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robertogreco : vocabulary   55

Carol Black on Twitter: "I'm sorry, but this is delusional. If you don't read the book the first time for rhythm and flow, just *read* it, you haven't read the book. You have dissected it. This is like the vivisection of literature. There is no author ali
"I'm sorry, but this is delusional. If you don't read the book the first time for rhythm and flow, just *read* it, you haven't read the book. You have dissected it. This is like the vivisection of literature. There is no author alive who would want their book read this way."



"Look, the reality is that most people do not want to analyze literature. It's a specialty interest, a niche thing. There is absolutely no reason all people should have to do this. By forcing it we just create an aversion to books.

[@SOLEatHome "Would you consider someone re-reading a book they love and noticing things they missed the first time analysis? It at least fits what has come to be known as "close reading""]

Kids who become writers (or filmmakers, or musicians) re-read, re-watch, re-listen to their favorite things repetitively, obsessively. They internalize structure, rhythm, characterization, language, vocabulary, dialogue, intuitively, instinctively.

Close reading & analysis is a separate activity, it requires a whole different stance / attitude toward the book. It can enhance this deeper intuitive understanding or it can shut it down, turn it into something mechanical & disengaged.

I think it's a huge mistake to push this analytical stance on children when they are too young. I was an English major, & I don't think I benefited from it until college. Younger kids should just find things they love & process them in ways that make sense to them.

This is one of the many delusional things about the way literature is taught in HS. The reality is you have to read a book at the *bare minimum* twice in order to do meaningful analysis. But there is never time for this. So we just club the thing to death on the first reading.

One of the principal things a writer does is to work incredibly hard at refining the way one sentence flows into the next, one chapter springboards off the last. To experience this as a reader you have to immerse yourself, turn off the analytical brain, just *read* the damn book.

To insert analysis into this process on a first reading is like watching a film by pausing every couple of minutes to make notes before continuing. It's fine to do that in later study, but if you do it the first time through you've destroyed everything the filmmaker worked for."

[@irasocol: How a teacher destroys not just reading but culture. Can we let kids experience an author's work without dissection? How I tried to address this in 2012... http://speedchange.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-do-we-read-why-do-we-write.html "]



[This was in repsonse to a thread that began with:
https://twitter.com/SOLEatHome/status/1053338882496958465

"This thread details a real school assignment that was asked of a high school student to do while reading a book they hadn't read before. I assure you this is is not something isolated to one school:

Annotate.

Inside front cover: major character with space for...

...character summaries, page reference for key scenes or moments of character development. Evidently these are enormous books.

Inside Back Cover: list of themes, allusions, images, motifs, key scenes, plot line, epiphanies, etc. Add pg. references or notes. List vocab words...

...if there's still room. (big books or small writing?)

Start of each chapter: do a quick summary of the chapter. Title each chapter as soon as you finish it, esp. if the chapters don't have titles.

Top margins: plot notes/words phrases that summarize. Then go back...

...and mark the chapter carefully (more on these marks to come)

Bottom and side margins: interpretive notes, questions, remarks that refer to the meaning of the page (???). Notes to tie in w/ notes on inside back cover

Header: Interpretive notes and symbols to be used...

...underline or highlight key words, phrases, sentences that are important to understanding the work
questions/comments in the margins--your conversation with the text
bracket important ideas/passages
use vertical lines at the margin to emphasize what's been already marked...

...connect ideas with lines or arrows
use numbers in the margin to indicate the sequence of points the author makes in developing a single argument
use a star, asterisk, or other doo-dad at the margin--use a consistent symbol--(presumably to not mix up your doo-dads?) to...

...be used sparingly to emphasize the ten or twenty most important statements in the book.
Use ???for sections/ideas you don't understand
circle words you don't know. Define them in the margins (How many margins does a page have?)
A checkmark means "I understand"...

...use !!! when you come across something new, interesting or surprising
And other literary devices (see below)

You may want to mark:
Use and S for Symbols: a symbol is a literal thing that stands for something else which help to discover new layers of thinking...

Use an I for Imagery, which includes words that appeal to the five senses. Imagery is important for understanding an authors message and attitudes
Use an F for Figurative Language like similes, metaphors, etc., which often reveal deeper layers of meaning...

Use a T for Tone, which is the overall mood of the piece. Tone can carry as much meaning as the plot does.
Use a Th for Theme: timeless universal ideas or a message about life, society, etc.
Plot elements (setting, mood, conflict)
Diction (word choice)

The end. ::sighs::"]
carolblack  irasocol  howweread  reading  literature  closereading  2018  school  schooliness  education  absurdity  literaryanalysis  writers  writing  howwewrite  filmmaking  howwelearn  academia  academics  schools  unschooling  deschooling  analysis  understanding  repetition  experience  structure  rhythm  characterization  language  vocabulary  dialogue  noticing  intuition  instinct  film  flow 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Drupe - Wikipedia
"In botany, a drupe (or stone fruit) is an indehiscent fruit in which an outer fleshy part (exocarp, or skin; and mesocarp, or flesh) surrounds a single shell (the pit, stone, or pyrene) of hardened endocarp with a seed (kernel) inside.[1] These fruits usually develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries[1] (polypyrenous drupes are exceptions). The definitive characteristic of a drupe is that the hard, "lignified" stone (or pit) is derived from the ovary wall of the flower—in an aggregate fruit composed of small, individual drupes (such as a raspberry), each individual is termed a drupelet and may together form a botanic berry.

Other fleshy fruits may have a stony enclosure that comes from the seed coat surrounding the seed, but such fruits are not drupes.

Some flowering plants that produce drupes are coffee, jujube, mango, olive, most palms (including date, sabal, coconut and oil palms), pistachio, white sapote, cashew, and all members of the genus Prunus, including the almond (in which the mesocarp is somewhat leathery), apricot, cherry, damson, nectarine, peach, and plum.

The term drupaceous is applied to a fruit which has the structure and texture of a drupe,[2] but which does not precisely fit the definition of a drupe."
fruit  classideas  stonefruits  peaches  vocabulary  botany  plants  science 
march 2018 by robertogreco
A-Z of Hair - YouTube
The language of hair is universal. Anybody, anywhere can understand when you're making a statement. Styl"e it, dye it, or cut it, your hair is your biggest chance to leave an impression. What are you going to say?

Under the direction of artistic duo, Partel Oliva, with music by Lafawndah, the A-Z of Hair is a multidimensional look at how people utilize our most accessible (yet most powerful) tool for personal empowerment and self expression.

Directed By: Partel Oliva"
partelolivia  video  hair  fashion  vocabulary  via:fantasylla 
january 2018 by robertogreco
18F Design Presents — Language: Your Most Important and Least Valued Asset - YouTube
"Have you ever felt like differences in language were holding your project back? Perhaps you have tried to standardize language across parts of your team only to find you have opened a huge can of worms?

The experiences we make for our users are made of language choices. We also depend on language to collaborate with the people we work with. Yet language is most often only tended to when you talk about things like content and copy.

Controlling your vocabulary is one of the murkiest messes you can take on, but it also might be one of the most impactful ways you could impact your organization’s ability to reach its goals.

In this online event, we ask information architect Abby Covert to share some strategies and tactics that could help us to pay closer attention to language choices we make."

[via: https://twitter.com/nicoleslaw/status/893280169439264769 ]
language  content  design  18f  contentstrategy  2017  informationarchitecture  abbycovert  information  webdev  webdesign  communication  vocabulary  misinformation  clarity  welcome  hospitality  audience  sfsh  mentalmodels  context  culturallyresponsivedesign  tone  nouns  verbs  wordchoice  duplicity  controlledvocabulary 
august 2017 by robertogreco
10 Words for Emotions You Didn’t Even Know You Had -- Science of Us
"Amae: To be an adult, particularly in a nation like the United States, is to be self-sufficient. Yet there is something very nice, in an indulgent kind of way, about letting someone else handle things for you every once in a while. The Japanese word amae, as Smith defines it, means “leaning on another person’s goodwill,” a feeling of deep trust that allows a relationship — with your partner, with your parent, even with yourself — to flourish. Or, as the Japanese psychoanalyst Takeo Doi has put it, it’s “an emotion that takes the other person’s love for granted.” It’s a childish kind of love, in other words, as evidenced by an alternate translation of the word: “behaving like a spoiled child.”

L’appel du vide: You’re waiting for the train when an inexplicable thought flashes into your mind: What if you jumped off the platform? Or perhaps you’re driving up some precarious mountain pass, when you feel strangely moved to jerk your steering wheel to the right and sail clear off the road. American psychologists in 2012 published a paper in which this feeling was dubbed the “high place phenomenon” (and their study suggested, by the way, that its presence does not necessarily signal suicidal ideation), but the French term for the phenomenon is much more alluring, as French words so often are: l’appel du vide, or “the call of the void.” As the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once observed, the emotion is so unsettling because of the way it “creates an unnerving, shaky sensation of not being able to trust one’s own instincts.” It’s a reminder, then, to perhaps not always let your emotions rule your behavior.

Awumbuk: It’s a funny thing about house guests. While they’re in your home and you’re tripping over the extra shoes and suitcases that are suddenly littered about your living room, you start dreaming about how nice it will be when they leave. Yet, after they do, your place often feels too empty. To the Baining people of Papua New Guinea, Smith writes, this feeling is so prevalent that it gets a name all to itself: awumbuk, or the feeling of “emptiness after visitors depart.” There is, luckily, a way of ridding the home of this rather melancholy feeling: Smith writes that “once their guests have left, the Baining fill a bowl with water and leave it overnight to absorb the festering air. The next day, the family rises very early and ceremonially flings the water into the trees, whereupon ordinary life resumes.” That’s one way to do it.

Brabant: In 1984, author Douglas Adams and TV comedy producer John Lloyd paired up to publish a book called The Deeper Meaning of Liff: A Dictionary of Things There Aren’t Any Words for Yet–But There Ought to Be. Smith apparently agreed with these two on at least this: that there should be a word for the fun of pushing someone’s buttons, to see how much you can tease them until they snap. Adams and Lloyd defined the word as the feeling you get when you are “very much inclined to see how far you can push someone.” (To my mind, an alternate definition might be “having a younger brother or younger sister.”)

Depaysement: People do some out-of-character things in foreign countries. They strike up conversations with strangers in bars, even if they would never do the same back home. They wear unflattering hats. There’s something about being a stranger in a strange land that’s equal parts exhilarating and disorienting, and this messy mix of feelings is what the French word depaysement — literally, decountrification, or being without a country — means to capture. It’s “the feeling of being an outsider,” and though getting lost because you can’t quite read the street signs as well as you maybe thought you could can be unsettling, the feeling of being somewhere else just as often “swirls us up into a kind of giddiness, only ever felt when far away from home.”

Ilinx: There exists a GIF of a fluffy white cat that speaks directly to my soul. In it, the cat is perched atop a desk, and as its human places various objects near its paws — a lighter, a glasses case, a wallet — it pushes each item off the desk and onto the floor. You might say the animal is expressing ilinx, a French word for “the ‘strange excitement’ of wanton destruction,” as Smith describes it, borrowing her phrasing from sociologist Roger Caillois. “Callois traced ilinx back to the practices of ancient mystics who by whirling and dancing hoped to induce rapturous trance states and glimpse alternative realities,” Smith writes. “Today, even succumbing to the urge to create a minor chaos by kicking over the office recycling bin should give you a mild hit.”

Kaukokaipuu: People of, say, Irish descent who have never actually been to the country of their ancestry may still experience an unexpected ache for it, as if they miss it — a strange, contradictory sort of feeling, as you can’t really miss someplace you’ve never been. But the Finnish recognize that the emotion exists, and they gave it a name: kaukokaipuu, a feeling of homesickness for a place you’ve never visited. It can also mean a kind of highly specified version of wanderlust, a “craving for a distant land” — dreaming from your desk about some far-off place like New Zealand, or the Hawaiian Islands, or Machu Picchu, with an intensity that feels almost like homesickness.

Malu: You’d like to think you are a person of average conversational and social skills, and yet this all evaporates the moment you find yourself sharing an elevator with the CEO of your company. The Dusun Baguk people of Indonesia know how you feel. Specifically, Smith writes that they would call this feeling malu, “the sudden experience of feeling constricted, inferior and awkward around people of higher status.” Instead of this being something to be embarrassed about, however, Smith’s research has shown that in this particular culture it’s considered an entirely appropriate response; it’s even a sign of good manners. Something to remember the next time your mind goes blank when your boss asks you a question: You are only being polite.

Pronoia: At one point in J.D. Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, Seymour Glass muses about himself, “Oh, God, if I’m anything by a clinical name, I’m a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.” About three decades later, sociologist Fred Goldner came up with a name for this: pronoia, the opposite of paranoia. Instead of the fear that you are at the center of some diabolical lot, pronoia, as Smith describes it, is the “strange, creeping feeling that everyone’s out to help you.” And, hey, just because you’re pronoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to help you.

Torschlusspanik: Life is passing you by. The deadline’s approaching. The train’s a-comin’. Literally translated from German, torschlusspanik means “gate-closing panic,” a word to summarize that fretful sensation of time running out. It may serve you well, when experiencing this panicky emotion, to hesitate before allowing it to spur you toward impulsivity, and call to mind the German idiom Torschlusspanik ist ein schlechter Ratgeber — that is, “Torschlusspanik is a bad adviser.”"
emotions  language  vocabulary  words 
september 2016 by robertogreco
I want my country back
"The Welsh have a word for this feeling. The word is "hiraeth". It means a longing for a home you can never return to, a home which may never have existed at all. The Welsh, incidentally, voted to leave the EU after decades of being ungently screwed by government after conniving Tory government; cackling and tearing the heart out of towns which were once famous for something other than teen suicide. Finally, someone gave them the opportunity to vote for change, for any change at all. When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like David Cameron’s face."

[via: https://tinyletter.com/audreywatters/letters/hewn-no-167 ]
uk  brexit  politics  lauriepenny  via:audreywatters  welsh  words  vocabulary  saudade  nostalgia  longing  government  2016 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Fantastic Vocab
"a compendium of imaginary words and their uses"
words  vocabulary  english  dictionaries  dictionary 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Neoliberalism has hijacked our vocabulary | Doreen Massey | Opinion | The Guardian
"At a recent art exhibition I engaged in an interesting conversation with one of the young people employed by the gallery. As she turned to walk off I saw she had on the back of her T-shirt "customer liaison". I felt flat. Our whole conversation seemed somehow reduced, my experience of it belittled into one of commercial transaction. My relation to the gallery and to this engaging person had become one of instrumental market exchange.

The message underlying this use of the term customer for so many different kinds of human activity is that in all almost all our daily activities we are operating as consumers in a market – and this truth has been brought in not by chance but through managerial instruction and the thoroughgoing renaming of institutional practices. The mandatory exercise of "free choice" – of a GP, of a hospital, of schools for one's children – then becomes also a lesson in social identity, affirming on each occasion our consumer identity.

This is a crucial part of the way that neoliberalism has become part of our commonsense understanding of life. The vocabulary we use to talk about the economy is in fact a political construction, as Stuart Hall, Michael Rustin and I have argued in our Soundings manifesto.

Another word that reinforces neoliberal common sense is "growth", currently deemed to be the entire aim of our economy. To produce growth and then (maybe) to redistribute some of it, has been a goal shared by both neoliberalism and social democracy. In its crudest formulation this entails providing the conditions for the market sector to produce growth, and accepting that this will result in inequality, and then relying on the redistribution of some portion of this growth to help repair the inequality that has resulted from its production.

This of course does nothing to question the inequality-producing mechanisms of market exchange itself, and it has also meant that the main lines of struggle have too often been focused solely on distributional issues. What's more, today we are living with a backlash to even the limited redistributional gains made by labour under social democracy. In spite of all this, growth is still seen as providing the solution to our problems.

The second reason our current notion of wealth creation, and our commitment to its growth, must be questioned is to do with our relationship with the planet. The environmental damage brought about by the pursuit of growth threatens to cause a catastrophe of which we are already witnessing intimations. And a third – and perhaps most important – defect of this approach is that increased wealth, especially as measured in the standard monetary terms of today, has few actual consequences for people's feelings of wellbeing once there is a sufficiency to meet basic needs, as there is in Britain. In pursuing "growth" in these terms, as a means to realise people's life goals and desires, economies are pursuing a chimera.

Instead of an unrelenting quest for growth, might we not ask the question, in the end: "What is an economy for?", "What do we want it to provide?"

Our current imaginings endow the market and its associated forms with a special status. We think of "the economy" in terms of natural forces, into which we occasionally intervene, rather than in terms of a whole variety of social relations that need some kind of co-ordination.

Thus "work", for example, is understood in a very narrow and instrumental way. Where only transactions for money are recognised as belonging to "the economy", the vast amount of unpaid labour – as conducted for instance in families and local areas – goes uncounted and unvalued. We need to question that familiar categorisation of the economy as a space into which people enter in order to reluctantly undertake unwelcome and unpleasing "work", in return for material rewards which they can use for consuming.

This is a view that misunderstands where pleasure and fulfilment in human lives are found. Work is usually – and certainly should be – a central source of meaning and fulfilment in human lives. And it has – or could have – moral and creative (or aesthetic) values at its core. A rethinking of work could lead us to address more creatively both the social relations of work and the division of labour within society (including a better sharing of the tedious work, and of the skills).

There are loads of other examples of rarely scrutinised terms in our economic vocabulary, for instance that bundle of terms clustered around investment and expenditure – terms that carry with them implicit moral connotations. Investment implies an action, even a sacrifice, undertaken for a better future. It evokes a future positive outcome. Expenditure, on the other hand, seems merely an outgoing, a cost, a burden.

Above all, we need to bring economic vocabulary back into political contention, and to question the very way we think about the economy in the first place. For something new to be imagined, let alone to be born, our current economic "common sense" needs to be challenged root and branch."
doreenmassey  via:anne  neoliberalism  capitalism  ideology  language  customers  2013  markets  growth  inequality  labor  socialdemocracy  economics  vocabulary  howwetalk 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Kindergarten Has Become the New First Grade - The Atlantic
"Pendulum shifts in education are as old as our republic. Steven Mintz, a historian who has written about the evolution of American childhood, describes an oscillation in the national zeitgeist between the notion of a “protected” childhood and that of a “prepared” one. Starting in the early 2000s, though, a confluence of forces began pushing preferences ever further in the direction of preparation: the increasing numbers of dual-career families scrambling to arrange child care; a new scientific focus on the cognitive potential of the early years; and concerns about growing ability gaps between well-off and disadvantaged children, which in turn fueled the trend of standards-based testing in public schools.

Preschool is a relatively recent addition to the American educational system. With a few notable exceptions, the government had a limited role in early education until the 1960s, when the federal Head Start program was founded. Before mothers entered the full-time workforce in large numbers, private preschools were likewise uncommon, and mainly served as a safe social space for children to learn to get along with others.

In the past few decades, however, we have seen a major transfer of child care and early learning from home to institution: Nearly three-quarters of American 4-year-olds are now in some kind of nonfamily care. That category spans a dizzying mix of privately and publicly funded preschool environments, including family-run day cares, private preschools in church basements, and Head Start programs in public elementary schools, to name a few. Across all of them, the distinction between early education and “official” school seems to be eroding.

When I survey parents of preschoolers, they tend to be on board with many of these changes, either because they fear that the old-fashioned pleasures of unhurried learning have no place in today’s hypercompetitive world or because they simply can’t find, or afford, a better option. The stress is palpable: Pick the “wrong” preschool or ease up on the phonics drills at home, and your child might not go to college. She might not be employable. She might not even be allowed to start first grade!

Media attention to the cognitive potential of early childhood has a way of exacerbating such worries, but the actual academic consensus on the components of high-quality early education tells another story. According to experts such as the Yale professor Edward Zigler, a leader in child-development and early-education policy for half a century, the best preschool programs share several features: They provide ample opportunities for young children to use and hear complex, interactive language; their curriculum supports a wide range of school-readiness goals that include social and emotional skills and active learning; they encourage meaningful family involvement; and they have knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers.

As an early-childhood educator, I’ve clocked many hours in many preschool classrooms, and I have found that I can pretty quickly take the temperature from the looks on kids’ faces, the ratio of table space to open areas, and the amount of conversation going on in either. In a high-quality program, adults are building relationships with the children and paying close attention to their thought processes and, by extension, their communication. They’re finding ways to make the children think out loud.

The real focus in the preschool years should be not just on vocabulary and reading, but on talking and listening. We forget how vital spontaneous, unstructured conversation is to young children’s understanding. By talking with adults, and one another, they pick up information. They learn how things work. They solve puzzles that trouble them. Sometimes, to be fair, what children take away from a conversation is wrong. They might conclude, as my young son did, that pigs produce ham, just as chickens produce eggs and cows produce milk. But these understandings are worked over, refined, and adapted—as when a brutal older sibling explains a ham sandwich’s grisly origins.

Teachers play a crucial role in supporting this type of learning. A 2011 study in the journal Child Development found that preschool teachers’ use of sophisticated vocabulary in informal classroom settings predicted their students’ reading comprehension and word knowledge in fourth grade. Unfortunately, much of the conversation in today’s preschool classrooms is one-directional and simplistic, as teachers steer students through a highly structured schedule, herding them from one activity to another and signaling approval with a quick “good job!”

Consider the difference between a teacher’s use of a closed statement versus an open-ended question. Imagine that a teacher approaches a child drawing a picture and exclaims, “Oh, what a pretty house!” If the child is not actually drawing a house, she might feel exposed, and even if she is drawing a house, the teacher’s remark shuts down further discussion: She has labeled the thing and said she likes it. What more is there to add? A much more helpful approach would be to say, “Tell me about your drawing,” inviting the child to be reflective. It’s never possible to anticipate everything a small person needs to learn, so open-ended inquiry can reveal what is known and unknown. Such a small pedagogic difference can be an important catalyst for a basic, but unbounded, cognitive habit—the act of thinking out loud.

Conversation is gold. It’s the most efficient early-learning system we have. And it’s far more valuable than most of the reading-skills curricula we have been implementing: One meta-analysis of 13 early-childhood literacy programs “failed to find any evidence of effects on language or print-based outcomes.” Take a moment to digest that devastating conclusion.

I was recently asked to review a popular preschool curriculum that comes with a big box of thematic units, including lists of words and “key concepts” that children are supposed to master. One objective of the curriculum’s ocean unit, for example, is to help preschoolers understand “the importance of the ocean to the environment.” Children are given a list of specific terms to learn, including exoskeleton, scallop shell, blubber, and tube feet. At first glance, this stuff seems fun and educational, but doesn’t this extremely narrow articulation of “key concepts” feel a little off? What’s so special about blubber, anyway? Might a young child not want to ponder bigger questions: What is water? Where do the blue and green come from? Could anything be more beautiful and more terrifying than an ocean?

The shift from an active and exploratory early-childhood pedagogy to a more scripted and instruction-based model does not involve a simple trade-off between play and work, or between joy and achievement. On the contrary, the preoccupation with accountability has led to a set of measures that favor shallow mimicry and recall behaviors, such as learning vocabulary lists and recognizing shapes and colors (something that a dog can do, by the way, but that is in fact an extraordinarily low bar for most curious 4-year-olds), while devaluing complex, integrative, and syncretic learning.

Last year, I observed some preschoolers conversing about whether snakes have bones. They argued at length among themselves, comparing the flexible serpentine body with dinosaur fossils and fish, both of which they had previously explored. There was no clear consensus on how these various creatures could contain the same hard skeletons, but I watched, transfixed, as each child added to the groundwork another had laid. The teacher gently guided the group as a captain might steer a large ship, with the tiniest nudge of the wheel. Finally, a little boy who had seen a snake skeleton in a museum became animated as he pantomimed the structure of a snake’s spine in a series of karate chops: “One bone, one bone, one bone,” he informed his friends. “I think we’re all going to have to do a lot more research,” the teacher replied, impressed. This loosely Socratic method is a perfect fit for young minds; the problem is that it doesn’t conform easily to a school-readiness checklist.

The academic takeover of American early learning can be understood as a shift from what I would call an “ideas-based curriculum” to a “naming-and-labeling-based curriculum.” Not coincidentally, the latter can be delivered without substantially improving our teaching force. Inexperienced or poorly supported teachers are directed to rely heavily on scripted lesson plans for a reason: We can point to a defined objective, and tell ourselves that at least kids are getting something this way.

But that something—while relatively cheap to provide—is awfully thin gruel. One major study of 700 preschool classrooms in 11 states found that only 15 percent showed evidence of effective interactions between teacher and child. Fifteen percent.

We neglect vital teacher-child interactions at our peril. Although the infusion of academics into preschool has been justified as a way to close the achievement gap between poor and well-off children, Robert Pianta, one of the country’s leading child-policy experts, cautions that there is “no evidence whatsoever” that our early-learning system is suited to that task. He estimates that the average preschool program “narrows the achievement gap by perhaps only 5 percent,” compared with the 30 to 50 percent that studies suggest would be possible with higher-quality programs. Contrasting the dismal results of Tennessee’s preschool system with the more promising results in places such as Boston, which promotes active, child-centered learning (and, spends more than twice the national average on preschool), lends further credence to the idea that preschool quality really does matter.

It’s become almost a cliché to look to Finland’s educational system for inspiration. As has … [more]
education  pedagogy  learning  literacy  listening  preschool  kindergarten  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  finland  erikachristakis  2015  schools  edreform  conversation  vocabulary  cv  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  directinstruction  schoolreadiness 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Toki Pona: A Language With a Hundred Words - The Atlantic
[Toki Pona website: http://tokipona.org/ ]

"In Chinese, the word computer translates directly as electric brain.

In Icelandic, a compass is a direction-shower, and a microscope a small-watcher.

In Lakota, horse is literally dog of wonder.

These neologisms demonstrate the cumulative quality of language, in which we use the known to describe the unknown.

“It is by metaphor that language grows,” writes the psychologist Julian Jaynes. “The common reply to the question ‘What is it?’ is, when the reply is difficult or the experience unique, ‘Well, it is like —.’”

That metaphorical process is at the heart of Toki Pona, the world’s smallest language. While the Oxford English Dictionary contains a quarter of a million entries, and even Koko the gorilla communicates with over 1,000 gestures in American Sign Language, the total vocabulary of Toki Pona is a mere 123 words. Yet, as the creator Sonja Lang and many other Toki Pona speakers insist, it is enough to express almost any idea. This economy of form is accomplished by reducing symbolic thought to its most basic elements, merging related concepts, and having single words perform multiple functions of speech.

In contrast to the hundreds or thousands of study hours required to attain fluency in other languages, a general consensus among Toki Pona speakers is that it takes about 30 hours to master. That ease of acquisition, many of them believe, makes it an ideal international auxiliary language—the realization of an ancient dream to return humanity to a pre-Babel unity. Toki Pona serves that function already for hundreds of enthusiasts connected via online communities in countries as diverse as Japan, Belgium, New Zealand, and Argentina.

In addition to making Toki Pona simple to learn, the language’s minimalist approach is also designed to change how its speakers think. The paucity of terms provokes a kind of creative circumlocution that requires careful attention to detail. An avoidance of set phrases keeps the process fluid. The result, according to Lang, is to immerse the speaker in the moment, in a state reminiscent of what Zen Buddhists call mindfulness.

“What is a car?” Lang mused recently via phone from her home in Toronto.

“You might say that a car is a space that's used for movement,” she proposed. “That would be tomo tawa. If you’re struck by a car though, it might be a hard object that’s hitting me. That’s kiwen utala.”

The real question is: What is a car to you?

As with most things in Toki Pona, the answer is relative.

“We wear many hats in life,” Lang continued, “One moment I might be a sister, the next moment a worker, or a writer. Things change and we have to adapt.”

The language’s dependence on subjectivity and context is also an exercise in perspective-taking. “You have to consider your interlocutor’s way of understanding the world, or situation,” the Polish citizen Marta Krzeminska stated. “For that reason, I think it has great potential for bringing people together.”

To create her new language, Lang worked backwards—against the trend of a natural lexicon. She began by reducing and consolidating the specific into the general."
language  english  linguistics  tokipona  rocmorin  2015  communication  vocabulary  minimalism  languages 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Up-Goer Five Text Editor
"Can you explain a hard idea using only the ten hundred most used words? it's not very easy. Type in the box to try it out."
writing  language  words  classideas  vocabulary  xkcd  onlinetoolkit  via:lukeneff 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Our Bleak Exile of Nature - NYTimes.com
"Nowadays nature tables are not welcome in schools. They are deemed dirty, perhaps dangerous, and potentially illegal. Teachers are busy with core curriculum duties and few classrooms have space for decorated bowers. This is sad enough in itself, but the loss of the nature table is also a sign of a wider trend with bleaker implications. There is not a square inch of wilderness left in the British Isles: The human stamp is everywhere. Worse still, the scattered and depleted remains of the natural world are increasingly regarded as out of bounds. Nature is now thought special, mostly rare and vulnerable, and in need of both expert care and professional explanation. Contact with the world’s hard matter, a fistful of bluebells, the ecstatic joining into a common sense that Thoreau enthused about in his “Ktaadn” essay, is no longer a human right. We — the transcendentalist-explorer-child in all of us — must keep our hands off.

There is evidence that we are already doing so. A new edition of a children’s dictionary defines a “BlackBerry” as a smartphone but doesn’t have room for an entry on the hedgerow fruit. Catkin and bluebell are dismissed as well. Their exclusion marks a double loss or severance: We are denaturing our language as well as shrinking our world. The plants get rarer as our land-grabbing grows daily more egregious. At the same time they are being exiled from our minds, disappearing from our imaginations and our understanding.

But if we are no longer permitted to touch, what chances are there that anything will be felt? Without the names and the knowledge what is there to save or to mourn? To rewrite the song lyrics: You have to know what you’ve had in order to know what you’ve lost. Because there were no people around at the time of the dinosaurs to describe the animals in words, we have inherited only scientific names applied posthumously to fossil eggs and bones. There were no Maori to call them moa, no Dutch sailors to talk of dodos. Dinosaurs, in consequence, are doing time locked in their Latin binomials. Taking the bluebell out of the dictionary might have the same effect 50 springs from now. So might banning children from making the hands-on discovery that picked blooms will wilt whatever you do to them."



"I was grateful for the close-up view of a new species, but I already knew there were other pathways to avian thrills. Too many people today are led to believe that nature happens only in nature reserves, in special places where we might be shown its specialness. The banned nature table and the managed infrastructure of protected areas (the hides, the walkways, the interpretation boards) are part of the same anxious nervousness at the root of this thinking: a worry as to what nature means, how vulnerable it is, who should be in charge of it, and how we — apparently its worst enemy — might possibly live alongside it."



"The reserve has released something unexpectedly metaphysical onto the fen: an inadvertent description of our profound separation from a place, a terminal version of pastoral, the darkest arcadia, an idea of life after us and life without us.

I could put it another way. And on sunnier days, on and off the fen, I do. Let the water flow back, but let us be allowed to step into it as well, as we surely have and must for it all to mean anything. Let us and our children put our fingers into the world and raise nature tables inside and out. Only so long as we can make contact with the remaining quasi-wild places and only so long as the names we have given them and their inhabitants carry on being operative, might we continue to be able to “lie down in the word-hoard” as Seamus Heaney put it in his poem “North.”

Then we might shelter in words and find fellowship with nature by making a home in the land alongside its non-human inhabitants. A place becomes meaningful when we can identify it as a cultural landscape — when its intrinsic truth and the meaning we have endowed it with might meet. “The land has been humanized, through and through,” wrote D.H. Lawrence of rural Italy, as he might of almost anywhere today, “and we in our own tissued consciousness bear the results of this humanization.” Coleridge expressed the same thought but differently when walking the Lake District in June 1801. He found “a Hollow place in a Rock like a Coffin — a Sycamore Bush at the head, enough to give a shadow for my Face, & just at the Foot one tall Foxglove — exactly my own Length — there I lay & slept — It was quite soft.”"
timdee  2015  nature  society  touch  schools  education  language  vocabulary  names  naming  children  multispecies  denaturing 
may 2015 by robertogreco
25 maps that explain the English language - Vox
"English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It's spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today."
english  maps  mapping  language  history  change  accents  migration  immigration  colonization  international  australia  us  india  europe  wikipedia  words  vocabulary  dialects  regionalisms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
English 3.0 on Vimeo
"English 3.0 is a 20 minute documentary that explores how the internet has influenced the way we communicate in the digital age and whether the changes witnessed have had a positive effect on the language.

The film features interviews with renowned authors and linguistics: Tom Chatfield, David Crystal, Robert McCrum, Fiona McPherson and Simon Horobin."

[via Taryn, who notes:
"2:55 every time a new technology arrives it expands the expressive richness of the language
19:30 to try and turn language into something static and makes you happy and preserves the things you care about is understandable but this is futile and of course it means people won't listen to you"]
language  english  technology  communication  mobile  phones  internet  web  online  tomchatfield  davidcrystal  robertmccrum  fionamcpherson  simonhorobin  vocabulary  lexicography  via:Taryn  howwewrite  writing  digital  spelling  spellcheckers  change  neologisms  invention  standards  conventions 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Talk to Your Kids: The poorer parents are, the less they talk with their children. The mayor of Providence is trying to close the “word gap.”
"Providence Talks had its critics, some of whom thought that the program seemed too intrusive. The A.C.L.U. raised questions about what would happen to the recordings, and one of the organization’s Rhode Island associates, Hillary Davis, told National Journal, “There’s always a concern when we walk in with technology into lower-income families, immigrant populations, minority populations, and we say, ‘This will help you.’ ” She continued, “We don’t necessarily recognize the threat to their own safety or liberty that can accidentally come along with that.”

Others charged that Providence Talks was imposing middle-class cultural values on poorer parents who had their own valid approaches to raising children, and argued that the program risked faulting parents for their children’s academic shortcomings while letting schools off the hook. Nobody contested the fact that, on average, low-income children entered kindergarten with fewer scholastic skills than kids who were better off, but there were many reasons for the disparity, ranging from poor nutrition to chaotic living conditions to the absence of a preschool education. In a caustic essay titled “Selling the Language Gap,” which was published in Anthropology News, Susan Blum, of Notre Dame, and Kathleen Riley, of Fordham, called Providence Talks an example of “silver-bullet thinking,” the latest in a long history of “blame-the-victim approaches to language and poverty.”

To some scholars, the program’s emphasis on boosting numbers made it seem as though the quality of conversation didn’t matter much. As James Morgan, a developmental psycholinguist at Brown University, put it, obsessive word counting might lead parents to conclude that “saying ‘doggy, doggy, doggy, doggy’ is more meaningful than saying ‘doggy.’ ” Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a psychologist at Temple University, told me that Hart and Risley had “done a very important piece of work that pointed to a central problem”; nevertheless, their findings had often been interpreted glibly, as if the solution were to let words “just wash over a child, like the background noise of a TV.” Her own research, including a recent paper written with Lauren Adamson and other psychologists, points to the importance of interactions between parents and children in which they are both paying attention to the same thing—a cement mixer on the street, a picture in a book—and in which the ensuing conversation (some of which might be conducted in gestures) is fluid and happens over days, even weeks. “It’s not just serve and return,” Hirsh-Pasek said. “It’s serve and return—and return and return.”

The original Hart and Risley research, whose data set had only six families in the poorest category, was also called into question. Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “Do low-income people talk with their kids less? Well, that’s a question about millions of people. Think of people in the survey business, trying to predict elections or develop a marketing campaign. They would find it laughable to draw conclusions without a large randomized sample.” Encouraging adults to talk more to children was all to the good, Liberman said, but it was important to remember that “there are some wealthy people who don’t talk to their children much and some poor people who talk a lot.”

Indeed, recent research that supports Hart and Risley’s work has found a great deal of variability within classes. In 2006, researchers at the LENA Foundation recorded the conversations of three hundred and twenty-nine families, who were divided into groups by the mothers’ education level, a reasonable proxy for social class. Like Hart and Risley, the LENA researchers determined that, on average, parents who had earned at least a B.A. spoke more around their children than other parents: 14,926 words per day versus 12,024. (They attributed Hart and Risley’s bigger gap to the fact that they had recorded families only during the late afternoon and the evening—when families talk most—and extrapolated.) But the LENA team also found that some of the less educated parents spoke a lot more than some of the highly educated parents.

Anne Fernald, a psychologist at Stanford, has published several papers examining the influence of socioeconomic status on children’s language development. In one recent study, Fernald, with a colleague, Adriana Weisleder, and others, identified “large disparities” among socioeconomic groups in “infants’ language processing, speech production, and vocabulary.” But they also found big differences among working-class families, both in terms of “the children’s language proficiency and the parents’ verbal engagement with the child.” Fernald, who sits on the scientific advisory board for Providence Talks, told me, “Some of the wealthiest families in our research had low word counts, possibly because they were on their gadgets all day. So you can see an intermingling at the extremes of rich and poor. Socioeconomic status is not destiny.”

In response to the privacy concerns, Mayor Taveras and his team volunteered their own households to be the first ones recorded. They also guaranteed that the LENA Foundation’s software would erase the recordings after the algorithm analyzed the data. Though this probably reassured some families, it also disappointed some scholars. “That’s a huge amount of data being thrown out!” James Morgan, of Brown, told me. “There were real concerns whether families would participate otherwise. But as a scientist it breaks my heart.”

To those who argued that Providence Talks embodied cultural imperialism, staff members responded that, on the contrary, they were “empowering” parents with knowledge. Andrea Riquetti, the Providence Talks director, told me, “It really is our responsibility to let families know what it takes to succeed in the culture they live in. Which may not necessarily be the same as the culture they have. But it’s their choice whether they decide to. It’s not a case of our saying, ‘You have to do this.’ ” Riquetti grew up in Quito, Ecuador, came to America at the age of seventeen, and worked for many years as a kindergarten teacher in Providence schools. In Latino culture, she said, “the school is seen as being in charge of teaching children their letters and all that, while parents are in charge of discipline—making sure they listen and they’re good and they sit still. Parents don’t tend, overall, to give children a lot of choices and options. It’s kind of like ‘I rule the roost so that you can behave and learn at school.’ ” The Providence Talks approach “is a little more like ‘No, your child and what they have to say is really important.’ And having them feel really good about themselves as opposed to passive about their learning is important, because that’s what’s going to help them succeed in this culture.”

Riquetti and the Providence Talks team didn’t seem troubled by the concerns that Hart and Risley’s data set wasn’t robust enough. Although no subsequent study has found a word gap as large as thirty million, several of them have found that children in low-income households have smaller vocabularies than kids in higher-income ones. This deficit correlates with the quantity and the quality of talk elicited by the adults at home, and becomes evident quite early—in one study, when some kids were eighteen months old. Lack of conversation wasn’t the only reason that low-income kids started out behind in school, but it was certainly a problem.

The biggest question was whether Providence Talks could really change something as personal, casual, and fundamental as how people talk to their babies. Erika Hoff, of Florida Atlantic University, told me, “In some ways, parenting behavior clearly can change. I have a daughter who has a baby now and she does everything differently from how I did it—putting babies to sleep on their backs, not giving them milk till they’re a year old. But patterns of interacting are different. You’re trying to get people to change something that seems natural to them and comes from a fairly deep place. I don’t know how malleable that is.”

After decades of failed educational reforms, few policymakers are naïve enough to believe that a single social intervention could fully transform disadvantaged children’s lives. The growing economic inequality in America is too entrenched, too structural. But that’s hardly an argument for doing nothing. Although improvements in test scores associated with preschool programs fade as students proceed through elementary school, broader benefits can be seen many years later. A few oft-cited studies have shown that low-income kids who attended high-quality preschool programs were more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to become pregnant as teen-agers or to be incarcerated; they also earned more money, on average, than peers who were not in such programs. Such data suggest that a full assessment of Providence Talks will take decades to complete."
class  language  cultue  education  parenting  2015  margarettalbot  headstart  bettyhart  toddrisley  nclb  learning  vocabulary  rttt  policy  angeltaveras  providence  rhodeisland  conversation  words  children  howwelearn  providencetalks  andreariquetti  jamesmorgan  linguistics  annettelareau  patriciakuhl  richardweissbourd  debate  verbalacuity  advocacy  self-advocacy  academics  schoolreadiness  kennethwong 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners | Edutopia
"Enter most schools and you will hear about literacy instruction or the "literacy block." However, literacy is not a subject -- it is something much bigger. Paulo Freire encouraged a broader definition of literacy to include the ability to understand both "the word and the world." Literacy includes reading, writing, listening, speaking, and analyzing a wide range of texts that include both print and non-print texts.

Imagery and Language
This post will describe some ways in which teachers can use photography to support literacy standards. Photography supports literacy in several ways:

1. It is an excellent way to provide differentiation for English-language learners.

2. It relieves pressure from reluctant students or striving readers and writers by providing the opportunity to read and analyze photographs instead of traditional print texts.

3. It represents a culturally responsive teaching method as it demonstrates a way to welcome all voices in the classroom to be heard and valued.

This methodology is based on the work of Wendy Ewald, who writes extensively about literacy through photography.

The use of photographs provides a novel way to engage in analyzing text. Students can verbally describe their observations, ideas, and analysis in addition to listening to the ideas of their classmates. The use of photographs allows students to reflect and organize their thoughts in a creative way that cannot be achieved simply through writing. And for many students, this practice provides needed scaffolding for processing and organizing their thoughts in order to be ready to write about them."
photography  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  2014  english  ell  esl  tabethadell'angelo  imageary  literacy  literacies  visual  wendyewald  iwannatellmeastory  storytelling  focus  portraits  vocabulary  perspective  stories  imagery  language  paulofreire  multiliteracies 
december 2014 by robertogreco
The Pantograph Punch — At the Service of the Unusual
"Throughout our discussion Shaun kept talking about engineers. At the time I had very little idea what an engineer did but it was their language Shaun was using. Instead of adapting Shaun’s words into something I understood, something familiar, I wondered what would happen if I put my work at the service of the unusual. If I let the ideas and words of engineering rule my work rather than trying to force them into the shape of conventional fiction. Would I be able to recreate the odd way I had perceived those buildings on that day?"



"Where I’d always aimed to achieve mimicry I needed to attain literacy. I needed to find some engineers but I couldn’t just observe them, I needed to come out from the corners and ask them to teach me and test me. I found one engineer in particular, Andrew Charleson. Andrew works at Victoria University School of Architecture and Design. When I first met him he described himself as an engineer who had been ‘acrhictectualised’. He told me, if I was serious, I needed to take some courses he was running about structure."



"George Saunders was an engineer, so was Fyodor Dostoevsky, Neville Shute, Robert Musil, L. Sprague de Camp, Robert Louis Stevenson, Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer. Also, most of the engineers I talked to had a very wide reading habit. The myth of men reading only non-fiction seemed to be smashed by the engineers I met, a couple of whom wrote short stories and poetry themselves. But I wasn’t an engineer who wrote fiction, I was a writer who was pretending, play-acting at being an engineering student."
writing  empathy  learning  engineering  perception  language  vocabulary  thinking  mindset  georgesaunders  dostoyevsky  nevilleshute  robertmusil  robertlouisstevenson  kurtvonnegut  lspraguedecamp  normanmailer  2013  pipadam  poetry  storytelling  pretending  playacting  fiction  mimicry  vonnegut 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Folksonomy :: vanderwal.net
"I am a fan of the word folk when talking about regular people. Eric put my mind in the framework with one of my favorite terms. I was also thinking that if you took "tax" (the work portion) of taxonomy and replaced it with something anybody could do you would get a folksonomy. I knew the etymology of this word was pulling is two parts from different core sources (Germanic and Greek), but that seemed fitting looking at the early Flickr and del.icio.us."

"The value in this external tagging is derived from people using their own vocabulary and adding explicit meaning, which may come from inferred understanding of the information/object. People are not so much categorizing, as providing a means to connect items (placing hooks) to provide their meaning in their own understanding."
folksonomy  via:litherland  tagging  vocabulary  definition  taxonomy  thomasvanderwal  2007  flickr  del.icio.us 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Newswordy: Word of the day
"Buzzwords are frequently used in news media. These are words that do not typically occur in everyday speech, but are common among newscasters, talking heads, and pundits on cable news.

These ‘news words’ are accepted by audiences for their implied meaning. But often loaded words are misused or used out of context. The actual definitions can be different than what is implied.

Newswordy is a growing collection of these words, updated every weekday. Along with each word is a definition, a quote with its use (or misuse) in the media, and a news and Twitter feed on the subject."
education  media  language  misuse  outofcontext  writing  journalism  classideas  wcydwt  english  news  twitter  definitions  vocabulary 
august 2011 by robertogreco
California English - Wikipedia
"California English (or Californian, Californian English) is a dialect of the English language spoken in California.[1] California is home to a highly diverse population, which is reflected in the historical and continuing development of California English."

[Of particular interest is "freeway nomenclature" of Northern and Southern California: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_English#Freeway_nomenclature

[via: http://latimes.tumblr.com/post/4102291799/10-freeway ]
language  english  california  linguistics  dialects  accents  vocabulary  usage  phonology  nocal  socal  losangeles  sanfrancisco  sandiego  orangecounty  inlandempire  freeways  carculture  cars 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Deb Roy: The birth of a word | Video on TED.com
"MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn."
debroy  language  science  ted  languageacquisition  learning  infants  children  childhood  environment  visualization  video  mit  neuroscience  social  spacetimeworms  naturenurture  speech  words  memorymachines  memory  lifelogging  tracking  audio  recording  classideas  patternrecognition  patterns  vocabulary  media  television  tv  socialmedia  eventstucture  conversation  semanticanalysis  wordscapes  communication  communicationdynamics  engagement  data  socialgraph  contentgraph  coviewing  behavior  socialstructures 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Thinking About Cursive | The Principal of Change
"The more education a child had been allowed to have before his/her handwriting was changed over to cursive — in other words, the fewer months and years s/he had spent learning/using cursive — the larger his or her vocabulary was (as measured by the number of different words used in the student’s writing over the course of a year). The differences were huge — the kids who’d been required to do the least cursive had vocabularies THREE TIMES the size of those who’d been required to do the most cursive…"
cursive  thinking  handwriting  education  learning  vocabulary  writing  tradition  teaching  tcsnmy  schools  policy  curriculum  language  wastedtime 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The 7 Fascinating Education Ideas of the Year - voiceofsandiego.org: Schooled: The Education Blog
"Solving Einstein's Algebra Problem [Einstein Academy], Letting the Kids Make the Rules [Innovations Academy], English Learners Who Seem to Know English [Pacific Beach Middle School], Small (Change) Is Beautiful [Euclid Elementary], The Data War [SDUSD in opposition to RttT], Wording Up Without the Dictionary [Grant Barrett, SDUSD], One Class Fits All [Correia Middle School in Point Loma drops tracking]"
sandiego  2010  emilyalpert  einsteinacademy  innovationsacademy  algebra  math  teaching  learning  sdusd  language  languageacquisition  change  euclidelementary  data  rttt  vocabulary  tracking  democracy  democratic  schools  biliteracy  assessment  collaboration  teacherretention 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Haberdasher - Wikipedia [New word… to me. Probably because I have little interest in clothes shopping (American variation). But I do like the first meaning]
"A haberdasher is a person who sells small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons, zippers, and other notions. In American English, haberdasher is another term for a men's outfitter. A haberdasher's shop or the items sold therein are called haberdashery."
words  english  vocabulary  sewing  glvo  ribbons  zippers  buttons 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Best Language Tools for Geeks
"No matter your command of the English language, we all have trouble defining, pronouncing, or even remembering certain words, which makes writing tough. Here are some of the best tools to help you out.

We talked about online language tools for nerds a couple years ago, and today we're revisiting it with newer and better options. This list isn't exhaustive, but it's some of our favorite tools we've found—and even make use of on a daily basis—to help in our writing."
dictionary  language  lifehacker  reference  classideas  english  vocabulary  tools  research  wolframalpha  search  definitions  wordsearch  pronunciation  phrases  spelling  grammar  thesaurus  dictionaries  definition  words  via:robinsloan 
november 2010 by robertogreco
On Language - Learning Language in Chunks - NYTimes.com
"In recent decades, the study of language acquisition and instruction has increasingly focused on “chunking”: how children learn language not so much on a word-by-word basis but in larger “lexical chunks” or meaningful strings of words that are committed to memory. Chunks may consist of fixed idioms or conventional speech routines, but they can also simply be combinations of words that appear together frequently, in patterns that are known as “collocations.” In the 1960s, the linguist Michael Halliday pointed out that we tend to talk of “strong tea” instead of “powerful tea,” even though the phrases make equal sense. Rain, on the other hand, is much more likely to be described as “heavy” than “strong.”"
language  learning  children  chinking  phrases  words  vocabulary  wordselection 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Caterina.net» Blog Archive » Children in the gulag
"Eugenia Ginzberg, who served eighteen years in the camps of Kolyma, wrote that when a camp of child prisoners was given two guard-dog puppies to raise the children at first could not think of anything to name them. The poverty of their surroundings had stripped their imaginations bare. Finally they chose names from common objects they saw every day. They named one puppy Ladle and the other Pail." —On the Prison Highway, Ian Frazier (New Yorker, August 30, 2010)
ianfrazier  gulag  children  imagination  experience  vocabulary  exposure  names  naming  pets  animals  dogs 
august 2010 by robertogreco
News for You Online
"News for You Online.com is an online news source designed for people who are learning to read, write, or speak English. Seven new stories are posted weekly for 48 weeks a year. These engaging articles are based on world and national news events. They are written at reading levels 3-6 and ESL levels high-beginning and low-intermediate.
education  english  ged  learning  listening  pronunciation  reading  vocabulary  literacy  news  currentevents  ell  esl  classideas  tcsnmy  wcydwt 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Smart.fm - The World's Sharpest Learning Tool.
"Smart.fm takes the burden out of learning by automatically creating a learning schedule that adapts to the individual’s performance and needs. The system combines proven learning science with the latest in adaptive, semantic and social Web technologies. Powered by personalized learning algorithms, Smart.fm measures memory strength on a granular item by item basis. The algorithms are based on decades of research on optimum learning patterns in the fields of cognitive science and neuroscience."
education  learning  languages  iphone  applications  japanese  japan  english  vocabulary  flashcards  elearning  smart.fm  training  lists  online  web  ios 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Nico Muhly » Dutch is
"Dutch is one of those languages I wish I had a quicker time with. I’ve mastered ordering coffee and sparkling water without people switching to English, so, that’s good. There’s something slightly disturbing about the visual scan of the language (I don’t even know what the term is for that: you know when you see a page, or a sign, written in a language and you have an immediate impression of the content of the text? This works also in your native language: look at a page from, like, Dickens, and you can sort of get the Shudder of the Text, or whatever, anyway, what I mean is that some languages, like French, always seem to bear a melismatic philosophy behind the page; German, an authority, Amharic, a crooked delight…) … with Dutch what I get is a sort of childlike pornography: hoog, sneeuwt, poesje, standplaats."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/4287 ]
dutch  language  sound  expression  languages  vocabulary  nicomuhly 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Las Caticrónicas: 225-Teoría y práctica del ñoqui rioplatense
"Pero… ¡cuidado! porque si la idea multiplicadora se trasladara a otra acepción del vocablo “ñoqui”, nos veríamos rodeados de inútiles, zánganos o parásitos. Me refiero al hecho de que por estos pagos, a ciertos “empleados públicos” que obtuvieron un cargo merced a prebendas políticas y concurren a su lugar de trabajo para cobrar solamente una vez al mes, los días veintinueve, también se los conoce como “ñoquis”, en referencia a la costumbre alimenticia que nos caracteriza."
ñoquis  argentina  language  food  spanish  español  glvo  vocabulary  tradition 
july 2009 by robertogreco
N.Y. Times mines its data to identify words that readers find abstruse » Nieman Journalism Lab
"If The New York Times ever strikes you as an abstruse glut of antediluvian perorations, if the newspaper’s profligacy of neologisms and shibboleths ever set off apoplectic paroxysms in you, if it all seems a bit recondite, here’s a reason to be sanguine: The Times has great data on the words that send readers in search of a dictionary."
nytimes  words  language  english  writing  linguistics  dictionary  vocabulary  datamining  journalism  dictionaries 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Wordnik
"Wordnik wants to be a place for all the words, and everything known about them.
wordnik  online  dictionaries  thesaurus  lexicography  linguistics  vocabulary  etymology  words  english  language  languages  dictionary  reference  pronunciation  writing 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Ammon Shea left with onomatomania after reading Oxford dictionary from A to Z - Times Online
"By any sane reckoning Ammon Shea is a vocabularian – one who pays too much attention to words. In a single, gruelling year, the sometime furniture removal man, busker and gondolier from New York has read the entire 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary from cover to cover. He has returned from his adventure in the far reaches of the English language with a rich harvest of obscure and forgotten words to share: indispensable gems such as “deipnophobia” (fear of dinner parties) or “apricity” (the warmth of the sun in winter). In return he suffered back pain, problems with his sight and constant headaches. As his book, Reading the Oxford English Dictionary, makes clear, Mr Shea’s feat failed to make him a better person, improve his conversation or make him appear more intelligent. Rather it turned him into a mafflard (a stuttering or blundering fool), bedevilled by onomatomania (vexation at having difficulty in finding the right word)."

[See also the list of words at the end of the article and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7654511.stm ]
books  writing  words  reading  linguistics  dictionary  vocabulary  oed  definitions  via:russelldavies  dictionaries 
october 2008 by robertogreco
robertogreco {tumblr} - Unschooling and Messiness
"Jessica Shepherd reviews the recently published How Children Learn at Home in the Guardian. The review seems to focus more on the unschooling subset of home education and the part that I find most interesting is the comparison to the messiness that often results in creative leaps. It reminds me of a variety of articles that have been emphasizing the importance of random events and cross-pollination or hybridization of traditional fields of study."
unschooling  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  postdisciplinary  nassimtaleb  glvo  crosspollination  messiness  davidsmith  julianbleecker  nicolasnova  robertepstein  design  learning  deschooling  education  creativity  comments  lcproject  schools  technology  consilience  creative  children  homeschool  research  books  blackswans  tinkering  serendipity  specialization  academia  grantmccracken  lelaboratoire  ted  poptech  etech  lift  picnic  lacma  art  science  medicine  us  terminology  vocabulary  specialists 
august 2008 by robertogreco
VOCABPROFILE ENGLISH
"VocabProfile will tell you how many words the text contains from the following four frequency levels: (1) the list of the most frequent 1000 word families, (2) the second 1000, (3) the Academic Word List, and (4) words that do not appear on the other lis
via:cburell  vocabulary  english  language  onlinetoolkit  words  writing  assessment  text 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Mamihlapinatapai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word"
"describes a look shared by 2 people with each wishing the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start...more succinctly "eye-contact implying 'after you...'... "ending up mutually at a loss as to what to do about e
via:kottke  language  words  definitions  precision  emotion  translation  linguistics  vocabulary  communication 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Super Memory
"This website is devoted to improving memory, self-growth, creativity, time-management, and speed-learning software SuperMemo"
memory  learning  education  software  lifehacks  productivity  mnemonics  neuroscience  brain  forgetting  supermemo  vocabulary  memorization  notetaking  languages  flashcards 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Nonce word - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A nonce word is a word used only "for the nonce"—to meet a need that is not expected to recur. Quark, for example, was formerly a nonce word in English, appearing only in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Murray Gell-Mann then adopted it to name a new class of subatomic particle. The use of the term nonce word in this way was apparently the work of James Murray, the influential editor of Oxford English Dictionary.
language  linguistics  words  english  languages  writing  classideas  vocabulary  nonce 
december 2007 by robertogreco
lingro: multilingual dictionary and language learning site
"Enter website to make all words on page clickable for definiions/translations. Each word you translate is saved in personal word history...create lists of vocabulary you'd like to learn from your word history...play games to review your vocabulary"
dictionary  language  learning  tools  reading  onlinetoolkit  foreign  vocabulary  translation  snsih  english  español  german  italian  polish  french  reference  pronunciation  collaborative  community  creativecommons  languages  foreignlanguage  flashcards  dictionaries 
november 2007 by robertogreco
FreeRice
"FreeRice has two goals: 1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free. 2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free."
language  activism  english  poverty  vocabulary  languages  learning  definitions 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Saudade - Wikipedia [top ten favorite word + missing in English]
"a feeling of longing for something that one is fond of, which is gone, but might return in a distant future. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return."
saudade  wordsneededinenglish  favoritewords  words  portugués  portuguese  definitions  translation  nostalgia  linguistics  language  culture  brasil  emotion  vocabulary  brazil 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The Island of Doubt: Most underused word in the dictionary: Kakistocracy
"NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. kak·is·toc·ra·cies Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens."
words  vocabulary  english  language 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Etymologic: the toughest etymology (word origin) game on the Web
"10 randomly selected etymology (word origin) or word definition puzzles to solve"
dictionary  english  words  games  fun  vocabulary  language  linguistics  phrases  etymology  dictionaries 
may 2007 by robertogreco
The DaVinci Institute - The Future of Education by Thomas Frey
"Teacher-centric to learning-centric + Classroom-based teaching to anyplace, anytime learning + Mandated courses to hyper-individualized learning + A general population of consumers to a growing population of producers"
education  learning  change  future  homeschool  students  teaching  schools  children  universities  colleges  vocabulary  schooldesign  technology  information  knowledge  lcproject  literacy  superliterates 
april 2007 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Is “authenticity” just another weasel word in education?
"I am wondering if this very limited experience of other lives, limits our ability to teach in a way that will ever provide "authentic contexts" for our students' learning."
learning  education  teaching  schools  language  vocabulary  words  authenticity  life  experience  inquiry  context  children  artichokeblog  pamhook 
april 2007 by robertogreco
Day-care centers breed misbehavior at Joanne Jacobs
"The more time a child spends in a day-care center the more likely the child will misbehave in class, according to a long-term study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development."
children  schools  daycare  preschool  behavior  research  studies  parenting  vocabulary  education 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Non-Errors
"Those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English."
english  grammar  language  speech  linguistics  spelling  writing  communication  reference  vocabulary  words  etymology  editing 
september 2006 by robertogreco

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