Articles on English language

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Being able to learn science in a number of languages helps children to develop an understanding of concepts - like the robotics used to build this dinosaur. David Mercado/Reuters

Multilingualism boosts learning - and can create new science knowledge too

Using more than one language when teaching and learning science in schools can greatly enhance concept development. This in fact goes to the heart of science.
Every rule in the English language has an exception. That’s more than a little frustrating. from www.shutterstock.com

The absurdity of English spelling and why we’re stuck with it

Perfect spelling, vocabulary, usage, grammar, punctuation and style do not necessarily correlate perfectly with intelligence and competence, but most people infer that they do. Thus perception is reality.
How much does the way we speak affect the way people perceive us – and should it really matter in contemporary Australia? Steven Mileham

Posh accents, discrimination and employment in Australia

Within Australia, there has historically been a clear social distinction between Cultivated (British-oriented) and Broad or General, distinctly Australian ways of speaking.
Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka with a group of children in Lagos. Research suggests that literacy in a mother tongue is a building block for multilingualism. Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Digital stories could hold the key to multilingual literacy for African children

Research tells us that multilingual literacy matters. But teaching children in Africa to read in their mother tongues as a springboard to literacy in other languages can be a fraught process.
The English language has a tendency to reinforce patriarchy, but there are ways to stop that. Shutterstock

Gender-neutral communication: how to do it

The English language reinforces patriarchy, but we can use the language to counter it instead.
From left to right. Mandarin employs a different part of the brain. Chinese man via XiXinXing/Shutterstock

If you speak Mandarin, your brain is different

Language is traditionally associated with the left side of the brain. But Mandarin speakers are using the right side.
It will get easier. Shrug via PathDoc/shutterstock

Learning to speak English? Making yourself understood isn’t all about the accent

Being able to communicate effectively in a foreign language is a challenge faced by many of us. If you’re a newcomer to a country, conveying a message in a language that is not your mother tongue is often…
American-speak is pervading the English language. But is it actually American? Flickr/Okay Yarramanoglu

Are those damned Americanisms really American?

From time to time, Australians complain about the apparent encroachment of Americanisms in our language, and the Brits seem none too happy about it either. George Bernard Shaw famously said: England and…
New words for today: druid, priest and warrior. Boy gaming via wckiww/Shutterstock

How Swedish children learn English through gaming

An hour of homework or an hour of World of Warcraft? It’s not hard to guess what many ten-year-old boys would rather be doing when they get home from school. But now research shows that in non-English…
Sticklers beware. marymuses

What the grammar gurus don’t get about how we learn

Sticklers beware. The British Library is hosting it’s English Grammar Day, a day to finely split hairs over split infinitives, apostrophe’s (sic, sic, sic), and Oxford commas (sick!). Yes, in the case…

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