Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Pie Chart of the World’s Most Spoken Languages

Pie Chart of the World’s Most Spoken Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This infographic has been making the rounds again this year and it is worth shaing again.  It is a great way to visualize the dominant languages on Earth.  Since this only counts one language per person, mother tongues are listed.  Consequently, lingua franca's such as English and France are smaller than you might have presumed them to be.  

 

Tags: language, culture, infographic.

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Maree Whiteley's curator insight, October 19, 10:06 PM
Our world of languages...not what you might think!
Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, October 19, 10:30 PM
Mother languages and where they are distributed.
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Korean Baseball 101: Way Beyond the Bat Flips

Baseball in South Korea is more than a game. It’s akin to a religion. American missionaries first brought the sport to the peninsula in 1905, and the country absolutely loved it. Today, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) features 10 teams and a unique sporting culture all its own. The city of Busan and its hometown Lotte Giants have a particularly passionate fan base. From the hitters’ flashy bat flips, to the team’s famous “cheermaster” and its unlikely American super fan, consider this is your crash course on the joyful madness that is Lotte Giants fandom.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If a sport (or other cultural practice) diffuses to a new place, is it going to look exactly the same as it does in the original cultural hearth? Maybe, or like baseball in South Korea, it can have a culture all its own. This is an interesting story that shows how the diffusion of cultural traits around the globe doesn't have to lead to a more bland cultural mosaic. As cultural traits are reterritorialized into new places, they add vibrancy to the cultural fabric of the institution/sub-culture that they've adopted.

 

 

Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, South Korea, East Asia.

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Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement

Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For centuries, South Asia has had its own Khawaja Sira or third gender culture. Now, some third gender people in Pakistan say the modern transgender identity is threatening their ancient culture.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Sometimes our assumptions about a society, and how they might react to cultural issues are just that...assumptions.  I for one was very surprised to learn that Pakistan had a traditional third gender. 

 

Tags: culture, developmentpodcast, genderPakistansexuality, South Asia, religion.

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Jordanian parliament repeals rape law

Jordanian parliament repeals rape law | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Jordanian parliament voted on Tuesday to abolish a provision in the penal code that allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victims - a move that is being hailed as 'historic' by activists and locals. Article 308 permit[ed] pardoning rape perpetrators if they marry their victims and stay with them for at least three years.  The controversial provision has for decades divided Jordan between those who believe the law is necessary to protect women's 'honour', and others who see it as a violation of basic human rights."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural norms and political practices are so often intertwined that understanding local laws means that one has to understand the cultural context within which they were created, and in this case, the cultural processes that led to a political will to change them.  

 

Tagsculture, cultural norms, gender, MiddleEast, Jordan, political.

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Mr Mac's curator insight, August 2, 6:49 PM
Unit 3 - Culture and Gender, Unit 4 - Politics and Gender, Unit 6 - Gender and Development
Treathyl Fox's curator insight, August 3, 9:57 AM
This is major for womens' rights.
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'This is death to the family': Japan's fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before

'This is death to the family': Japan's fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Shrinking GDP and a falling population are poised to turn Japan into what economists call a "demographic time bomb," and other countries could be next.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The article headline is quite click-baity, but there is some real substance to this article.  The graphs are especially useful to teach concepts such as population momentum and the age-dependency ratio. These were the key parts of the article that caught my eye:

  • An aging population will mean higher costs for the government, a shortage of pension and social security-type funds, a shortage of people to care for the very aged, slow economic growth, and a shortage of young workers.
  • Following feminism's slow build in Japan since the 1970s, today's workers strive for equality between the sexes, something Japan's pyramid-style corporate structure just isn't built for. That's because institutional knowledge is viewed as a big deal in Japan.
  • The elderly now make up 27% of Japan's population. In the US, the rate is only 15%. Experts predict the ratio in Japan could rise to 40% by 2050. With that comes rising social-security costs, which the shrinking younger generations are expected to bear.
  • To make up for an aging population and aversion toward immigrant work, Japan's tech sector has stepped up its efforts in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Tags: culture, genderlabor, populationmigration, JapanEast Asia.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, June 16, 8:03 AM
Population unit 
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 20, 10:34 PM

Preliminary HSc - Global challenges: Population

Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 9:01 PM

The article headline is quite click-baity, but there is some real substance to this article.  The graphs are especially useful to teach concepts such as population momentum and the age-dependency ratio. These were the key parts of the article that caught my eye:

  • An aging population will mean higher costs for the government, a shortage of pension and social security-type funds, a shortage of people to care for the very aged, slow economic growth, and a shortage of young workers.
  • Following feminism's slow build in Japan since the 1970s, today's workers strive for equality between the sexes, something Japan's pyramid-style corporate structure just isn't built for. That's because institutional knowledge is viewed as a big deal in Japan.
  • The elderly now make up 27% of Japan's population. In the US, the rate is only 15%. Experts predict the ratio in Japan could rise to 40% by 2050. With that comes rising social-security costs, which the shrinking younger generations are expected to bear.
  • To make up for an aging population and aversion toward immigrant work, Japan's tech sector has stepped up its efforts in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Tags: culture, genderlabor, populationmigration, JapanEast Asia.

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Entomophagy: Bugs in the system

Entomophagy: Bugs in the system | Geography Education | Scoop.it
IT WOULD once have been scandalous to suggest the merits of eating insects; these days, it has become old hat. Western-educated entrepreneurs will sell you protein bars made from cricket flour. TED talks extol entomophagy's virtue. Top-end restaurants in the West's largest cities tout insect-based dishes.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply ingrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.

 

Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    

 

Tagsfoodculturediffusion, economic, agriculture.

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Memorializing Manzanar

Memorializing Manzanar | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“During World War II the US government incarcerated over 110,000 Japanese Americans, in ten different detention centers throughout the United States.  One of these sites was Manzanar; in 1992, Manzanar was declared a National Historic Site. But apart from the cemetery, there was little there. The committee did not want to settle for a staid, sterile museum and so they worked with the National Park Service to rebuild portions of the camp exactly as they had been during the war. The most powerful symbol might be the site’s newest addition, a replica of the women’s latrine with a trough sink and row of five toilets with no dividers between them. It’s a stark reminder of the humiliation felt by many Japanese Americans during their incarceration.  The annual pilgrimage of Japanese-Americans and others will take place on April 29th, 2017.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

How we collectively remember history in the landscape?  Do you erase national embarrassments that open wounds of the past or is the act of memorialization cathartic and part of becoming a better country?  After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. listened to the fears of the public and military officials and interned U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry.  Today, how this history is remembered is deeply important to many groups in the United States.  There are some great images, videos and primary sources in this episode of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast. 

 

Tagspodcast, culture, California, historical, monumentsplace, landscape.

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Mapping Reading Preferences

Mapping Reading Preferences | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We took a look at how some of your favorite genres play out across the country.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Audible is one of the world's largest audio book distributors and they have recently mapped out their customers buying patterns at the state level, looking at nine genres.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What patterns do you see in this set of maps?  What cultural and economic factors help to explain the spatial patterns that you see? 

 

Tagsmapping, cultureEnglish.

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America’s Empty-Church Problem

America’s Empty-Church Problem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.

 

In his book Twilight of the Elites, the MSNBC host Chris Hayes divides American politics between “institutionalists,” who believe in preserving and adapting the political and economic system, and “insurrectionists,” who believe it’s rotten to the core. The 2016 election represents an extraordinary shift in power from the former to the latter. The loss of manufacturing jobs has made Americans more insurrectionist. So have the Iraq War, the financial crisis, and a black president’s inability to stop the police from killing unarmed African Americans. And so has disengagement from organized religion.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Forgive the inflammatory title and the partisan source of this article if those are things that would worry you.  This discussion of how secularization is (and is not) changing the nature of American politics gives people much to consider--no matter where you fit on any political or religious spectrum. 

 

Tagsop-ed, religion, culture, political, USA.

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Language: The cornerstone of national identity

Language: The cornerstone of national identity | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Of the national identity attributes included in the Pew Research Center survey, language far and away is seen as the most critical to national identity. Majorities in each of the 14 countries polled say it is very important to speak the native language to be considered a true member of the nation."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Most Europeans see language as a strong prerequisite to be a part of the "national identity."  Immigration has put a strain on cultural identities that are often very political. A majority of European agree on the link between language and national identity, but not surprisingly, the older Europeans and those on the political right feel more strongly about the importance of speaking the national language to truly 'belong.'

 

Tags: language, culturepolitical, Europe, migration, ethnicity.

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Colby Selph 's curator insight, March 10, 10:15 AM
Language is someones culture and everyone should be able to carry their culture to new places like luggage and try to implement their culture in new places.
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The languages the world is trying to learn, according to Duolingo

The languages the world is trying to learn, according to Duolingo | Geography Education | Scoop.it

If you own a smartphone and are trying to learn a language, you probably have Duolingo. English is far and away the most dominant, with a caveat: For some learners, English is the only language Duolingo offers with translation into their native tongue. That doesn’t change the fact of universal interest in English, though, which Duolingo notes is studied by 53% of its users. Things get more interesting when you look at the second-most popular language by country. There French takes the lead, followed by Spanish, German, and Portuguese.

 

Tags: language, colonialismtechnology, diffusion, culture, English.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What role do colonial history and modern economics play in shaping this linguistic data? How does migration influence patterns in bilingualism?  What is a lingua franca?

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Madison Murphy's curator insight, March 13, 3:15 PM
This article "The Languages The World Is Trying To Learn, According To Duolingo" relates to language in Human Geography because it is an app that describes how languages are being spread but also how countries are picking a certain language to be able to communicate with, which is English.  Countries are picking English because they are needing a language to be able to communicate with other countries.
Hailey Austin's curator insight, March 13, 8:45 PM
This reflects to what we are learning in  class because  the articles talking about language. It's talking about how we all really have one language in come in all around the world. I think this is a good idea to have when your working with other countries or you are visiting them.
Hailey Austin's curator insight, April 6, 3:09 PM
This relates to my class because its talking about religion. It states that in many different parts in the world it is very dominate  to learn English. But whats more interesting is that French is right after us. It talks about why English is so popular. Which is because its a language you can use when you visit places and you will be able to communicate. I think this article is interesting  because it is talking about how we are the most popular language but its one of the most complicated one to learn. I also would understand why English is most learned because a lot of people want to visit Florida or even move their.
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Funeral Customs Around the World

Funeral Customs Around the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A funeral is a ceremony marking an individual's death. Funeral customs vary widely between culture, religion, and geographic area. These customs are based on the beliefs and traditions of our ancestors. Although there are a multitude of different rituals, there are also some that are practiced worldwide. These include burials, cremations, and spirit offerings."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This story map was created by one of my students, exploring some of the unusual funerary customs around the world. 

 

Tag: cemetery, cultureStoryMap, worldwide.

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Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Born in Japan, Gursewak Singh considers himself Japanese. The government doesn't. But it offers children like him a chance to stay - if their parents leave.

 

Gursewak’s parents, who are Sikhs, fled to Japan from India in the 1990s. For several years, they lived without visas under the radar of the authorities until they were put on a status known as “provisional release” in 2001. It means they can stay in Japan as long as their asylum application is under review.  While there were almost 14,000 asylum cases under review at the end of 2015, Japan accepted only 27 refugees last year. The year before that, the number was 11.

The low acceptance rate stands in stark contrast to Europe, which has seen hundreds of thousands of refugees arrive from countries such as Iraq, Syria and Eritrea. In the first half of the year, European countries ruled on 495,000 asylum applications, approving more than 293,000.

 

Tags: culture, Sikhdeclining populationpopulationmigrationrefugees, JapanEast Asia,             .

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Looking for Love in Small Religion

Looking for Love in Small Religion | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Think modern dating is tough? Try hunting for a husband or wife in the Druze community—adherents are forbidden from marrying outside of the faith. This desire to marry someone within the faith is not just a preference—the religion prohibits exogamy. If a Druze marries a non-Druze, it will not be a Druze wedding, nor can the couple’s children be Druze—the religion can only be passed on through birth to two Druze parents. There are no conversions into the Druze faith."

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Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language?

Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
There are 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. What are the costs — and benefits — of our modern-day Tower of Babel?
Seth Dixon's insight:

These two podcasts are great mainstream looks at issues that filled with cultural geography content.  So many languages on Earth is clearly inefficient (the EU spends $1 billion per year on translation), and yet, linguistic diversity is such a rich part of humanity's cultural heritage.  Listen to the first episode, Why Don't We All Speak the Same Language? as well as the follow-up episode, What Would Be the Best Universal Language?

 

Tags: languagecultureworldwide, English, regions, diffusiontechnology.

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Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tea, the world's most popular beverage, doesn't just magically appear on kitchen tables--it's production and consumption is shaped by geographic forces, cultural preferences, and regional variations.  These 21 images show the cultural, region, and environmental, economic, and agricultural context of tea.  

 

Tagsimages, foodChina, East Asia, economic, labor, food production, agriculture.

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Five gentrification myths debunked

'Gentrification' is a messy bogeyman of a term deserving more critical analysis. If 'gentrification' is 'exclusive economic development', what we want is INCLUSIVE economic development.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This post will need many disclaimers, but I think that it is a valuable addition to our gentrification materials since the key take-home point is that gentrification doesn’t happen the same way in all places (geographic context matters!). Some of the generalizations about gentrification around the country might not apply to some specific examples.  Are these generalizations true in some (and possibly most) contexts?  Sure, but unfortunately once people hear the word gentrification, they assume a base set of assumptions about the situation which may or may not be true.  The 5 myths outlined in this video (more detail in this Washington Post article) are:

  1. Gentrification leads to lower crime.
  2. Gentrification causes widespread displacement.
  3. Longtime residents hate gentrification.
  4. Gentrifiers are white.
  5. Gentrification happens naturally.

Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic   

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Mr Mac's curator insight, July 6, 8:16 AM
Unit 7 - Gentrifications - specifically addressing "generalizations about Gentrification." 
Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 9:01 PM

This post will need many disclaimers, but I think that it is a valuable addition to our gentrification materials since the key take-home point is that gentrification doesn’t happen the same way in all places (geographic context matters!). Some of the generalizations about gentrification around the country might not apply to some specific examples.  Are these generalizations true in some (and possibly most) contexts?  Sure, but unfortunately once people hear the word gentrification, they assume a base set of assumptions about the situation which may or may not be true.  The 5 myths outlined in this video (more detail in this Washington Post article) are:

  1. Gentrification leads to lower crime.
  2. Gentrification causes widespread displacement.
  3. Longtime residents hate gentrification.
  4. Gentrifiers are white.
  5. Gentrification happens naturally.

Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic   

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My Family’s Slave

My Family’s Slave | Geography Education | Scoop.it
She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.

 

The Spanish Crown eventually began phasing out slavery at home and in its colonies, but parts of the Philippines were so far-flung that authorities couldn’t keep a close eye. Traditions persisted under different guises, even after the U.S. took control of the islands in 1898. Today even the poor can have utusans or katulongs (“helpers”) or kasambahays (“domestics”), as long as there are people even poorer. The pool is deep.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article created a huge stir from the moment it was published, especially within the U.S. Filipino community.  Slavery is reprehensible, but to most people today, it is incomprehensible to imagine how one human could ever enslave another.  This story of a Filipino family that brought a ‘domestic worker’ with them to the United States is a riveting tale that offers glimpses into the cultural context of modern-day slavery.  The author was born into this family and it’s a painful tale intermingled with agony, love, cruelty, tenderness, guilt, and growth.  This article is a long read, but well worth it.  You can listen to a 55-minute audio version of the article, or also listen to the NPR 5-minute version.    

 

Tags: migrationlaborPhilippines, culture.

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During World War I, Propaganda Erased Visible Markers of German Culture

During World War I, Propaganda Erased Visible Markers of German Culture | Geography Education | Scoop.it
As the U.S. entered World War I, German culture was erased as the government promoted the unpopular war through anti-German propaganda. This backlash culminated in the lynching of a German immigrant.
Seth Dixon's insight:

German-Americans are America’s largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). Yet despite their numbers, they are barely visible. During the first world war, parts of America grew incredibly anti-German. Many stopped speaking German and anglicized their names. "In 1915 about 25% of all high school students in America studied German, but by the end of the World War I German had become so stigmatized that only 1 percent of high schools even taught it."

 

Tagsculture, historical, ethnicityUSA.

 

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Why do women live longer than men?

Why do women live longer than men? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Despite the social inequality women experience, they live longer than men. This is the case without a single exception, in all countries.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The question “why do women live longer than men?” is both biological and cultural.  This means that 1) gender as a cultural construct that influences behavior is a mitigating factor and 2) sex, as a biochemical issue, is a separate set of determining factors.  Estrogen benefits women because it lowers “bad” cholesterol) and “good” cholesterol, but testosterone does the opposite.  Women are more likely to have chronic diseases, but non-fatal chronic disease, but men are more prone to the more fatal chronic illnesses.  For the cultural reasons, men are less likely to seek treatment, adhere to the prescribed treatment, commit suicide, and engage in more risky behavior.  While these may read like a list of gendered stereotypes that don’t apply to all, when looking at the global data sets, these trends hold  and are more likely to be true.  How masculinity and femininity is constructed certainly shapes many of these factors and deserves some discussion. 

 

Tags: culture, population, mortality, development, cultural norms, statisticsgender

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Hijab: Veiled in Controversy

Hijab: Veiled in Controversy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy, most notably expressed in women’s clothing that covers most of the body.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is the geography of the hijab?  Covering one's head pre-dates Islam in the Middle East but many associate this practice strictly with Islam and only for women. Read this article (with teaching tips and supplemental resources) for more context on this cultural and religious practice.  

 

Tags: Islam, perspective, religion, culture, National Geographic.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, March 25, 9:43 PM

Migration raises issues of cultural acceptance and integration 

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Combatting FGM

"The United Nations Development Programme started to advocate against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) back in 2003 when it was taboo even to speak about it. In 2008, the practice was banned. The government of Egypt has institutionalized the adoption of FGM abandonment; while prevalence rates remain high (namely among older women), the response of younger girls and mothers of new generations to FGM abandonment campaigns is much higher."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is always a difficult topic for me to talk about in my college classes since it is such a sensitive topic.  However, because it touches on so many taboo topics, that is the very reason that that practice of FGM has continued in many African and Middle Eastern countries.  See the map embedded in this article to know which countries have the highest prevalency rates.  Some are concerned that through relocation diffusion, international migrants can bring this practice to areas such as Europe. Western efforts to eradicate FGM are usually ineffective and sometimes backfire (the author in the linked articles feels that the term mutilation, while accurate, is counterproductive).

 

Tags: culture, gender, media

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The silent minority

The silent minority | Geography Education | Scoop.it
America’s largest ethnic group has assimilated so well that people barely notice it

 

German-Americans are America’s largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). Yet despite their numbers, they are barely visible. During the first world war, parts of America grew hysterically anti-German. Many stopped speaking German and anglicized their names. The second world war saw less anti-German hysteria, but Hitler and the Holocaust gave German-Americans more reasons to hide their origins.

 

Tagsculturemigrationhistorical, ethnicityUSA.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, January 20, 8:57 AM
Where Germans live in America for the most part.
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Mexico is home to world’s largest pyramid

No one knows who constructed this pyramid 2,300 years ago. Cortés missed it when he invaded the pyramid's hometown in 1519 and it wasn't rediscovered until 1910. Today it stands as the largest monument ever constructed.
Seth Dixon's insight:

10 years ago, about 30 miles outside of Veracruz, Mexico, I see a hill completely covered in vegetation.  I notice that the angle is rather uniform and that it appears to have distinct faces at right angles.  It dawns on my that I'm staring at an archeological site that has not been excavated and the Indiana Jones explorer in me is immediately fascinated.  Mexico is filled with sites of ancient civilizations that stir the imagination and this is one of those. 

 

TagsMexicoindigenous, folk cultures, culture, tourism.

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Easiest Languages to Learn

"Learning another language is a good thing, but with only a small percentage of Americans, it seems most of us can never dream of achieving this common goal."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video's humor isn't always classroom appropriate, but it conveys several important ideas about languages.  First, languages that are part of the same language family are easier to learn (leading to more cultural diffusion among speakers).  Second, not all languages are equally important on a global scale even if they are similar (some languages are 'docked' on this list). This list is specifically for English speakers: 

  1. Dutch
  2. Frisian
  3. Afrikaans
  4. Esperanto
  5. Norwegian
  6. Swedish
  7. Italian
  8. French
  9. Portuguese
  10. Spanish

 

Tags: language, culture, diffusion.

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