Wednesday 24th March

1. Most – but not quite all – of our countries have been at one end or another of a colonial relationship with another country. This event next Tuesday, 30th March, at 18:30 UK time, Empires Past and Present: empire around 1900, is the third in a series of four being given by Odd Arne Westad (his sister is called Even), the Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University. Register here

You can find recordings of the first, Empires Past & Present: the idea of empire, here and the second, Empires Past and Present: empire around 1800, here

2. I had occasion recently to re-visit David Graddol’s two influential publications, The Future of English (1997) and English Next (2006), as the British Council is currently reviewing how many of David’s predictions have come true.

One of David’s questions back in 1997 was “Will the spread of English lead to half of the world’s languages becoming extinct?” and in 2006, David observed that “Native-speaker norms are becoming less relevant as English becomes a component of basic education in many countries”. Right on both counts, perhaps?  PDF of both (or should that be ‘each’?) below.

3. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have recently published Five recommendations on special education needs in mainstream schools PDF of the recommendations summary in poster form below.

4. Have you ever wondered what Shakespeare looked like? We now think we know (but I think the author is a vegetarian)

5. And, finally, two closely related phobias for this week, for all those perfectionists out there: atelophobia and atychiphobia

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