Monthly Archives: April 2019

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Preserving Endangered Poetry

To mark National Poetry Day, the UK’s National Poetry Library launched a project to collect and preserve poems in endangered languages. Via an international callout, members of the public are invited to submit a well-known poem in a language that is endangered or under threat according to the UNESCO map of endangered languages. These poems…

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Māori People Find Representation in Moana

A new translation of the Disney film Moana has been released in New Zealand. The film was translated by New Zealand native who worked on the original English-language version, Taiki Waititi, and his sister Tweedie Waititi. The film screened for free at 30 theaters around New Zealand in conjunction with the annual Māori language week. All…

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Russian Set Backs in Ukraine, Armenia

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko has signed into law a controversial bill that makes Ukrainian the required language of instruction in state secondary schools (from fifth grade on). The bill was passed despite criticism, particularly from Ukraine’s ethnic minorities: Russians, Poles, Romanians, and Hungarians, all of which have sizable ethnic communities in Ukraine. Russia has been…

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No More ‘Foreign Language’ Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors has approved Oscars rules for the 92nd Academy Awards, including changing the Foreign Language Film category to International Feature Film. Roma received ten nominations at last year’s Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It became the first Mexican entry to win Best Foreign Language Film…

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ELSA: English Language Speech Assistant

ELSA, or English Language Speech Assistant, is a mobile app for language learners that helps to improve pronunciation and reduce accents, using state-of-the-art speech recognition, automated feedback, and deep learning technology. ELSA listens to the way language learners pronounce words, sentences, or conversations to pinpoint exact errors and provides real-time, accurate feedback based on pronunciation…

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Poor Students, Rich Teaching

Solution Tree has released the revised edition of Eric Jensen’s best-selling book, Poor Students, Rich Teaching, along with a companion title, The Handbook for Poor Students, Rich Teaching (co-published with ASCD). With a firsthand understanding of the challenges of growing up in conditions of adversity, author Eric Jensen details the importance of rich teaching for…

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Ukrainian President-Elect Unlikely to Lift Russian Status

Paton bridge over the river Dnieper, Mother Motherland monument in Kiev, Ukraine After actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky’s landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential elections, his campaign spokesperson, Dmytro Razumkov, said that the only official language in Ukraine is Ukrainian, according to the news outlet, Ukrainian Pravda. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, is currently considering a…

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Reaching English Learners Act Gains Support

TESOL International Association has pledged its support for the bipartisan Reaching English Learners Act (H.R. 1153, S. 5​45). The legislation would create a grant program for colleges and universities under Title II Part B of the Higher Education Act to support the development of teacher preparation programs that train future teachers to instruct ELs. To…

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Maryland Bill Weighs Coding as a Language

The Maryland House of Delegates, Ways and Means Committee, is considering a bill (H.B. 1211) that would let county boards of education allow students to satisfy foreign language requirements by completing a certain course in computer programming or coding. Sponsored by 19 House delegates, the bill has bipartisan support but is encountering considerable resistance from…

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Slovenian Sign Language Set for Official Language

Dragon bridge (Zmajski most), symbol of Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, Europe. Long exposure. Time lapse. The National Assembly of Slovenia endorsed a proposal to assign Slovenian sign language as an official in the constitution. The government stated that in order for the Slovenian deaf and hearing-impaired community to fully exercise their basic human rights, Slovenian…