Tuesday, 23rd August

1. Our Brain Acts the Same Whatever the Language, apparently, new research with speakers of languages other than English suggests https://www.languagemagazine.com/2022/08/12/brain-acts-the-same-whatever-the-language/

“The researchers decided to use Alice in Wonderland as the text that everyone would listen to, because it is one of the most widely translated works of fiction in the world. They selected 24 short passages and three long passages, each of which was recorded by a native speaker of the language. Each participant also heard nonsensical passages, which should not activate the language network, and was asked to do a variety of other cognitive tasks that should not activate it. The team found that the language networks of participants in this study were found in approximately the same brain regions, and had the same selectivity, as those of native speakers of English.”

2. Here’s one that I was fairly sure I’d already mentioned, but it seems not: the Cambridge Dictionary About Words blog: https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/

Here are two posts from earlier this month on talking about textures

https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2022/08/03/tender-velvety-or-abrasive-talking-about-textures-1/

https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2022/08/17/spongy-rock-hard-or-pliable-talking-about-textures-2/

My wife claims we Brits are obsessed with crispiness …

3. Don’t be frightened off by the title of this one by Nayr Ibrahim, Visual and Artefactual Approaches in Engaging Teachers with Multilingualism: Creating DLCs (Dominant Language Constellations) in Pre-Service Teacher Education https://www.mdpi.com/2226-471X/7/2/152

Nayr’s paper “reports on a study of teachers’ engagement with their own multilingualism in a pre-service teacher education context. As linguistic diversity in society and schools around the globe is increasing, teachers are required to meet the challenges of teaching children who live with multiple languages. However, teachers are seldom required to reflect on and engage with their own multilingualism, which forms the basis of a subjective and experiential approach to educating teachers multilingually.” PDF below.

You can find the paper in a special issue of the (open access) Languages journal devoted to Learning and Teaching of English in the Multilingual Classroom: English Teachers’ Perspectives, Practices, and Purposes https://www.mdpi.com/journal/languages/special_issues/Multilingual_Classroom

4. And, finally, the top ten funniest jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival:

1. I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta – Masai Graham

2. Did you know, if you get pregnant in the Amazon, it’s next day delivery? – Mark Simmons

3. My attempts to combine nitrous oxide and Oxo cubes made me a laughing stock – Olaf Falafel

4. By my age, my parents had a house and a family, and to be fair to me, so do I, but it is the same house and the same family – Hannah Fairweather

5. I hate funerals. I’m not a mourning person – Will Mars

6. I spent the whole morning building a time machine, so that’s four hours of my life that I’m definitely getting back – Olaf Falafel

7. I sent a food parcel to my first wife. FedEx – Richard Pulsford

8. I used to live hand to mouth. Do you know what changed my life? Cutlery – Tim Vine

9. Don’t knock threesomes. Having a threesome is like hiring an intern to do all the jobs you hate – Sophie Duker

10. I can’t even be bothered to be apathetic these days – Will Duggan

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