Multilingual Thursday, 27th January

1. Language Log is the blog of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Research in Cognitive Science. Here’s a recent post on the story of Creation and the subsequent Great Flood from south-west China, as told in Naxi ‘pictographic writing’ https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=53387

More posts here, including one on the ‘magical floor shaker’, which is increasingly popular in China. Not yet available here in the UK, alas, where Amazon asks politely if you’ve misspelled ‘flour shaker’.

2. Thanks to Melanie Butler for this one: Is your dog bilingual? A new study suggests their brains can tell languages apart https://www.npr.org/2022/01/06/1070710852/is-your-dog-bilingual-a-new-study-suggests-their-brains-can-tell-languages-apart?t=1643044317208 Great photo of Kun Kun the dog calmly waiting for an MRI scan wearing headphones!

3. I’m not completely sure how multilingual (or not) the education system in Singapore is in practice. There’s certainly a lot of English medium education in this watchable video about education in Singapore from Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) https://youtu.be/_aB9Tg6SRA0

SBS was founded in 1978, in response to large-scale immigration into Australia, “to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society”.

4. I’ve mentioned the Abidjan Principles, which address ‘the human rights obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education’ before https://www.abidjanprinciples.org/ and private education is an area where English as the language of learning and teaching is often – not always – a willing accomplice. Here’s a new short video about the Principles which doesn’t pull its punches https://youtu.be/Kzqandgh1k0

5. And, finally and possibly related, here’s some food for thought on philanthropy https://youtu.be/7SXV05834Mw

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