English and Language
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English and Language
All about The English language. It's use and abuse, the subsystems and interesting ways people use it.
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Zynga Releases Free, Education Focused Words With Friends EDU (EdSurge News)

Zynga Releases Free, Education Focused Words With Friends EDU (EdSurge News) | English and Language | Scoop.it
“No longer will there be tense, clandestine matches between a student and her English teacher. Now Words With Friends devotees can play against one another in approved classroom environments.Zynga has released Words With Friends EDU, an educational version of the popular Scrabble-esque app on the web”
Via Jim Lerman
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Who's up for a game?
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Brandi Rogers's curator insight, July 27, 2:18 PM

Having recently gotten back into WWF, I am really excited to be able to use this in my classroom!

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On Text Complexity and Reading: Part 1, The Five Plagues of the Developing Reader - , By Doug Lemov @vdiffenbacher

On Text Complexity and Reading: Part 1, The Five Plagues of the Developing Reader - , By Doug Lemov @vdiffenbacher | English and Language | Scoop.it
“ Getting past Lexiles in measuring complex text”
Via Lou Salza
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Text complexity goes further than vocabulary. We need to look at the structures and organisation of the text.
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Lou Salza's curator insight, November 22, 2013 11:28 AM

Just subscribed to this newsletter after hearing about it from our Lower School/ Associate Head Vanessa Diffenbacher. THe graphs illustrate the importance of thoughtful selection and analysis of texts to support reading development.  Check it out!--Lou

 

 

Excerpt:

"....Archaic Language—The vocabulary, usage, syntax and context for cultural reference of texts over 50 or 100 years old are vastly different and typically more complex than texts written today. Students need to be exposed to and develop proficiency with antiquated forms of expression to be able to hope to read James Madison, Frederick Douglas and Edmund Spenser when they get to college.

 

Here for example are the first lines of Great Expectations: My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.”

The sentences are short and simple, the words simple. On a Lexile scale this passage would score low, but the stylistic differences in a text of this vintage make it daunting to most students to say the least. And they must learn not to be intimidated by older discourse.

 

Non-Linear Time Sequences: In passages written exclusively for students—or more specifically for student assessments—time tends to unfold with consistency. A story is narrated in a given style with a given cadence and that cadence endures and remains consistent, but in the best books, books where every aspect of the narration is nuanced to create an exact image, time moves in fits and start. It doubles back.  To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, is written from Scout’s perspective as she looks back at events from her childhood that happened when she was about 9. But some of her memories are of memories that happened earlier or later. Or that happened repeatedly during her childhood.  The narrative shifts seamlessly from “One day Atticus was,” to “Atticus often did” without calling this shift to the reader’s attention. To understand the book you have to catch these subtle shifts. The only way to master such books is to have read them time and again and to be carefully introduced to them by a thoughtful teacher or parent.

 

Misleading/Narratively Complex—Books are sometimes narrated by an unreliable narrator- Scout, for example, who doesn’t understand and misperceives some of what happened to her. Or the narrator in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” who is a madman out of touch with reality.  Other books have multiple narrators such as Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.  Others have non-human narrators such as the horse that tells the story in Black Beauty.  Some books have multiple intertwined and apparently (for a time) unrelated plot lines. These are far harder to read than books with a single plot line and students need to experience these as well. They define rigor at least as much as Lexiles though Lexiles clearly don’t contemplate them.

So too Figurative/Symbolic Text which, like Animal Farm or The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe or Kurt Vonnegut’s story “Harrison Bergeron” happen on an allegorical or symbolic level. Not reflected in Lexiles; critical forms of text complexity that students must experience.

Finally there are Resistant Texts—texts written to deliberately resist easy meaning-making by readers.  Perhaps half of the poems ever written fall into this category.  You have to assemble meaning around nuances, hints, uncertainties and clues.  So too a book like Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Anyway, we’ve taken to using these “Five Plagues” as markers of text complexity and to explicitly ask our teachers to expose students to books that feature them to ensure the rigor of their reading and their preparedness for college.  In my next post I’ll provide more explicit --examples from To Kill a Mockingbird that show how subtle pervasive and important the factors can be....." By Doug Lemov

 

- See more at: http://teachlikeachampion.com/blog/on-text-complexity-and-reading-part-1-the-five-plagues-of-the-developing-reader/#sthash.RcgvYusw.dpuf

 

Dyslexia Today's curator insight, November 22, 2013 4:22 PM

Really Good Job Disecting Text Complexity! We hope Dyslexic's will use Assistive Technology to really get into some good books and leave their disability behind for a while!

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Is there a problem with the way Australians speak?

Is there a problem with the way Australians speak? | English and Language | Scoop.it
Australians are prone to dropping consonants and lazily transforming vowels.
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Why Australians sound drunk

Why Australians sound drunk | English and Language | Scoop.it
UP to 80 per cent of Australians talk like a drunk person, even when they’re sober.
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Australia, we need to talk about the way we speak

Australia, we need to talk about the way we speak | English and Language | Scoop.it
Australians know all about the three ‘‘R’’s, but there needs to be a fourth on the curriculum: rhetoric.
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Oh, you’re using an expletive! You must know what you’re talking about then!

Oh, you’re using an expletive! You must know what you’re talking about then! | English and Language | Scoop.it
“ As my wife and I were loading our groceries into the car boot, (trunk for my US friends), a young mother was trying to get an uncooperative pre-schooler strapped into his car seat. Frustrated, a st...”
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Funny.
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Word up: how to improve and enlarge your vocabulary

Word up: how to improve and enlarge your vocabulary | English and Language | Scoop.it
A large lexicon helps open our minds, says memory coach Ed Cooke. Below, try our online ‘Memrise’ course for fun
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Orwell would love this.
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Peter Rettig's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:54 AM

A fun post - for English speakers! - and a good reminder that associations (mnemonics!)  are a great way for building your vocabulary in any language!

Eve-Line Boulle's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:03 AM

"A vocabulary rich in French or Chinese words is indispensable for speaking those languages fluently, and the quickest route to competence."

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Oh, you’re using an expletive! You must know what you’re talking about then!

Oh, you’re using an expletive! You must know what you’re talking about then! | English and Language | Scoop.it
As my wife and I were loading our groceries into the car boot, (trunk for my US friends), a young mother was trying to get an uncooperative pre-schooler strapped into his car seat. Frustrated, a st...
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:

This article, written by a maths teacher mentor of mine, is as wise as it is funny. It discusses language change and attitudes to taboo words.

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What the World Will Speak in 2115

What the World Will Speak in 2115 | English and Language | Scoop.it
English will still dominate a century from now, but it will no longer share the planet with thousands of other languages. Instead, expect fewer but simpler modes of oral communication on every continent.
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:

McWhorter's crystal ball is being polished to try to scry what language willl be like in 100 years. 

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Have we literally broken the English language? | Martha Gill

Have we literally broken the English language? | Martha Gill | English and Language | Scoop.it
Martha Gill: Well, no, but the redefinition of 'literally' leaves it in a rather awkward state. Perhaps it's a word best avoided for the moment
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:

Are speaking figuratively or literally when we say we 'literally fell off our chairs laughing'? Unless we actually did fall many language watchers would say the use of 'literally' is incorrect. The Dictionary now disagrees. This has caused controversy. In fact, that was a massive understatement.

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And, like, she goes 'yeah, nah': terminating our bad speech habits

And, like, she goes 'yeah, nah': terminating our bad speech habits | English and Language | Scoop.it
Australians aren’t well known for their articulation. From Kath and Kim to Kylie Mole, we’re the first to poke fun at our poor speech habits.
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Are Australians using bad grammar? Are they poor speakers? Inarticulate even?
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Um or er: which do you, um, use more in, er, conversation?

Um or er: which do you, um, use more in, er, conversation? | English and Language | Scoop.it
“English speakers are increasingly punctuating their speech with ‘um’ rather than ‘er’, according to socio-linguists at Edinburgh University. So why the, um, shift, asks Stuart Jeffries”
Via Julie Cumming-Debrot
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Umm well, what do I say next? er, this pause gives me time to think? But why is it on the increase?
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Monkey See, Monkey Speak - Scientific American

Monkey See, Monkey Speak - Scientific American | English and Language | Scoop.it
“ Scientists use language and logic to translate monkey sounds into English and develop linguistic rules for primate dialects.”
Via Pascual Pérez-Paredes
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Can animals use language? It is one of the questions that you have asked in class. Here is some research to help you learn more.
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60 Free Film Noir Movies

60 Free Film Noir Movies | English and Language | Scoop.it
“ Watch great Noir films directed by Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, and starring Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson. All free.”
Via k3hamilton
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Free classic films through open source.
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Why grammar lessons should be renamed ‘understanding language’

Why grammar lessons should be renamed ‘understanding language’ | English and Language | Scoop.it
“Jessica Brown: It’s an exciting time for grammar, according to the experts. But there’s a need for fresh thinking and the word itself can be misleading”
Via Ana Cristina Pratas
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Is grammar a dirty word? It is far more important to learn about how language is actually used rather than a series of rules.
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Expert shoots down 'drunk' Australian accent claim

Expert shoots down 'drunk' Australian accent claim | English and Language | Scoop.it
Claims the Australian accent sounds slurred because our forefathers were drunk all the time are absolute rubbish, an expert says.
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Fred Stenson's curator insight, November 23, 2015 11:33 AM

I thought this debate would be amusing for Canadians: another nation with alcohol liberally sprinkled through its history. Didn't seem to stop John A. from making articulate speeches. 

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Posh accents, discrimination and employment in Australia

Posh accents, discrimination and employment in Australia | English and Language | Scoop.it
Within Australia, there has historically been a clear social distinction between Cultivated (British-oriented) and Broad or General, distinctly Australian ways of speaking.
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What the World Will Speak in 2115

What the World Will Speak in 2115 | English and Language | Scoop.it
“ English will still dominate a century from now, but it will no longer share the planet with thousands of other languages. Instead, expect fewer but simpler modes of oral communication on every continent.”
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
How will our language look and sound in the future?
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Modern tribes: the grammar pedant | Catherine Bennett

Modern tribes: the grammar pedant | Catherine Bennett | English and Language | Scoop.it
‘The abuse of language causes needless anger, hurt and offence. It’s a question of good manners. Did you really just say refute?’
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
We all have a bit of the prescriptivist in us. Just waiting to snigger at an errant error. Are we part of a modern tribe. Or have we always been this way?
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Modern tribes: the grammar pedant | Catherine Bennett

Modern tribes: the grammar pedant | Catherine Bennett | English and Language | Scoop.it
‘The abuse of language causes needless anger, hurt and offence. It’s a question of good manners. Did you really just say refute?’
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
I have my membership card!
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A study of language death and revival with a particular focus on Manx Gaelic

An MA dissertation (thesis) by Simon Ager that explores themes of language death and revival and which focuses particularly on the decline and revival of Manx Gaelic.
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:

The concept of language death has been around as long as the idea of the tower of Babel. 

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Word processing

Word processing | English and Language | Scoop.it
WHAT is a word? The question might seem easy. One answer is that the list of all words in a language can be found in a dictionary. A second, commonsense definition,...
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:

We don't really know what words are. Most of our definitions fall short.

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What does it mean to speak correct English?

What does it mean to speak correct English? | English and Language | Scoop.it
“ Some time ago, James Taylor's article: 'Why I wish I was a non-native English speaker teacher' raised quite a bit of a stir because of its content and thought-provoking title. Interestingly, one na...”
Via TeachingEnglish
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Is language really going to hell in a hand basket? For hundreds, if not more, of years, people have been pronouncing the doom of language and pointed the finger of blame at those lazy, irresponsible people who are using it so incorrectly that they are irrevocably damaging it. Really.
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Letter to The Sunday Times in support of A Level English Language and Literature

Letter to The Sunday Times in support of A Level English Language and Literature | English and Language | Scoop.it
The following letter was sent to The Sunday Times by Professor Susan Bruce, Chair of University English, in response to an article published in the May 11th edition of the paper about the OCR/ EMC ...
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
The letter linked to here gives a fine rationale for studying all forms of English, not just literary and privileged ones.
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3 ways to speak English

3 ways to speak English | English and Language | Scoop.it
“Jamila Lyiscott is a “tri-tongued orator;” in her powerful spoken-word essay “Broken English,” she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As she explores the complicated history and present-day identity that each language represents, she unpacks what it means to be “articulate.””
Via Julie Cumming-Debrot
Louise Robinson-Lay's insight:
Is there one English or are there many Englishes? The varieties of English are many and all are flavoured by the L1 of the speakers. We will look in more detail at this in Unit Two of VCE English Language.
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