Monthly Archives: December 2020

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English Learner Slated to Lead U.S. Education

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Connecticut Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel A. Cardona to replace Betsy DeVos as the next Education Secretary. Cardona, whose heritage is Puerto Rican, reportedly spoke very little English when he started school, but went on to earn an MA Ed. in Bilingual Bicultural Education before moving on to educational…

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Congress Approves Extra $15M for World Languages

On Monday, December 21, the U.S. Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations package, which provided $15m in new funding for the World Languages Advancement and Readiness Act (WLARA), in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This grant program was enacted last year, and with the appropriation, is now funded. The efforts to create…

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Our Brains Interpret Coding Differently from Language

A new study out of MIT reports that brains interpret computer code differently from non-digital languages. According to the study, neuroscientists have found that while our brains activate the general-purpose brain network while interpreting code, they do not activate the language-processing centers. While the language-processing centers of our brains are not activated, a different distributed…

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Celebrate UN Arabic Language Day

Diverse children studying outdoor The Arabic language is a pillar of the cultural diversity of humanity. It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, used daily by more than 290 million people. World Arabic Language Day is celebrated every year on 18 December since 2012. The date coincides with the day…

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Indonesia to Digitize Indigenous Scripts

Ramadan Mobile UNESCO and the Indonesian Internet Domain Registry (PANDI) have announced plans to work on digitizing the Indigenous scripts of Indonesia through an initiative called “Connecting the Nation through Ancient Character Digitalisation.” Indonesia is home to more than 700 languages, and while the official language is Indonesian, which has nearly 200 million speakers, many…

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Hungary’s English-Speaking Kindergartens in Trouble

A dozen English-medium kindergartens have received a letter from the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) informing that English is a non-ethnic language in Hungary and should not be used in the institutes. According to 24.hu, the names of the institutes cannot refer to foreign languages, therefore they should rename the kindergartens to not conflict…

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Language Affects How We Perceive Motion

The way our native language employs verbs of motion—words like “go,” “run” or “descend”—may have an effect on how we perceive those motions, according to a study published in Neuropsychologia. According to the study, different languages can encode different semantic information in their verbs of motion—in this sense, languages fall into two camps: manner-verbs and…

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Connecting the Dots

Whatever the outcome of this month’s U.S. election and however bad the second wave of COVID-19 hits this winter, our world will continue to become more interconnected and more interdependent. Despite the closing of borders and the imposition of travel restrictions, the pandemic has proven how permeable national borders are to not only disease and…