne chance!

Best Language Blog

Our favorite language blog this month is the Virtual Linguist. Check it out if knowing the origins of words and phrases across a number of different languages sounds like your cup of tea!

P.S where did ‘cup of tea’ come from? Find out here!

Did You Know?

June is… Juni (Danish, Dutch, German, Norwegian), Juin (French),  Junio (Spanish), Guignio (Italian) amd Junie (Afrikaans)

Two origins of the word June have been proposed. First, that it was named after the Roman goddess Juno, who was the patron goddess of Rome. Second, that it comes from the Latin word ‘iuniores’, which means ‘young people.’

Either way, we hope you had a fantastic June; Tune in next month for the next edition of Chatterbox!

One Response to “ June’s Chatterbox: The Lowdown on Language Learning ”

  1. Sherry says:

    I really like it when folks get together and share views. Great blog, continue the good work!

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