The Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year is causing a bit of a stir – probably because it's not a word at all.
Phonics programs are not helpful for all learners.
Phonics programs can be helpful for students with very particular learning needs - but it's not a one-size-fits-all literacy solution. Here are some things you should be wary of.
A Spanish street performer dressed as a cowboy. Europeans have long been fascinated with the American West.
A linguist explains how words get co-opted from one language to another.
English is Uganda’s official language - but wouldn’t it make sense to adopt a few more along with it?
Joshua Wanyama/Africa Knows
The stories of and attitudes to three particular languages – English, Swahili and Luganda – provide an interesting starting point for a debate around Uganda's language policy.
At what point does a wildly speculative idea become worthy of national and international press coverage?
The idea that the Australian accent may be the product of drunkenness in early European settlers is wildly speculative. And yet it has gained international attention in the past week. Why?
Japan’s “internet cafe refugees”.
EPA/EVERETT KENNEDY BROWN
A satirical manga cartoon of a Syrian refugee child has had the internet up in arms – but there's plenty more tone-deafness where that came from.
The discovery that "Huh?" crops up in many languages may have won the researchers an Ig Nobel Prize. But they found much more than that in their search for the universals in language.
3D virtual reconstruction of two-million-year-old ear.
Beyond the cool factor of figuring out hominin hearing capacities two million years ago, these findings could help answer the tantalizing question of when did human vocalized language first emerge.
A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but it just doesn’t feel right.
Mark A Neal
What's in a name? Many words are arbitrary – there's no reason a dog must be called a dog or a table must be called a table. Why do we tend to assume there's a reason any object has its specific name?
But not migrants?
Al-Jazeera has changed its style guide, while others continue to debate the issue.
Ugandan children are meant to learn in local mother tongues for their first three years of primary school.
In Uganda, private schools are simply ignoring a policy that calls for pupils to learn in a mother tongue rather than in English for the first three years of their education.
Could these gentlemen be early pioneers of textspeak?
Council Flat Holm Project/Wikimedia Commons
Long before 'sup' and 'hwu' there was 'Hw r u ts mng?'
To communicate is human – but how did language originally get started?
What can a bunch of people grunting in a lab teach us about our capacity to create language systems? A lot about the gesture- or vocalization-based origins of language.
Are the Minion toys using the F-word?
Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ
Did your child just drop the F-bomb? What can you do?
Amid the debate about what languages should dominate at African schools, we’re missing an important point: why do we learn language in the first place?
There are two functions of language: communication and access to knowledge. Each must be pursued as an objective in its own right rather than being lumped together.
Members of the Chitimacha language team (from left to right) Sam Boutte, Kim Walden and Rachel Vilcan use the new language software for the first time.
In the face of war, disease and outside cultural pressures, the Chitimacha language has survived -- and now thrives.
Minions, contrary to parental fears, have not been swearing at children – but why would that be a problem anyway?
Parental concerns that Minions given as toys in McDonald's Happy Meals have been dropping the F-bomb raises an issue: how far – if at all – should we go to prevent children from exposure to "bad" language?
The United States celebrates its World Cup victory.
USA Today Sports/Reuters
Language can subtly undermine women's sports in a number of ways.
The language of learning is a politically fraught matter in South Africa, harking back to the tragic 1976 Soweto uprising.
There's an ongoing debate about how best to promote multilingualism in schools. But is this debate relevant when it comes to teaching science?
Worth practicing for your holiday?
Language experts review how one of the world's most popular language learning apps measures up against traditional teaching.