Can online classes during the pandemic bring back an endangered language?

The pandemic has steered a lot of learning online, and language classes have been no exception. But learning an indigenous language with few native speakers left — such as Abenaki, spoken by Vermont’s original inhabitants — presents a unique challenge, and precarity is its own brand of pressure. Language teachers hope that lessons learned during [...]

Scientists discover brain hack for language learning

WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU CAN'T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS, but what about an old human a new language? Previous research suggests that it's much easier for young children to pick up a new language than it may be for their parents or even older siblings. A new study offers a solution to [...]

By |2020-08-09T12:26:16+00:00August 9th, 2020|Language learning, Technology|0 Comments

Language Lessons Start in the Womb

New research is teasing out more of the profoundly miraculous process of language learning in babies. And it turns out that even more is going on prenatally than previously suspected. By looking at international adoptees — babies who were adopted soon after birth and who grow up hearing a different language than what they heard [...]

By |2017-02-22T14:17:13+00:00February 18th, 2017|Infants, Language, Language learning|0 Comments

Learning a Second Language Linked to Synesthesia

People with synesthesia experience the sensory world in a unique way — for example, they "taste" words or "hear" colors. Now, new research suggests that people who learn a second language but aren't exposed to that second language very early in life are more likely to have this sensory-switching ability than those who are natively [...]

By |2017-01-10T14:02:27+00:00January 10th, 2017|Language, Language learning, Synesthesia|0 Comments

Study shows children learning Cherokee are part of ongoing language renewal

Cherokee has been one of a number of endangered Native American languages to see a renaissance in recent history. A group of University of Kansas researchers has co-authored a study demonstrating that the ways children learn and speak the language in a Cherokee immersion school are an ongoing process of renewal rather than a return [...]

School uses robot to revive ancient language

A conference held last month, called the Australian Conference for Computers in Education, unveiled research into the impact of humanoid robots on students’ computational thinking. The aim of the study was to understand the impact of humanoid NAO robots on student learning, the integration of the robots into the curriculum and the pedagogical approaches that [...]

Native Americans Work to Revitalize Traditional Languages

It was almost a century ago that a young Lakota Indian, James Emery, was sent away from his home on South Dakota's Rosebud Indian reservation to boarding school in the central state of Kansas. When he returned several years later, he was alarmed to notice changes in the way his language was being spoken. Folks [...]

With few fluent speakers left, young people are teaching Inupiaq as they learn it

The young teachers sparkle with energy in the classroom, but they also feel fear, guilt and disapproval as they teach the ancient Native language of Inupiaq to students on Alaska’s North Slope. Because they aren’t fluent themselves. Teachers who spoke Inupiaq as a first language entered the classroom in the 1980s and now most have [...]

This Native American tribe on Long Island is trying to raise its language from the dead

Walk into the Wuneechanunk Preschool on a typical weekday morning and you’ll be greeted by the smell of burning sage and words unheard anywhere else in the world: Children singing in the Shinnecock language. Yes, this is the only Shinnecock reservation, and it’s a small one, about 650 people. But the reason the sound of [...]

Robot language tutors to get kids up to speed before school

Life is hard for immigrant children – new place, new friends, new language. Starting from next January, 4 and 5-year-olds in four cities across Europe will be getting a helping hand, by testing out robot tutors to help them get up to speed in the local language. The project, called L2TOR, is run by linguists [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:54+00:00January 17th, 2016|Education, Language, Language learning, Robotics|0 Comments