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A pensioner, who has a number of disabilities and a print-reading impairment, has had her novel converted to an ebook.
Pamela Grant’s When a Girl is Born was originally published by Oxford University Press in 1993,
It combines historical accuracy with a fast-moving and exciting plot about a 14-year-old girl called Ko-Chin who is married off in an arranged marriage.
It received good reviews and now the publishers have decide to release the book for Kindle, on Amazon.
Pamela, 73, from St Paul’s Court, Alnwick, is delighted that more people will get the chance to read her work.
The book was written after Pamela found that she needed to bring in some funds.
“My partner, who was in agriculture, had an argument with a tractor and I thought what could I do to help bring in something,” she said.
“I have a PhD in modern Chinese politics so I decided to use that, go back to the 1900s and research what it was like and that is where When a Girl is Born came from.”
At the time Pamela wasn’t a lover of writing, but since then she has fallen for the art and is part of numerous writing groups.
“When you write for the money it is completely different than writing for the love of it,” she said.
But now writing has become part of her routine.
“Having When a Girl is Born as an ebook is a bit unreal,” she added.
“It’s like it is floating around in the air.
“I’m pleased they have chosen to do it though.
“I’m also pleased that the book has been put into four different languages – Italian, French, Dutch and Danish – after a book auction.
“It was an exciting book to write. I originally did it as a story for a magazine but that fell through so I created the book and it’s taken off.”
Pamela is currently working on a poetry anthology, writing about a mix of subjects, including Greenpeace.
She has also written numerous other titles including Double Happiness.
The idea for King Charles III arrived in my imagination with the form and content very clear, and inextricably linked. It would be a play about the moment Charles takes the throne, and how his conscience would lead him to refuse to sign a bill into law. An epic royal family drama, dealing with power and national constitution, was the content, and therefore the form had surely to be Shakespearean. It would need five acts, quite possibly a comic subplot, but most worryingly, the majority of it would have to be in verse.
This was terrifying. Verse is one thing (and a thing I knew very little about), but verse drama? And a form of verse drama that would lay this play alongside the greatest literature in the English language? All of this was enough to stop me writing a word, so for two years the play remained merely a good idea – unspoiled by any attempt to write it into reality.
Eventually I mentioned it to the director Rupert Goold, who commissioned it straight away, and then pestered me into confronting it. When I finally started, I had two ways in, to make it approachable. Firstly, although I knew little about verse, I did know something of Shakespeare. At university, I studied English and theatre, and one of our lecturers, Bridget Escolme, had been doing a PhD on Shakespearean staging traditions. We'd learned about the length of time it took to make an entrance on to the stage, the conventions of crowd scenes, up and down, heaven and hell – the mechanics of the stage traffic. Crucially, we learned that this could all be seen, reflected in, and at times indicated by, the verse. There are few stage directions in Shakespeare because the verse serves that purpose. The dramatic action of the lines is related to the physical action required. And the audience is co-opted, part of the drama: it can become a crowd, a mob, the entire English population, or, during a soliloquy, the brain of the character. So I understood that Shakespeare's verse was never concerned with any pure authorial voice, but was instead a vast multiplicity of viewpoints, a rough and tumble performance text.
Secondly, I'd seen Ken Campbell perform at the Edinburgh fringe one year. He stepped forward and boldly claimed he knew exactly how Shakespeare wrote his plays. He had solved the authorship debate. Then his group entered and began to improvise in iambic pentameter, surprisingly well. Perhaps it lacked the finesse and poetry of Shakespeare – but actually, perhaps it didn't. Despite being made up in the moment, it was moving, funny, meaningful and dramatic. Campbell claimed that the reason Shakespeare could write the verse so well, and be so prolific, was that as an actor, he had to hold about 20 parts from different plays in his head at any one time. The iambic rhythm had been drummed into him until it became instinctual. The language was, to him, a vernacular. He had done his 10,000 hours of practice.
So clearly, I was more than a little behind Shakespeare. I needed to practise. I wrote lines and lines of iambic pentameter, speaking it round the house to myself, trying to get to the point where I might be able to improvise the verse fluidly, hoping that if I could, the writing would be driven by the desires and thoughts of the characters, rather than aesthetics or metric requirements. I wrote test speeches and scenes for the play, trying to see if or how it might work. And doing all this, I learned a few things – that the temptation was immediately to get carried away with metaphor and simile. Characters in this form are allowed to use extended imagery to explore psychology and for a writer this is seductive. You can understand why Shakespeare succumbed to it so often. And, to an extent, audiences also enjoy it, but it has to relate to the specific predicament the character is in, in that moment, and it can't go on too long. The audience is only, in the end, concerned with the drama – anything that veers too far away from it, however well written, will lose their interest.
It also took me a while to find the right tone for the play, and to understand how important dramatic context is. An early speech I wrote, originally to test the verse, is in Act 1 Scene 3. The prime minister is discussing a privacy bill with Charles. The original speech was:
It cannot be a right or civilised
Country, in which, in any private place
A toilet, bedroom, might be there concealed
A tiny camera, then these photos 'splayed
As front page news, the consequences thrown
Around the world and ever-lasting, so
Without a jury, judge, or evidence
A punishment is meted out, a life
Is ruined, reputation murdered.
And as we know the dead once dead are gone
Forever, all that's left is writing on the
Tomb, read by generations still to come
The only remnant of what press destroyed –
Electric letters scrawled forever on
The graveyard of the cursed internet.
Although a part of this speech remains in the play, most of it was removed, because it occurs too early. We haven't built to this level of passion. But not only that. It feels too emotive and if spoken on stage, would make the prime minister seem unhinged. It became clear this language – with "remnants", "destroyed", "tombs", "scrawled" and "graveyard" – was simply too much. The vocabulary the characters used, and their verse, even though heightened, couldn't stray too far from the language we would believe them to speak day to day. These are not fairytale characters: we want to believe in them as the real people we know exist.
I found the same words cropping up often – just to fill the demands of the metre. For instance, people were often introduced as "good" ("My good prime minister"). I also had to avoid lines with monosyllabic words, because, spoken out loud, they expose the rhythm too much. But perhaps more interesting was when the verse compressed meaning, rather than extending it. This would happen particularly when characters were passionate – for instance, when Harry, late in the play, is attempting to persuade his father that he wants to stop being a prince:
If King approves it can through boredom work.
We make no fuss 'cept that I have moved, got job.
And will no longer take the civil list
I'll have no role official and not prince,
I'll live a life of normalcy, within
This country, rather than atop the mound
Unearned and with a target on my back.
I wrote this speech quite fluidly within the scene, but found, because Harry is passionate, he manages to tell the story of what he wants to happen, but also explain the reason for it, all within seven lines. I suspect if I wrote this in a naturalistic play, the speech would be significantly longer. It reminds me of what Peter O'Toole said about speaking Shakespeare – that while the convention is to match the thought with the word, he found it works much better when the thought is just behind the word. The language leads, and we only have time to think in its wake. I only manage it a few times in the play, but in performance you can sometimes feel the audience enjoying the experience of catching up.
'I wrote lines and lines of iambic pentameter, speaking it round the house' … Mike Bartlett Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian
Having done my tests, and feeling a little more confident, I planned the play, again and again. There was indeed a subplot, of Harry falling in love with a commoner art student. Diana's ghost would make an appearance. But the planning was mainly to make sure the plot significantly moved forward in every scene, and did so through knotty problems that posed deep familial and constitutional problems. This meant that when I came to write the scenes there would be a lot for the characters to achieve through verse – not just explain their position, or psychology, but they would use the language as rhetoric to get what they want.
Finally then, having settled on a plan, I began to write, and ended up pretty much going from beginning to end. With other plays I've written very fast: I'm keen for the energy of the moment to translate on to the page, so characters say things that surprise me. But with Charles III, the verse slowed me down. And I found I loved it. The writing became more considered, rather than impulsive. To paraphrase Charles in the play, it felt "slow cooked" rather than "microwaved", and so as the play emerged I felt it was something very different from anything I'd written before.
The other thing that surprised me as the play grew was that it was defiantly unironic. I found the verse rejected irony, forcing me to take the characters seriously. Another moment that didn't make the final draft (but lasted until the first preview, mainly at my insistence) was spoken by Charles, just after he sees the ghost.
This is psychology so manifest
If shown upon the stage I would cry out
A fraud. Simplicity! And badly done!
I wanted to see this played in front of an audience, because I was sure this knowing wink was in the Shakespearean mode, and would work well. Sure enough, it got a big laugh, but simultaneously it destroyed the scene. These lines told the audience not to take Charles, or the play, seriously, and that was the opposite of the message we needed. This was the case throughout – the terms the verse and the play worked on were sincere and meaningful. It wasn't a postmodern take on Shakespeare, it wasn't a parody or a pastiche – it was a play, telling a story the audience should care about. Anything that worked against this was swiftly cut.
Once the play was written, and liked, and then programmed, I was keen we found an actor to play Charles who knew Shakespeare – who could take on this part like any role – seriously, and follow the clues in the text, rather than perform an impression or parody of Charles the man. Tim Piggot-Smith was therefore perfect, and almost as soon as he was cast he began sending me emails about the verse. He would practise it at home, out loud, and if there was unintentional assonance, alliteration or – God forbid – repeated words, he'd expertly fish them out. He also encouraged me, as did Goold, to stray from the metre a little more often. For instance, the line:
My Catherine I did make it clear I'll not
Inflict the same division on ourselves
That currently does tear our country up.
My Catherine I did make it clear I'll not
Inflict the same division on ourselves
That currently does tear at our country.
In the first, the emphasis falls on "up", whereas by breaking with the metre in the second version it falls on "tear" and "country". Vastly better. Once we were in rehearsal there were many more examples of this. A company of actors and a good director became the best editor one could imagine. The play lost about 20 minutes in running time, and was far better for it.
Then in performance audiences seemed to enjoy it. Some of them didn't realise it was in verse until they saw the text on the page. At first I thought this was a shame, but I quickly understood that it meant they were enjoying it for all the right reasons – meaning, imagery, character – rather than worrying about the technical aspects. Surely this is true in every element of theatre. The audience wants the lighting to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the scene – not to wonder how the lanterns are attached or wired. The mechanics of verse drama should happen behind the scenes, allowing the audience to experience the characters and story.
And now, despite saying how this form was uniquely connected to the content, and I can't imagine ever writing another play in verse, I'm not so sure. I hugely enjoyed the process of writing this play, more than any play I'd written before. I loved what heightened language could do in a scene, and being able to have a character explore inner decision-making and psychology with an audience. I'd be sad never to have access to all these modes again. So I reserve the right to return to verse drama one day. Even iambic pentameter. King William V?
• King Charles III runs at Wyndham's theatre, London WC2H, until 29 November. kingcharles3play.co.uk. The play text is published by Nick Hern Books. This piece was first published in Areté.
Les «rapports entre les langues amazighs, selon Christopher Eherd et Andrew Kitchen» ont été développés, hier à El-Khroub (Constantine), à l’occasion du colloque international sur Massinissa, dans une conférence de l’archéologue italienne, Elizabeth Fentress. La conférencière, qui s’exprimait devant un panel de chercheurs et d’historiens algériens et étrangers participant à cette rencontre, organisée par le Haut-Commissariat à l’amazighité (HCA), s’est attardée sur le rapport de la linguistique avec son histoire, prenant pour exemple, le cas des Gétules (ancien peuple établi en Afrique du Nord pendant la protohistoire, ndlr) et des Numides.
L’intervenante a notamment fait état de la nécessité, pour les chercheurs versés dans ce domaine, d’appliquer les techniques spécifiques à la théorie de la classification phylogénétique qui est, a-t-elle précisé, un système de classification des êtres vivants ayant pour objectif de rendre compte des degrés de parenté entre les espèces afin de connaître leur histoire évolutive ou «phylogénie». L’estimation des taux de substitution des mots au cours du temps, en se basant sur les données relatives aux différentes familles de langues afro-asiatiques que l’on suppose apparentées, est le but recherché à travers ces techniques spécifiques à cette théorie fondée sur l’une des méthodes de la glottochronologie (technique visant à calculer la distance temporelle ou la divergence entre deux langues réputées apparentées, ndlr), a-t-elle précisé. De leur côté, les conférenciers américains Matthew M. McCarty et Joséphine Crawley ont fait état des «échos de la civilisation punique, de ses rites et de ses institutions, ou lois fondamentales régissant un État et de sa langue». Les intervenants ont assuré qu’après la chute de Carthage, pire ennemi de Massinissa, les invasions culturelles puniques ont continué à faire écho et à s’infiltrer au sein du royaume des successeurs héritiers de Massinissa. Des phénomènes que les deux communicants ont présenté comme «indices révélateurs du prolongement de manière irréfléchie, de la culture et de l’histoire en Afrique du Nord, de la diaspora punique ou de l’identité culturelle punique». Les conférenciers se sont ensuite concentrés sur «la fondation et le culte d’une centaine de sanctuaires-stèles, témoins de nombreux aspects des "Tophets" (lieux de sacrifices humains dans la Phénicie antique, ndlr) et sur la propagation de la langue punique en Afrique du Nord».
Mme Nouria Benghebrit
Un agenda définira une approche pour la généralisation de l'enseignement d’amazigh
Un agenda définissant une approche pour la généralisation de l'enseignement de la langue amazigh sera élaboré par un groupe mixte composé de cadres du département de l'Éducation nationale et des membres du Haut-Commissariat de l'amazighité (HCA), a indiqué, hier à Constantine, la ministre de l'Éducation nationale, Mme Nouria Benghebrit. Elle a ajouté, au cours d'une conférence de presse, que le groupe mixte s'affaire, à travers les wilayas, "à l'ébauche des grandes lignes de cette approche, et aux moyens à mettre en œuvre pour la mise en pratique de cette stratégie". Soulignant que la langue amazigh est enseignée en Algérie depuis 1995, la ministre a ajouté que le groupe mixte "se prononcera aussi sur la graphie à adopter dans les manuels scolaires amazighs, entre l'alphabet tifinagh, les lettres latines ou les lettres arabes".
Most of us interact with Google at least a few times a day – if you’re a Gmail user, it’s way more than that. But the bright folks at Google are constantly updating features and adding cool tweaks to various Google products, and you could probably be getting a lot more out of Google than you do.
Let’s take a look at five nifty things you can do with Google that you might not already be doing.Google Public Data Explorer
This can be a very handy tool, especially for people who are studying, or whose jobs involve doing research on other countries. The Google Public Data Explorer basically aggregates tons of publicly available data from places like the World Bank and various country statistical offices (including some data from Statistics South Africa).
You can type in a query, like “population growth rates by country,” and then use the Explorer’s options to create your own charts. You can embed the chart you make into your website or any internet-linked document, or you could use your computer’s screenshot tools to snap a picture of it – great for school projects.Google translations
When you live in a multilingual society, you often come across phrases that are in a language that you don’t speak. With Google’s translation utilities you can quickly translate back and forth between a large number of languages.
You can visit https://translate.google.com/ for a complex translation, or you can simply translate a few words by typing “translate (the word you want translated) into (the language you want it translated into)” – for example, you might type “translate bread into Zulu.”
Google’s translation is not, I should note, flawless. It has trouble with any subtleties of grammar and meaning. However, even with fairly complex passages it usually gives you enough of an approximation to either understand or make yourself understood.Google as your diet’s best friend
If you’re watching what you eat, Google is your new best friend. Google let’s you easily and quickly compare the nutritional values of different foods.
All you need to do is type the foods into the search bar like so: “compare (food) to (food)”. Comparing your two options side by side can help motivate you to make the right choice!Google flights
When you’re planning a trip, Google’s flight search is a handy port-of-call to find the ideal price and time.
Unfortunately, Google flights doesn’t yet support the rand, but you can change your currency to dollars or pounds, and you still get the convenience of comparing prices and seeing all the flight times that are available.
Presumably you’ll eventually be able to search in rands.Google is a dictionary
Heard a new word and not sure what it means? Google’s got your back. Just type “define (word)” and Google will tell you what it means, and how to pronounce it.
You can even click the audio button to hear it said out loud, to make extra sure you’re saying it right.
Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part II of a two part series that provides an alphabetized listing of a small number of African languages and their word/s for "father" and "mother".
Part II provides entries for African languages from M-Z.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/09/words-for-father-mother-in-various.html Part I of the list. Part I includes entries for African languages from A-L.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Additions and corrections are very welcome.
WORDS FOR FATHER AND MOTHER in VARIOUS AFRICAN LANGUAGES, Part I
This small number of languages were selected somewhat at random from this listing of African language nameshttp://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/african_languages.htm "Official and Spoken Languages of African Countries" That website indicates that "Africa is a continent with a very high linguistic diversity, there are an estimated 1500-2000 African languages."
In this list, the nation in which the featured language is spoken is given in brackets after the language's name. The African word/s for the English language words "father" and "mother" are then given, followed by a citation of the online source where I retrieved that information. A quote from that source, or from Wikipedia, and/or from some other website may also be included for that entry.
Mandinka (also given as Manding) [Mali, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau and Chad;]
Father = baaba
Mother - naa
That dictionary also indicates that "mama" and "mamoo" means grandparent; "mamakee" means grandfather and "mamamusoo" means "grandmother".
Oshiwambo (Namibia and Angola)
Father = Tate
Citation for "Tate" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovambo_language
Citation for "Meme" https://worldpulse.com/node/2016 from comment written On January 27, 2010 by justina She also wrote "Grandmother is called Kuku."
Here's a quote from that Wikipedia page for Oshiwambo:
"Not to be confused with Ambo language (Zambia) or Ambo language (Nigeria). ... The language is generally called Ovambo, Ambo, or Oshiwambo in English. ..Ovambo, also known as Wambo or Ambo, is a dialect cluster in Angola and northern Namibia".
Here's more informaton from "Hai ti! – A Beginner's Guide to Oshikwanyama - wingolog" http://wingolog.org/pub/hai-ti/hai-ti.pdf
Ovaneumbo / Edimo:
My father Tate
Your father Xo
His/her father Xe
My mother Meme
Your mother Nyoko
Sethoso [South Africa]
Father – ntate
Mother - 'me
Setswana [Botswana, South Africa and Namibia (Southern Africa)]
father - ntate
Mother – mma
Here's a comment about the pronunciation of "mma" fromhttps://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090203213954AA0bMzk "How do you say mother in Setswana?"
“It's "mma". And be sure to lengthen the "m". The "m" sound is long, and the "a" sound is short.”
Dad (father) = mdosi, fathe, mbuyu, buda
Mum (mother) = masa, mathe, mnyaka, mokoro, moda
Here's some information about "Sheng" fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheng_slang
"Sheng is a Swahili-based cant, perhaps a mixed language or creole, originating among the urban underclass of Nairobi, Kenya, and influenced by many of the languages spoken there. While primarily a language of urban youths, it has spread across social classes and geographically to neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda…
The word "Sheng" is coined from the two languages that it is mainly derived from: Swahili and English. The "h" was included from the middle of "Swahili because "Seng" would have sounded unusual...
Although the grammar, syntax, and much of the vocabulary are drawn from Swahili, Sheng borrows from English and from the languages of various ethnic groups in Kenya, including Luhya, Gĩkũyũ, Luo and Kamba. Words are also borrowed from languages that are neither a local language nor English – such as the Sheng word dame "lady" — which is a title of honour for a lady in English, or morgen "morning" – a Sheng word used in some areas with a similar meaning in German.
Sheng vocabulary can vary significantly within Kenya's various subdivisions and the larger African Great Lakes region, and even between neighbourhoods in Nairobi”...
Father - hooyo
Mother - aabbo
citation: Google translate
Tigrinya -[Eritrea and Ethiopia]
Father = Abo
Father - Agya
Mother - Ɛna
That source also indicated that "Nana" is the Twi word for "Grandfather / Grandmother". Nana is also a Ghanaian title.
"Amongst the Akan clans of Ghana, the word Nana generally denotes social eminence derived from either nobility or advanced age. It is most often used as a pre-nominal honorific by individuals who are entitled to it due to the former of the two ( E.g. kings and chieftains such as Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, the reigning Asantehene of Asanteman)". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nana_(title)
Here are two other citations for the Twi word for father and mother (and grandparents):
Father – Papa
Mother – Maame
Grandparents – Nana
From http://www.interpals.net/note.php?nid=99757 "My African language short phrase book"
Twi (pronounced 'chwee')
Father = papa
Mother = maame
Wolof [Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania]
Father – Baye
Mother - Yaye
Xhosa [South Africa]
Father – tata
Mother - mama
Mother - iya
citation: Google Translate
Zulu [South Africa]
Citation: Google Tranlate
This concludes Part II of this series.
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire looks at the various reasons for ostracising African languages in African schools and shows how unconvincing they are, arguing for more vigilance in the defence of the use of local languages in African schools.
In various schools in Uganda, and some other parts of Africa, children as young as five are punished for speaking African languages, indigenous languages and mother tongues at school. The modes of punishment differ. The most common one in Uganda is wearing a dirty sack until you meet someone else speaking their mother tongue and then you pass the sack on to them. In some schools, there are specific pupils and students tasked with compiling lists of fellow pupils and students speaking mother tongues. This list is then handed over to a teacher responsible for punishing these language rule-breakers. According to Gilbert Kaburu, some schools have aprons that read: “Shame on me, I was speaking vernacular” handed over to an offender of the No Vernacular rule, who then is tasked with finding the next culprit to give the apron. Most of the punishments, in their symbolism emphasise the uselessness of the African languages.
Commenting on a photo of two children in Uganda wearing dirty sacks as punishment for speaking their mother tongues, Zimbabwean writer, Tendai Huchu says:
“That sums up our self loathing and inferiority complex. Junot Diaz once said we do a better job of enforcing white supremacy ourselves than white supremacists ever could. I should add, notice how the punishment consists of wearing sack-cloth. The image is telling. You are rags if you speak your own language.”
Halima Hosh, agreeing with Tendai Huchu opines:
“It’s outrageous. What a slave mentality that a colonial language is considered higher or better/more worth than their own local language. Unbelievable. Do the Europeans learn any African language in school? No. Why not? Because we are not proud of our heritage, not proud of our languages, not proud of Black African history. These teachers need to be fired.”
This image of two kids forced to wear sacks for speaking Luganda in school generated much discussion on Facebook this week.
The loud symbolism and absurdity of the punishments for speaking local languages and the colonial roots of the practice aside, there is no convincing argument for the contemporary ostracization of African languages in African schools, fifty years and thereabouts after independence. The justifications for the present-day banning of African languages in African schools range from the need to prioritise the learning and quality of English/French (insert any other European colonial Language) over the local languages to the building of national unity and identity through globalisation. Below I show the demerits of these arguments.
Speaking African languages affects the learning of English
It has been argued that vernacular affects the learning and speaking of English (or any other colonial language) thus children need to unlearn their mother-tongues so they can learn and speak English better. Speaking English with indigenous language-inflected accents to those who make this argument is not a good job of speaking the language. There is effort put into enforcing a British accent (whatever that means). The assumption is that the less local language you speak the better your English speaking and writing abilities and vice versa.
Henry Odhiambo II, who studied from a school where children would be caned for using their mother-tongues at school in rural Kenya says that:
“it instilled so much fear that when we met outside school the kids weren’t sure what language to speak to each other thinking they may be reported and get a beating, the sad thing is that what was being spoken would pass for gibberish if a true English speaker were to give their own honest opinion.”
This elite was deliberately mis-educated to hate their own ethnic identities
From Odhiambo’s experience, we see that children lose confidence so young for being punished for speaking ‘vernacular’ yet confidence is an important attribute for good learning. Learning by punishment is not necessarily effective learning, thus the more children are forced to learn English by sacrificing their mother-tongues, the worse their English language proficiency gets.
English is needed as a common language
For many a multi-ethnic African country, with several indigenous languages, it is argued that it is important to ‘enforce’ English as a common language. Kibibi (not her real name) says that unless you start conducting official business and exams in vernacular, which she has problems with because it reinforces differences, it is important to enforce the speaking of English. She adds that she was bullied for being ‘uppity’ in primary school because she could not speak Luganda, which is not her language and thus is not spoken in her home.
The vulgarisation of ethnicity in many African countries was essential to the divide and rule policy of the British as it emphasised the de-tribalisation of a class of elite that would be left in charge of the colonies at independence to easily transition into neo-colonies. This elite was deliberately mis-educated to hate their own ethnic identities while the majorities of the populations were deliberately left to continue their life as normal in their ethnic organisations. In multi-ethnic countries like Uganda, the offspring of the Anglicised elite feel that ethnicity is a negative influence on the growth of national unity. They thus support a de-tribalisation policy.
The problem is that de-tribalisation in post-colonial Africa is impossible. People are tied to their ethnic identities and education does not necessarily de-tribalise them. Neither is it true that speaking the same language guarantees unity. Rwanda and Somalia are good examples. Despite linguistic unity, the two countries have had enough experience of civil strife. Kenya, with its Kiswahili promotion policy and English preference since 1963, still experienced ethnic strife in 2007. Co-existence is not necessarily homogeneity. There can be unity in diversity, including linguistically.
English is the international language of business
It is also argued that English and other colonial languages offer advantages to children in today’s global language. It is their passport to the global stage. Business within the hallowed walls of the Bretton Woods institutions, or at the World Economic Forum is not yet conducted in IsiZulu, Yoruba, Luganda, Lingala and other African languages and so African children need to know an ‘international’ language to survive at that stage.
Shiphrah Nidoi suggests that:
“we can learn western languages without shunning our own. English is our official language, it is internationally recognised. For popular African languages to be recognised internationally, we need to stand our ground and draw attention to them by speaking the languages. Embrace your heritage, it is beautiful. The world will go with what goes.”
I agree with Nidoi. Despite the fact that indigenous languages are not effectively supported by state policy and none has been made Uganda’s official or national language, communication in the country happens more in indigenous languages than English (the official language) or Kiswahili (the national language). Mass retail trade in Kampala is largely impossible without the knowledge of Luganda, the most spoken indigenous language in the country. Multinational companies in the telecommunications sector have to translate their adverts to a minimum of four indigenous languages to reach the target markets. There are far more indigenous language radio stations in the country than English speaking stations, reaching a much larger audience. The Luganda daily tabloid-newspaper Bukedde sells more copies than any other daily newspaper, many of which are in English. Global businesses thus need the indigenous languages to be able to penetrate African markets.
It is illogical to abandon the indigenous languages while the populations that provide market for products stay hooked to them. We are losing our competitive advantage over foreign companies in our own markets. The list of the United Nations official languages (or any other international organisation) is not fixed. More languages can be added if there is proof that they are important for the conduct of their business. The core purpose of language is communication and people in the business of running international organisations understand this hence the encouragement of multilingualism in diplomacy and international relations schools. If Africans do not support the use of their own languages, no one will do it for them.
Amos Kasibante, who once confronted a Uganda Education Minister in the 1980s over the policy of punishing children for speaking indigenous languages is livid about the situation. He asks:
If Africans do not support the use of their own languages, no one will do it for them
“Why are politicians who are engaged in anti-colonialist rhetoric not challenging this practice? How can it survive today under the fundamental change ushered in by the NRM (the Yoweri Museveni-led National Resistance Movement came into power in Uganda in 1986 promising very many reforms, with a decolonisation rhetoric underpinning many of the suggested reforms)? How come there is no flood of protests in the media about the prevalence of this practice? How come the Ministry of Education is quiet about or oblivious to its existence? How come that even churches are quiet about it and even some church schools could be perpetuating the abuse?”
Barbra Natifu agreeing with Tendai Huchu and Halima Hosh reasons that the practice is a consequence of colonised minds. She suggests that the language debate should be re-tabled and the dehumanising treatment of children stopped. She labels the punishment of children for identifying with their own cultural and linguistic identities a crime against humanity. In her opinion, this must end and the education curriculum reformed to incorporate indigenous languages.
There have been debates as to the extent and relevance of indigenous languages in the Ugandan curriculum at many levels. No such debate exists when it comes to English. In 2012, a proposed new curriculum scrapping Ugandan indigenous languages from the Ordinary Level sparked an outcry in local language rights activists’ circles, including an online petition to the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament. The idea was reportedly dropped.
In the same country Uganda, there is a policy that the language of instruction at early primary school education levels is the predominant indigenous language of the area, up to Primary Three. In Primary Four, teachers are guided to use both the indigenous language and slowly transition to using English. This policy is however grossly disregarded by a number of private schools, especially in urban areas whose logic according to Gilbert Kaburu, an Education expert, is to prepare pupils early enough for national examinations set in English. Most government-aided schools in the rural areas comply and indeed there are cases when it is suggested that their dismal performance in national examinations is due to the use of indigenous languages in the lower levels of education.
There is hope that with sustained advocacy, that the ostracization of indigenous languages will end. The Ministry of Education can be put on pressure to monitor schools that implement a No Vernacular policy. The Ministry can also be pushed to ensure the implementation of instruction in local languages in the early stages of primary education. We are the same people who lose out in the global marketplace, but also in our own home-grown markets because we are losing our competitive advantage in the name of speaking others’ languages best. The core purpose of language is communication and to communicate with the larger mass of the African population, one needs to speak the African indigenous languages.
Norms in the Finnish language did not come from thin air but are a result of long and arduous battles. Whether to use a genitive form as the first part of a compound word caused a raucous debate among linguists.
The Finnish language is deteriorating, people often say, arguing that in the past speakers knew how to use language correctly.
But is that really the case? As late as in the 1950s, language authorities engaged in heated discussions on whether verbs such as sekoittaa (to mix) and varoittaa (to warn) required the 'i' in the middle. And before that, the spelling of foreign loan words was wobbly for a long time, with for example diploomi often seen in writing, before diplomi became the standard form.
At the end of the 1940s, language professionals also had differing views on the acceptable hyphenation of compound words.
This goes to show that the current standards and norms of the Finnish language were not carved in stone before the dawn of time. Instead, many language rules have been revamped and tweaked over the centuries, and some fine-tuning has taken place even in the last couple of decades.
Taru Kolehmainen, a retired researcher from the Institute for the Languages of Finland, recently published a book on how the norms of the Finnish language and recommendations for correct usage have emerged.
According to Kolehmainen, inherent Finnish language norms, which speakers learn without the help of textbooks, include conjugations, for example verbs taking on a different ending depending on who the subject is. In contrast, many other language rules are conventions, which have arisen when a certain regional form was picked for general use.
Guidelines still good
Authorities and language professionals have tried to guide and control correct language usage since the 19th century. A wave of nationalism swept across Europe, giving rise to efforts in Finland, along with other European countries, to create a national language fit for all purposes in society.
"Norms help language users to make decisions on usage as they don't have to solve every single language problem themselves. This was the wish expressed by many people in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Having guidelines is still good, we do need some language norms," explains Kolehmainen.
But creating the rules for the Finnish language was not always child's play, with linguists in the past often prone to bickering and bearing grudges.
A real bone of contention proved to be verbs with either the –ottaa or –oittaa ending. The debate started in 1868, and linguists only finished dotting the i's and crossing the t's in the guidelines in 1953.
Language experts finally settled on the rule of thumb that verbs formed from a noun ending in an 'a' take an –oittaa ending, while verbs formed from a noun with an 'o' at the end take –ottaa as their ending. This decision failed to garner universal support among language users, some of whom would have preferred an 'i' in all the verbs, while others favoured leaving it out of all of them.
Based on gut feelings rather than scientific facts, the arguments for and against ranged from "verb forms with an 'i' are beautiful and refined" to "forms without an 'i' are more stylish and manly".
Another episode with almost comical undertones was the 1936 debate on whether the first part of a compound word should also be conjugated, which would give us such forms as happamankerman, instead of hapankerman, currently in use. Kolehmainen found 35 different arguments for and against the various usages in the minutes of the meeting.
Perhaps the bitterest linguistic squabble took place at the end of the 1940s when the renowned linguist E.A. Saarimaa published his language guidebook recommending the use of a genitive form as the first part of a compound word, for example hermonlepo instead of hermolepo, despite the nominative case having already become established as the standard.
Saarimaa's old sparring partner, Professor Lauri Kettunen waded in to attack the most glaring proposals for reforming the Finnish usage. A couple of years later, he published his own language book refuting a whole bunch of arguments and views expressed by Saarimaa.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country followed the melee, astounded: whose opinions could be trusted anymore? Newspaper offices were inundated with letters to the editor, and Helsingin Sanomat talked about the whole culture being in danger.
"If the written Finnish language is so difficult that only a very few people who have devoted their lives to the study of correct language usage can produce flawless text it cannot serve as a foundation for our culture," argued an editorial published in Helsingin Sanomat on 16 August 1949.
More liberal views also gained ground among linguists and language authorities. Everybody agreed that a new and emerging language needed guidance and monitoring, but there was no consensus on how stringent the guidelines should be.
With time, the prescriptive view of correct and incorrect language usage has taken a backseat. In recent years, language professionals have focussed on the tone and register of the language that is acceptable in different situations. Larger changes to the existing norms have been few and far between.
Taru Kolehmainen says this is partly because the Finnish language is pretty much a finished product.
"It is difficult to think of a language issue where a total overhaul would be needed, even though some tweaking will be required here and there."
Ville Eloranta – HS
Niina Woolley – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Image: Klaus Welp
The Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) program assesses reading-comprehension ability for students in grades 2–12 and adult learners. The DRP tests provide holistic and analytic criterion-referenced measures of how students read closely and deeply in order to comprehend informational reading passages of increasing complexity.
With the knowledge provided by the DRP program, teachers can decide where and what form of extra assistance may be needed. When the text is within range of the student’s instructional reading level, strategies focusing on vocabulary and text structures of the text may be sufficient. When the gap between ability and text difficulty is larger, more extreme measures and scaffolding may be required. DRP->BookLink, a database of DRP values for books, can be used as a resource in building a multisourced and multileveled curriculum. It allows teachers to select books in general as well as specific topic areas, and perhaps most importantly, teachers and students can select books that are matched to each student’s ability as well as to his or her interests. The importance of student motivation and interest for tackling challenging texts cannot be overstated.
Format: Each DRP test form is a “power” test consisting of several increasingly difficult expository passages with embedded probes that determine how well students understand the surrounding text. The DRP item format remains the same from the easiest to most-difficult DRP test forms across all grades. The value of DRP’s stable and consistent measurement of comprehension ability over time cannot be overestimated; because the construct of reading is the same on all levels and forms, the DRP tests can be used year after year to reliably measure and monitor reading growth. Students should be assessed three to four times annually with the DRP assessment. Screening students at the start of the school year, then testing again mid-year and at the end of the school year is the most typical assessment regimen to measure growth and monitor student progress.
Considerations for ELLs: DRP tests are untimed. In addition, all content information necessary to answer questions correctly is provided within the DRP paragraph or passage. Choosing the right answer on these tests does not depend on having had particular extra-linguistic background experiences in English-speaking cultures. Students are not required to make close discriminations or subtle inferences about the relative merit of response options. Therefore, lack of experience with English-speaking culture is not the disadvantage on DRP tests that it may be on tests, which call for fine discriminations among the available response options. Results from DRP tests can be used to inform a variety of decisions that must be made about ELLs. First, they can be used to inform the placement decision to ensure that students with comparable reading abilities are placed in appropriate instructional groups. Second, performance can be used to monitor students’ progress. This progress can be measured against CCSS text-complexity expectations, local standards, the materials students are expected to read, the normative reading ability of students in mainstream classrooms, or all of the above. Third, the information provided by DRP tests can be used to inform instruction. In addition to adjusting instruction to accommodate the range of ELL students’ abilities, teachers can select materials that are more consistent with students’ reading abilities. And finally, a student’s DRP reading ability can be used to inform the exit decision. Given the importance of reading competence to success in the mainstream classroom and the wide differences in ability that often separate the native-English-speaking and ELL populations, the consideration of DRP test information in the ELL exit decision may be its most critical use.
Why teachers like it: DRP tests evaluate a student’s performance on a fundamental comprehension task and report the results on a scale of text difficulty or complexity. The information provided by DRP tests allows educators to set standards for reading achievement in terms of the materials students are expected to read (e.g., textbooks, newspapers, recreational reading), to monitor student progress toward achieving those standards, to adjust instruction to accommodate student ability, and to select materials appropriate to the ability of each student. All of this can be done for English language learners and students with special needs, as well as for mainstream native English speakers.
Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) by American Reading Company
The IRLA is a formative assessment framework that supports students, teachers, parents, and administrators by mapping the reading process from a pre-reading stage to college and career readiness. As each student works, in a variety of meaningful contexts, teachers use the lens of the Common Core to give immediate, appropriate, and targeted feedback, and to determine and suggest the next learning goal and actions which provide a clear direction for each student. The IRLA can be used to support existing reading instruction or to provide an action-planning framework for school reform. The web-based eIRLA has dashboards to allow administrators to track the rate of reading growth, in real time, in each classroom.
Format: The IRLA is administered on an individual basis; different students take different groups of items. It is divided into 13 reading levels, PK–12. Each level is defined by the skills/strategies a reader must control in order to handle text at that level.
Considerations for ELLs: The IRLA can determine students’ baseline reading levels, including that of ELL students, Once identified, their individual action plan is designed. ELLs in bilingual or dual-language schools can also take the Spanish version, Evaluación del nivel independiente de lectura.
Why teachers like it: Teachers report that the IRLA empowers students to take control of their learning. In a survey, teachers overwhelmingly praised IRLA for fostering individualized instruction and even for its merits as a professional development tool.
LAS Links by McGraw-Hill
Schools use LAS Links, an English language proﬁciency (ELP) test, to connect language to learning. CTB/McGraw-Hill understands the needs of the English language learner (ELL) student and has the expertise and experience to meet and exceed educators’ expectations for an internationally well-known, valid, and reliable English language proﬁciency assessment. LAS Links is consistently used across the nation to meet several requirements, such as identifying ELL students, exit criteria, Title III reporting, and monitoring the progress of ELL students to ensure students are moving through the stages of language acquisition.
LAS Links can be used for annual accountability testing programs. Additionally, with the introduction of Forms C and D and Español B, LAS Links can be used to help students meet the academic-language demands of the Next Generation Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards. The new LAS Links forms are designed to help educators determine if a student has sufficient proﬁciency in English to participate fully in the classroom by being able to “interact” with academic-text demands of the Common Core State Standards and content-area vocabulary. The items in LAS Links Forms C, D, and Español B are carefully designed to measure the student’s ability to interact with grade-level academic language and content without relying on the student’s knowledge of the underlying subject matter. LAS Links is designed to provide Next Generation Content and Common Core items that challenge students to demonstrate their language abilities in an academic context.
Format: All of the LAS Links assessments are available in a paper-and-pencil format or with LAS Links Online, CTB/McGraw-Hill’s online test-administration and delivery platform. LAS Links Online meets the requirements for technology-based assessments by providing a digital experience to students, enabling ongoing assessments, delivering new item types, and maintaining ELP assessment credibility by supporting ongoing form creation. LAS Links can be used for English language development and progress monitoring by using a combination of the LAS Links assessments. Depending on program need and intent, LAS Links provides schools and districts with the option of measuring student progress up to five times per year.
Considerations for ELLs: LAS Links is an integrated suite of English language proficiency assessments and instructional tools designed to strengthen an English language learning (ELL) program. Teachers can use LAS Links to accurately and quickly place students into the appropriate bilingual and ELL programs, where they can make progress right away and better enjoy the learning process. LAS Links also helps teachers monitor progress, develop optimal instruction plans, and determine when students are ready to exit the program and meet Title lll reporting requirements. Educators can move their ELL students ahead quickly in the classroom — and in the world — with LAS Links. CTB’s LAS Links carefully considers the various language-use tasks that a student may encounter in academic situations.
Why teachers like it: LAS Links is the ﬁrst ELL assessment that is fully supported online. With LAS Links Online, administrators and educators can manage the test setup process, administer the test, and view the reports fully online. Furthermore, LAS Links provides a built-in distributed scoring feature that teachers can use to score their students’ writing and speaking responses. LAS Links Online offers customization of certain features during implementation for ease of use and in alignment with customer testing-program requirements. LAS Links Online supports both PC and MAC environments and provides a secured and locked-down testing environment that is accessible over the internet.
onTRAC by Interactive Achievement
onTRAC is an instructional improvement system (IIS) that consists of an assessment management system (AMS) and a longitudinal data system (LDS). The system is designed for K–12 teachers, principals, and central office leadership. The system assesses essential knowledge and skills as outlined in state and national standards across all grades and subjects. onTRAC AMS allows the teachers to use assessment data to inform themselves about what the students have mastered and the areas where they need more instruction. This student- and skill-specific data helps teachers select the appropriate instructional methodology to address student needs.
onTRAC is grounded in the formative teaching and learning cycle where data generated by items and assessments provides specific insights into student learning to guide instructional practice. In addition, onTRAC assessment items provide data at the CCSS indicator level, thereby providing focused and descriptive feedback on individual student strengths and areas for improvement. Scaffolded instruction is based on this indicator-level data, which can support an instructional map for teachers.
Format: onTRAC includes a comprehensive item bank with technology-enhanced items in a variety of formats designed specifically to get students engaged in assessment items that cover the range of cognitive complexity. These item types are multiple choice with more than four answer choices, fill in the blank, and hot spot. In addition to these technology-enhanced item types, the system also offers constructed-response items that consist of prompts requiring students to generate text to answer those questions. The onTRAC item bank is replete with items that include real-world scenarios and examples. In addition, every item in onTRAC is assigned a level of cognitive complexity in either Bloom’s Taxonomy or Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to ensure that students are given every opportunity to engage in rigorous items that go well beyond memorization and recall facts.
Students may be assessed as frequently as desired.
Considerations for ELLs: Teachers can modify existing items or write items to meet the needs of English language learners. For example, this might include reducing the number of distracters, changing the level of difficulty of vocabulary, and reducing distracting language.
Why teachers like it: Assessment items are exhaustive, and computer-grading allows teachers to focus more on teaching. It can be aligned with CCSS or with other state standards.
Have you read Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum or Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude?
If you read book reviews, your answer is most likely — yes. But do you remember the name of the translator? No?
It’s a fine art — translation — requiring a command over and a feel for not one, but two languages and yet rarely do we remember the men and women who made it possible for us to read great works of literature in tongues other than those we know.
Indian languages, somehow, do not make for great translations into English. But as increasingly more and more young Indians fail to master their vernacular, the only way that the finest works of our masters can reach them is through these English translations.
And, of course, English gives these books an international reach.
Translations of two Indian classics — Kalidasa’s Malavikagnimitram, translated by Srinivas Reddy, and Rabindranath Tagore’s Chirakumar Sabha, translated by Sukhendu Ray — landed on my desk at the same time.
Several centuries apart, both plays dwell on the intricacies of desire, the age-old attraction between the sexes and interpersonal politics, whether in a royal court or within the precincts of households.
One cannot really compare, but of the two, I found Malavikagnimitram a better read — perhaps because I have read Chirakumar Sabha in the original Bengali and, well, as I said before, a translation of a classic can rarely do full justice.
“A piece of writing cannot be cloned in another language, only imitated,” Gregory Rabassa, the acclaimed translator of Marquez, Julio Cortazar and other South American authors, has said in a book on the travails of translation.
But there must be exceptions because Rabassa has been complimented by Marquez who said — now I don’t know whether this is true or it’s lore — that his English translation of One Hundred Years… was better than the Spanish original.
Both Reddy and Ray have done a fair job of retaining the essence of the literary works they have chosen to translate, though some of the Tagore songs’ English versions are a bit wanting.
But that I think is more due to the shortcomings of the English language than that of the translator.
The best translations are those where the translator is touched by the book he is translating, where he, she constantly strives to put across his pleasure in reading the book to the reader in a new language. The best translation is that which gives us the essence of what the author has written and the nuances — be it a description, a dialogue or a commentary.
Malvikagnitimitram is said to be Kalidasa’s first work and the love story of the court dancer, Malavika, and King Agnimitra gives a fine taste of the times.
The simple story — of a king’s desire for a young dancer and the court politics where he is wary of the reactions of his queen and mistress — is replete with witty, pithy dialogue against the backdrop of eloquent appreciation of natural beauty, the art of music and dance and, of course, romance.
King Agnimitra’s description of a luscious garden in full bloom transcends language and time though the translator admits that it is near impossible to convey in English the lithe rhythm of the verse:
The bright red ashoka outshines the crimson lac
On their full red lips like bimba fruit.
The green, yellow and orange hues of the kurubaka (a type of flower),
And the black bees
Hovering around the tilaka flowers
Surpass their decorated brows
And collyrium painted eyes –
As if nature’s bounty was mocking these women
As they try to adorn their faces.
The translation moves smoothly between dialogue and verse and, like in all true romantic tales, past and present, the lovers are united in the end and the court dancer turns out to be a lost princess and the queen agrees to her marriage with the king.
According to Sanskrit scholars, Malavikagnimitram is the least appreciated of Kalidasa’s works and Reddy says a close reading of the text reveals several remarkable passages and, more importantly provides, a window into the mind of a master poet in the making.
The author of the “transliteration” is a scholar of classical Asian languages and a concert sitarist. His illuminating introduction leads smoothly into the poem-play and before one knows one has reached the end. The translator has done justice to the talent of the young Kalidasa within the limitations of a much younger and limited language than Sanskrit.
Tagore’s Chirakumar Sabha, set in the late 19th century Kolkata, is a comedy, rather a satire, about a group of committed bachelors — the title translates as The Bachelor’s Club — and how they try against their own desires and hidden forces to fight matrimony, in the end unsuccessfully.
Written in Tagore’s inimitable style it is a novel and a play and has at least two characters that constantly break into song or poetry. And never is the social milieu too far away — one of the most interesting characters is the young, personable widow who dons men’s garb (her hair would be shorn short anyway in the custom of those days) to enter the all men’s club.
The young bachelors — Shrish, Bipin and Purno — are a delight as they swim in lofty ideals and implausible plans thought up by their absentminded professor, Chandra Babu, the president of the Chirakumar Sabha, to serve their country, while trying not to drown in the irresistible attraction of a couple of nubile beauties.
There are lectures too that give a taste of the debates of the time — the principal among them being the treatment of women, an abiding theme for Tagore.
“All our good intentions to serve our country have become sterile because we kept women out,” says Chandra Babu. “We have drawn a sharp line between the outside world and our domestic world, and when we go out we lecture people on reforms only to forget back at home.”
Just occasionally, the choice of an English word seems not to quite fit in — as when Akshay, a key character who is married to the elder sister of the young widow and the two nubile beauties, says, “So vamoose.” Vamoose?
But overall, Ray’s translation of Chirakumar Sabha is a labour of love by a man who took up translation of Bengali literature after retiring from a long and distinguished career in the corporate world. A lengthy introduction by Sibaji Bandyopadhyay provides a sound historical and social context for the play.
In a note at the end of the book, Ray does admit that translating the many songs was quite a challenge and he decided to translate the Bengali lyrics into English free verse to make it easier and more readable perhaps. On occasion it came out fine, most often not — at least for me.
But the dialogues Ray has translated with felicity and the book is a fine introduction to Tagore’s skills as a playwright. As far as possible, Ray says in his note, he has tried not to be quite literal yet remained faithful to the original Bengali text.
In an essay called The Art of Translation published 1941 and available in the archives of the New Republic magazine, Vladimir Nabokov wrote of the lazy translator who sometimes skips passages that he cannot fathom or that would take too much effort and the ignorant one who unthinkingly uses the dictionary as he chugs through a novel.
“The first thing I discovered was that the expression ‘a literal translation’ is more or less nonsense,” Nabokov wrote.
These translations of Malavikagnimitram and The Bachelor’s Club are definitely not “nonsense”. They are good introductions to two of India’s most famous playwrights.
Sunrita Sen is a freelance journalist. She can be contacted at sunrita @gmail.com
Learning ability is probably the most important skill you can have.
Take it from Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel, authors of "Make It Stick: The Science Of Successful Learning."
"We need to keep learning and remembering all our lives," they write. "Getting ahead at work takes mastery of job skills and difficult colleagues ... If you're good at learning, you have an advantage in life."
And to learn something is to be able to remember it, say the authors, two of whom are psychology professors at Washington University in St. Louis.
Unfortunately, lots of the techniques for learning that we pick up in school don't help with long-term recall — like cramming or highlighting.
To get over these bad habits, we scoured "Make It Stick" for learning tips.
But be warned: If it's difficult, it's good thing.
"Learning is deeper and more durable when it's effortful," the authors write. "Learning that's easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow."
Here are the takeaways: Retrieval: Bring it back from memory.
When you're attempting to recall an idea, method, or technique from memory, you're retrieving. Flash cards are a great example: They force you to recall an idea from memory, unlike a technique like highlighting where you're not burning anything into your brain. The reason retrieval's so effective is that it strengthens the neural pathways associated with a given concept. Elaboration: Connect new ideas to what you already know.
When you try to put a new idea into your own words, you're elaborating.
"The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to prior knowledge," the authors write, "the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later."
For instance, if you're in physics class and trying to understand heat transfer, try to tie the concept into your real-life experiences, say, by imagining how a warm cup of coffee disperses heat into your hands. Interleaving: Varying your subjects.
When you work on a variety of things at once, you're interleaving. If you're trying to understand a subject — from the basics of economics to hitting a pitch — you're going to learn better if you mix up your examples. A sports case: Batters who do batting practice with a mix of fastballs, change-ups, and curveballs hit for a higher average. The interleaving helps because when you're out there in the wild, you need to first discern what kind of problem you're facing before you can start to find a solution, like a ball coming from a pitcher's hand.Generation: Answer before you have an answer.
When you try to give an answer before it's given to you, you're generating. "By wading into the unknown first and puzzling through it, you are far more likely to learn and remember the solution than if somebody first sat down to teach it to you," the authors write. In an academic setting, you could work finding your own answers before class starts. In a professional setting, you could supply your own ideas when you're stuck before talking with your boss. Reflection: Evaluate what happened.
When you take a few moments to review what happened with a project or meeting, you're reflecting. You might ask yourself a few questions: What went well? Where can you improve? What does it remind you of? Harvard Business School researchers have found reflective writing to be super powerful. Just 15 minutes of written reflection at the end of the day increased performance by 23% for one group of employees. Mnemonics: Use hacks to recall.
When you're using an acronym or image to recall something, you're using a mnemonic. The hall of fame includes abbreviations — Roy G. Biv for the colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) — and rhyming, like "in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."
"Mnemonics are not tools for learning per se," the authors write, "but for creating mental structures that make it easier to retrieve what you have learned."Calibration: Know what you don't know.
When you get feedback that reveals your ignorance to you, you're calibrating. "Calibration is simply the act of using an objective instrument to clear away illusions and adjust your judgment to better reflect reality." This is necessary since we all suffer from "cognitive illusions": We think we understand something when we really don't. So taking a quiz — or gathering feedback from a colleague — helps you to identify those blind spots.
For a deeper dig into the science of learning, make sure to pick up "Make It Stick." It's an illuminating read.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/learning-hacks-that-will-maximize-your-memory-2014-6#ixzz3DufKdXu2
Whether you studied English Literature for your four-year undergrad or you read the back of a cereal box this morning, if you’re on Twitter, you’re a writer. Here’s how to be better.
Step 1: Edit, edit, edit.
With only 140 characters to work with, a single word goes a long way on Twitter. So make each one count.
To become a better writer on Twitter, you’ve got to first become a good editor. You’ll often find that, after writing a tweet, the idea you want to express is just longer than 140 characters. You’re hitting the 160 character mark, and it’s frustrating.
To overcome this, be judicious with your editing. How can you say what you need to say, but more concisely? Is there a shorter word or two you could substitute?
The more practice you get with being concise, the better you’ll be at avoiding that 140 character guardrail. And with some extra characters to spare, you might be able to squeeze in an image or a hashtag next time you tweet – both of which can increase the exposure of your tweet.
Step 2: Check your spelling.
A single misspelling can cause your tweet to fall on deaf ears. Your tweet will be ignored by many of your followers… or it might even cause them to unfollow you.
It only takes a few seconds to pass your eyes over your tweet before you hit “Send,” and it’s worth it. It’s easy to type “teh” instead of “the” when you’re excited to reply to someone, and by reviewing quickly you’ll catch these types of easily fixed – but off-putting – mistakes.
Misspelled tweets indicate that you don’t have time to bother with your Twitter presence. It brands you as lazy, and alienates your followers. Just like with essays or business reports, do a double (or triple) check to make sure your tweets are spelled correctly.
Step 3: Have a “voice”.
Perfect spelling and concise tweeting are two essential elements of properly written tweets, but they don’t go far enough. In fact, if that’s all you master, your tweets are bound to be more than a little bland.
The best writers on Twitter are those that let their personalities shine through. They treat every tweet like a conversation, and they respect those they have conversations with – essentially, all of their followers.
People are looking for value when they traverse the social sphere, so why not give it to them? If you’re funny, write funny tweets. If you’re helpful, write helpful tweets. Write your tweets to reflect your personality, and you’ll be sure to give your followers what they want.
(Writing image via Shutterstock)
I’ve never made an attempt at disguising I’m a fan of 19th century literature (French, Russian, English). Although I read (past and present tense!) plenty of contemporary novels, I am mostly inspired and influenced by the very start of novel-writing as we know it. Austen, the Bronty Sisters, George Elliot, Stendhal, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky to name but a few, and of course my all-time hero Lev Tolstoy. Time after time I can pick up one of his books just for the pleasure of savouring his sentences. This love for old books goes so deep that I’m currently taking a shot at writing a historical novel myself,Daughter of the Alvar, set in Sweden in the 1890s. No Iphones, sex-talk, SatNav or fast-food but horse-and-carriage, chaperoned walks, poachers and kitchen maids.
However, I’m currently going through a phase in which I wonder whether indulging in the work of dead authors may be making my own writing style a tad old-fashioned. I may be running the risk of writing for my own pleasure, with zero commercial appeal. So, from a sales point of view I was interested in writers’ opinions on the marketability of their books and created a poll on Facebook. Ten people were so kind to answer the 6 questions. Thank you so much.
Here are the results!
If you want to do get to the top of your class or climb the ladder at work, you give yourself a gigantic advantage over everybody else if you can recall more information at a faster speed.
Developmental psychologists and cognitive scientists have found range of factors that help do just that — and some of them are pretty weird.
Here are a few. Reading physical books will improve your memory of what you read, since memory is also tactile.
We usually think of reading as a totally visual exercise; after all, it's just your eyes scanning the page, right?
Not quite. Turns out that we remember things better when we read them in a more physical form, like say, for instance, a book. It's because the experience of reading is also tactile. When you're reading a book, you're also holding it, feeling the heft of it in your hands. As you read through the text, the pages move from your right hand to your left, redistributing the weight of the book. Research suggests that your brain uses this movement of weight as an anchor of memory. A happy marriage lets you "distribute" your memory tasks between you and your partner.
In news that will delight monogamists everywhere, research shows that people in long-term relationships have several memory benefits stemming from their couplehood — like recalling people's names or what happened at events.
When two people are in an intimate, long-term relationship, they distribute the responsibilities of thinking in the same way that they split up household chores.
One psych writer observed that a couple isn't just two individuals spending lots of time together, but a "socially distributed cognitive system." Put in plain English, two heads really are better than one. A little "expressive writing" will free up your mental resources, thus improving your ability to recall.
For 30 years, psychologists have been studying "expressive writing" — writing about difficult experiences for at least 15 minutes. Experiments show the introspective exercise is much more than just navel gazing. People who regularly write expressively have lower blood pressure, higher productivity, and a greater sense of personal well-being.
North Carolina State University psychologist Kitty Klein has shown that expressive writing increases memory, too. Her explanation: Expressive writing lets people disclose thoughts they otherwise spend mental energy trying to avoid, allowing more energy to be allocated toward memory. A walk through the woods will put you at ease — and improve your memory.
University of Michigan psychologists asked two groups of experiment participants to go for walks. One group walked around an urban environment, and the others wandered around a forest. Then they were given a recall test. The folks who sauntered among the trees performed 20% better on the memory test. Connecting what you just learned with what you already know will strengthen your memory.
Washington University cognitive scientists Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel co-authored "Make It Stick," a masterful book on the way we learn. The book's got tons of great takeaways, but the most immediate are approaches for training memory. One of those techniques is elaboration — the process of connecting novel information to what you already know.
"The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to prior knowledge," the authors write, "the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later."
Say, for example, you're learning about heat transference. Instead of memorizing the definition — heat moves from a hot object to a cooler object — you could use an example the way that the heat from a hot cup of cocoa warms up your hand on a chilly winter's day.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/tricks-to-improve-your-memory-2014-9#ixzz3DtE5NuXJ
Now you have started your site and you want visitors, you might be wondering how to drive more traffic to it. You need to get your site appear in the search results. This article will teach you to achieve this.
Look at competitors’ sites’ source codes found on the websites of your competition. This lets you see how the SEO on their websites and which keywords they use.Meta Tags
TIP! Find out how many years of experience they have in the business. Also make sure to know what kind of risks you’re taking, and what could go wrong.
Meta tags are an extremely useful tool for optimizing your website. Description tags have great value and they will be utilized in your site coming up during a search. Make the meta tags have valuable and concise content. This type of tag usage will help to draw more guests into your site.
TIP! When creating anchor text for your website, simply using “click here” or other generic terms is not enough. Using generic anchor text like “click here” is a wasted opportunity to integrate more keywords.
Using product feeds can really help to reach new customers. Feeds can contain information about your business such as prices, descriptions and prices. Submit these to comparisons sites which compare prices and to the major search engines.Site Map
TIP! Spiders cannot read session ids and dynamic language very well, so remember that when making URL names. Therefore, you should come up with a relevant name for each URL.
A vital step towards optimizing your search engine optimization is to include a site map for your website. Search engine spiders will crawl the site more easily with a site map of your site.A large site might need more than 1 site map. A good rule of thumb is to not have lots of links maximum on each site map.
Users aren’t going to spend time at a site unless they can find the information they need, and you can get more traffic if your content current and useful.
TIP! Use a properly descriptive title tag to make sure that search engines can best understand the content of your web page. Keep your text down to 60 characters or less, since many search engines cut off the content at that point.
Use an accurate title tag to make sure that search engines can easily find and read your content. Your title tag should be 60 characters or less, as this is the limit of the majority of search engines.They also tend to give less weight to terms at that point.
Try including transcripts for any visual or audio content on your site.
TIP! Creating a site map can help search engines classify the content on your site. The site map, or navigation bar, lets the search engines access your pages from all other pages on the site.
Don’t overextend by packing in too thin by trying to include too many keywords.Focus on the most important phrases that can improve your rank. Use Google Analytics to learn which words and phrases really bring in the most traffic.
TIP! Your website should be easy to read. The clearer and more functional you make your site, the higher the ranking your site will be on search engines.
Captions are a tremendous SEO process. This means that when you’re someone with a ton of things on a website like news articles, take advantage of this and use captions which are rich in keywords to improve your visibility and traffic.Image Links
Image links are a role in search engine optimization.Image links only give the linked file URL for search engines effectively.
The page’s ranking will be improved, so keywords included in these tags will improve page ranking.
TIP! If you use the plural form or longer form of keywords, you will get more listings in the search results. Keyword stemming is a popular technique of some search engines.
The first sentences in your content should have terms that can also be the HTML description tag. There are search engines that utilize this information rather than the tag itself as the blurb for your site is about in their results. Poor content in this area can hurt your rankings.Search Engine
TIP! Talk about current events and their relation to the products you are selling. This will help you get visitors that were searching for an unrelated topic.
Use plurals and longer or plural form of keywords to generate more hits on a search engine. Keyword stemming is a popular technique of search engines. If you chose a search term like “accountant” for your keyword, the search engine might not find the words banking or banker! Use keyword stemming by using a longer version of a word, using “accounting” can also grab readers who were searching for “accountant.”
TIP! Make sure you implement the use of social networking sites as a means to improve your SEO. YouTube can showcase videos of your product, while Facebook and Twitter can let you interact with clients directly.
To get a lot of traffic, you need to provide information that is different from that on other sites and other Web pages. People stay and click around your site are likely to come back a second time.
TIP! If you use a shared server, make sure you are not sharing your proxy with a site that has been banned by any of the major search engines. Sharing proxies with sites that spam or banned sites will reflect negatively on you.
Using keywords that go with your subjects will help search engines find your articles. This will make internet traffic flow to your content. Your primary keyword should be included in your article title, and in its summary and title, depending on the length of the article.
TIP! Email marketing will give you an edge on the competition. Use your keywords in the emails and include any social sites you belong to.
A good thing to remember about marketing on the Internet is to always try to tie current events and topics that have relevance to your product. This helps you bring visitors to your site is about. This also help your site to be more information to regular visitors.
Think as a consumer when you are coming up with tags to include.Determine the relevant terms that people will use in searching.Search Engine Bots
TIP! The links throughout your site should all be interconnected and have keyword phrases within them. If the page you link to is about planting roses, be sure to use that within the anchor text.
Search engine bots seek out new material, unique content which is full of useful information, you are giving the search engine bots an excuse to drop in. People will also share your articles they are good. This will encourage people to your site.
Your website’s server needs to be configured so that it is case-sensitive with regards to URLs.
Registering your site with multiple search engines can allow them to better crawl your website for optimized content. You will find a link for site submission on each search engine. Use strong descriptions and relevant keywords so it is categorized correctly.
You have to make every page on your website to be unique. Your title selection should be varied and keyword focused. These are very important for search engine optimization purposes.
Use the keyword phrases in your META tags. Try to keep your keywords that are most relevant to web searches.
If your site one related to business, getting the owner or CEO active on the site it will help boost your traffic. People like hearing from important members of the big guy himself.
Even if your pages, every title should be creative, unique and attention grabbing. The initial words are vital for grabbing reader attention.
Do not copy content from another website; if a search engine detects duplicate content on our website, Google will catch it and drop your rank.Traffic Flowing
As was mentioned before, SEO is essential for getting the largest number of site visitors. When your website shows up as the result of a web search, the traffic flowing to your page is increased. This article has hopefully given you some great steps to get that traffic flowing.
Many people would like to understand Search Engine Optimization Kansas City, but they don’t always know how they should go about it. This article has so much information, you’ll be ready to move forward with confidence. Use the information you’ve learned, and get busy
Residents wishing to improve their English skills are invited participate in free adult literacy classes offered by the Glenview Public Library.
Classes for the fall session started Sept. 2 and run to Nov. 25 in the library’s Community Room West. There are also summer, winter and spring sessions.
“This is mainly for people where English is not their first language,” said Janet McIntyre, outreach librarian in the Reader Services Dept. and library representative for the program. “Participants could also be American-born who have lower reading and writing skills.”
Nearly 20 participants signed up for the summer class with teacher Josephine Nocula. The classes are conducted through Lifelong Learning and Oakton Community College.
“Since the new library building opened in 2011, we started offering these classes,” McIntyre said. “We used to offer them at the old library, but classes became too large for the meeting room space.”
McIntyre said the classes are a good way for the library to promote literacy. “There are a lot of immigrants in the area who are anxious to learn the language and to read,” she said. “These classes help people get jobs and encourage people with younger children to become more literate. Most immigrants have college educations from their country. Everyone is willing to learn the language and extremely enthusiastic.”
Students are taught lessons for the day followed by small groups with volunteer tutors. Activities include reading books, newspapers or essays along with any kind of hands-on activities.
They spoke at an international conference arranged by the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) at the Allama Iqbal Open University. The three-day conference was organised in collaboration with the AIOU and the Oxford University Press (OUP).
The participants from home and abroad emphasised that English should be introduced and taught as a language instead of a discipline of social sciences. They noted that the way the English is being taught at schools and colleges is hardly helpful in overcoming language barriers, being faced by teachers and students.
The speakers said that all stakeholders including heads of English departments at educational institutes should be involved in redesigning English language courses.
AIOU English Department Chairman Dr Abdul Hafeez offered SPELT to hold sessions at the university’s regional campuses around the country.
About 40 papers were presented during 16 working sessions of the conference, said Malik Tariq Mahmood, a local representative of the SPELT.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2014.
Ce Colloque de linguistique appliquée est organisé conjointement par les filières de Philologie, LEA et de Traducteurs-Interprètes-Terminologues du Département de français, Faculté des Langues et des Littératures Etrangères de l’Université de Bucarest sous un titre générique qui joue délibérément sur la polysémie du terme delangage – faculté de l’esprit (faculté de langage) et système de signes (langue), mais également, voire surtout usage (style(s), discours) – vise à mieux cerner les rapports entre problématique de la variation linguistique (langages spéciaux /vs/ langage courant /vs/ langage littéraire) et problématique de la traduction, dans une perspective à la fois descriptive et didactique.
Le thème autour duquel se dérouleront les débats entend traiter des diverses théories de l’expression du sens et de la signification en langue et en discours, ainsi que les problèmes de traduction qui peuvent intervenir dans le passage d’une langue source à une langue cible de les unités porteuses d’une composante linguistique et d’une forte composante interculturelle.
Description du projet
La problématique du DIRE (processus d’énonciation), du DIT (sens de l’énoncé, ce que l’on dit lorsqu’on parle), du NON-DIT (tout ce que le locuteur aurait voulu dire sans pour autant s’exprimer explicitement par des mots ou par des signes perceptibles et interprétables par son interlocuteur) a préoccupé depuis toujours les linguistes, les philosophes du langage, les anthropologues, les sémioticiens, les exégètes de l’art. Entre tous ces concepts il y a une relation d’interdépendance : l’un sans l’autre ne fonctionne pas. Préexistant au non-dit, le dit (la parole) « nous accompagne presque à chaque instant, et même le silence, devenu si rare dans les sociétés modernes, prend son sens par rapport à elle. » (Ph. Breton, 2003 : 5.). On pourrait même dire que le non-dit est en fait un dit déguisé derrière les divers mécanismes de production.
Plusieurs perspectives s’ouvrent dans l’analyse de ce phénomène : d’une part, une perspective sémantico-pragmatique (du type O. Ducrot ; voir à cet égard : Dire et ne pas dire, 1972 ; La preuve et le dire, 1974 ; Le dire et le dit, 1984 ; ou bien du type C. Kerbrat-Orecchioni - L’Implicite, 1986 ) faisant des deux phénomènes une question d’interprétation et, d’autre part, une perspective logico-sémantique du type Robert Martin (Langage et croyances, 1987 ; Pour une logique du sens, 1992) qui fait du phénomène du non-dit un élément de calcul du sens.
En deçà du dit du discours ou en delà de l’unité discursive, l’opposition du dit et dunon-dit pourrait correspondre à l’opposition entre contenu explicite /vs/ contenu implicite, ou sens dénotatif /vs/ sens connotatif. On parlera ainsi, avec R. Barthes, de l’existence dans la langue d’un contenu manifeste (explicite) et d’un contenu latent (implicite). Pourtant, si pour le dit le terme « explicite » ne fait pas opposition, pour le non-dit, le terme « implicite » n’est pas le synonyme parfait.
Cette distinction apparaît d’une part, dans les recherches de C. Kerbrat-Orecchioni (1986) pour laquelle les seules formes de l’implicite sont la présupposition et le sous-entendu, le reste étant du non-dit, et d’autre part, dans les travaux de Robert Martin qui, se situant dans une sémantique véri-conditionnelle, définit le non-ditcomme un phénomène rassemblant « les cas où, pragmatiquement et sémantiquement, l’énoncé induit un énoncé corrélatif, mais dont la valeur de vérité ne dépend pas directement de la valeur de l’énoncé lui-même comme dans l’implication » (1987 : 27). Le rapport entre « complétude » et « non-dit » apparaît clairement dans les recherches dues à Robert Martin (La monovalence de la négation). Etant donné le flou existant dans la structure sémantique des unités composant les séquences discursives, il y aura toujours une quête de la complétude du sens au niveau manifeste, le reste étant affaire de non-dit.
Aspect de l’indécidable et de l’indéterminé, le non-dit est placé par Robert Martin (1987) entre l’ambiguïté et le vague et se distingue de ces concepts par l’absence d’une lecture alternative (pour le premier terme) et par l’absence de liaison avec le continu (pour le second).
Le colloque se propose d’explorer quelques axes de recherche :
En tant que phénomène de nature pragmatique, le dit et le non-dit représentent la production de l’action des instances énonciatives, des règles du discours, de la situation de communication. L’un des axes du colloque est d’essayer de tracer, si c’est le cas, une limite entre les diverses manifestations de l’au-delà du dit : implicite, présuppositions, sous-entendus, allusion, insinuation…et d’autres non-dits. Les modalités de combler ces incomplétudes laissées par la manifestation latente du sens sont une question d’interprétation. Or, « interpréter », signifie dans une lecture de Umberto Eco (Lector in fabula) savoir identifier et lire les non-dits d’un texte.
Le niveau sémantique amène dans la discussion le rôle du co-texte (ou contexte linguistique), du sens dénoté/vs/connoté, du sens conventionnel attribué à un énoncé induit d’un autre, de la polysémie, des sélections sémiques, du changement de sens (la métaphore, le figement, les détournements de sens étant des sources principales de non-dit) et du lieu du non-dit. Nous nous intéressons aussi aux divers déclencheurs sémantico-discursifs du non-dit : négation, adjectifs évaluatifs, connecteurs discursifs, les modes/temps verbaux : conditionnel, imparfait, passé composé, etc.
Nous invitons ainsi à un débat sur l’étendue/les limites de ces marqueurs dans l’expression du dit et du non-dit.
Le niveau morpho-syntaxique nous permet de nous interroger sur les diverses structures génératrices de non-dit. Ce qui est clairement DIT par une séquence discursive correctement construite du point de vue morphosyntaxique peut laisser la place au NON-DIT dans des structures elliptiques, les répétitions (de sons, d’éléments et de structures), des interruptions dans la structure phrastique, tout étant mis en marche pour des raisons stylistiques (niveaux de langue, effets de sens), argumentatives. L’absence d’un composant à l’intérieur d’une phrase commeSans blague ! Ah, bon ! Qu’importe ! Si j’ose dire…représente une source formelle de non-dit, génératrice d’effets de sens et de stratégies argumentatives.
Au niveau phonétique et phonologique, le colloque invite à l’exploitation des silences dans le discours, des hésitations, des allongements, de l’intonation, de l’intensité de la voix, des inflexions du ton, des exclamatifs, des interjections, des éléments phatiques, du rythme oral et de la prononciation particularisée, autant de manifestations de l’attitude du locuteur qui préfère se servir de ces non-dits pour intensifier l’effet qu’il veut produire sur son interlocuteur/lecteur.
À côté de ces marques d’oralité, le non-dit surgit derrière des marques graphiques : les points de suspension, les phrases inachevées, les divers types de rupture, la commutation des graphèmes, etc.
Si pour le dit on trouve sans difficulté la source (pronoms à la première personne, modalisateurs, déictiques spatiaux et temporels, temps verbaux, références au monde culturel auquel il appartient, l’intertextualité et l’intratextualité, la présence directe des instances énonciatives dans un texte), on peut bien se demander quelle est la source/les sources du non-dit. Quelle est sa nature : verbale, non-verbale ? Langagière ? Culturelle ? Civilisationnelle ?
Ces questions suscitent d’autres distinctions. Il faut savoir qu’on ne pourrait pas toujours poser un signe d’équivalence entre non-dit et non-verbal. La danse, la peinture, par exemple, sont des expressions non-verbales mais qui « disent » un message. La gestuelle se rapproche plus du non-dit, en accompagnant souvent le dit ou en le doublant parfois de façon contradictoire.
« Dit », « non-dit », anthropologie et traduction
- Le non-dit n’est pas toujours lié à la connotation (qui doit être exprim
TANGENT — In an effort to help kids brush up on reading skills and allow shelter animals some additional socialization time, SafeHaven Humane Society has launched its Happy Tales reading program.
“We developed the reading program to encourage children to increase their reading skills by reading aloud to dogs and cats. Kids often find it intimidating to read in front of classmates, and we’re hoping this program will help them build their self-confidence,” said Chris Storm, SafeHaven Humane Society’s executive director. “It also benefits our adoptable animals by allowing them some time to socialize with people.”
The program is open to children from kindergarten through middle school, year-round. They are invited to come with a parent or guardian to the shelter at 32220 Old Hwy. 34 and read to one of the humane society’s dogs or cats that are participating in the program. They can bring a book from home or use one from the shelter’s library.
As they accumulate reading time with the animals, the children become eligible for prizes. For more information about the program or to sign up, call 541-926-2924 or send an email to HumaneEd@safehaven
SafeHaven Humane Society is a nonprofit, full adoption shelter that does not euthanize animals for population control. SafeHaven is solely supported by donations, events and adoption fees.
Each year, the humane society finds homes for more than 1,600 cats and dogs.
Après une accréditation initiale pour cinq ans en 2009, il figurait parmi les quatre centres hors des Etats-Unis à l’obtenir et le seul en Afrique. Depuis, il a été rejoint par l’Université américaine du Caire. Aujourd’hui, ils sont une quinzaine hors des Etats-Unis à afficher ce label.
Le Centre de langues de l’Université Al Akhawayn accueille actuellement près de 300 étudiants avec 21 professeurs spécialisés dans l’enseignement de l’anglais en tant que langue étrangère. Il a pour mission d’assurer une mise à niveau en anglais aux étudiants de l’Université avant qu’ils n’intègrent les programmes académiques.
Un des premiers centres à utiliser les technologies de l’information
Il est par ailleurs le premier à utiliser les nouvelles technologies de l’information au Maroc étant donné que l’Université Al Akhawayn a eu le premier nœud Internet au Maroc avec une connexion directe avec l’Europe.
L’accréditation s’inscrit parmi les choix stratégiques et les orientations académiques de l’Université Al Akhawayn. Le recours au Système d’Assurance Qualité (que ce soit au niveau des formations et compétences des enseignants chercheurs, de la qualité des programmes, des cursus, des examens, tests et autres formes d’évaluation, de l’encadrement académique et administratif, du suivi personnalisé des étudiants, de l’utilisation des technologies de l’information et de la communication ou de l’évaluation et ajustements éventuels de programmes) est de plus en plus utilisé dans un nombre sans cesse croissant d’universités de renom à travers le monde. Pour rappel, la CEA, créée en 1999 par des professionnels de la langue anglaise, est une agence spécialisée dont la vocation est de s’assurer de la qualité des programmes de langue anglaise. Elle fait partie d’un consortium d’organismes d’accréditation américains qui sont eux-mêmes reconnus par le gouvernement fédéral des Etats-Unis. Son rôle est aussi de faciliter les échanges entre les universités et les programmes d’enseignement dans d’autres pays.
Quelques enseignants et élèves au moment de lancer la nouvelle campagne d’inscriptions.© PHOTO
Apprendre à parler l'euskara, la langue du Pays basque : voilà ce que propose la coordination des cours de basque aux adultes (AEK) qui regroupe les associations locales de gau eskola. Celle qui a son siège à Ascain, et qui œuvre également à Sare et à Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, vient de lancer sa nouvelle campagne d'inscription.
Sous le slogan, « Le basque pratique », l'accent est mis cette année encore sur la méthodologie qui met les élèves en situation de communication.
« Parler en basque le plus rapidement possible, et ce dès le premier jour : tel est l'objectif » précise Christian Jauregui, per- manent et enseignant de l'association. « Ici, comme dans la centaine de centres d'apprentissage répartis en Pays basque Nord, le programme suit le Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues (CECRL). »
Deux fois par semaine
Il n'y a pas d'âge pour s'inscrire. Dispensés aux adultes à partir de 16 ans, les cours ont lieu en petits groupes, par niveaux. Débutants complets ou élèves confirmés, bascophones souhaitant améliorer leur connaissance de la langue ou personnes désirant préparer le certificat d'aptitude (EGA), les élèves ont le choix entre suivre des cours en matinée, l'après-midi ou en soirée. Et cela, deux fois par semaine à raison de 5 à 6 heures de cours hebdomadaires.
« Les effectifs sont en hausse », se réjouit Sébastien Castet, également permanent et enseignant.
L'an dernier, ils étaient quelque 80 élèves dans les trois villages concernés - Ascain, Sare et Saint-Pée - à fréquenter ces cours d'euskara. « Afin d'organiser l'enseignement, mais aussi afin d'obtenir des locaux adaptés de la part des municipalités, il est important que les inscriptions soient faites avant la reprise des cours, aux heures et dates des permanences assurées dans chacune des communes », souligne Christian Jauregui.
Militant infatigable du mouvement démocratique, Abdoulaye Barry aura participé à toutes les luttes politiques, syndicales, culturelles, de notre pays.
Il a vécu toutes les difficultés inhérentes à ce genre d’engagement : mutations arbitraires, arrestations, sans jugement, qui ne fîrent que raffermir son sentiment patriotique.
Homme de grande culture, il a toujours fait preuve de tolérance, d’ouverture d’esprit et d’honnêteté intellectuelle. Ces qualités lui ont permis de jeter les ponts entre les différentes tendances du mouvement démocratique.
Né en 1940, à Bamako, Abdoulaye Barry avant sa mort le 22 septembre 1991, n’a ménagé ni son temps, ni ses ressources, ni sa santé pour les causes qu’il défendait.
Inscrit à l’école rurale de Bamako-Coura (actuelle Ecole Mamadou Konaté) en novembre 1947, il obtint son certificat d’Etudes primaires élémentaires en 1953 et son brevet au collège technique de Bamako (actuelle lycée Technique).
Nommé instituteur adjoint en novembre 1958, Barry réussit au certificat d’aptitude pédagogique en 1960 et en lower certificate de Cambridge la même année. C’était à l’issue d’un stage de formation de Maîtres d’Anglais. Assistant, à l’institut national des langues et cultures orientales de Paris (INALCO) Abdoulaye Barry obtient en 1986 le diplôme de sociolinguistique de l’école des Hautes études en sciences sociales de Paris.
La vie et l’œuvre de Abdoulaye Barry sont intimement liées à la Coopérative Culturelle « Jamana ».
Membre fondateur et vice-président de la Coopérative, Barry a occupé en son sein différentes fonctions. Il a notamment été directeur de la série langues nationales des Editions Jamana. Rédacteur en chef de Sorofé, (journal parlé sur cassettes de Jamana en langues nationales) et de Jekabaara, journal en bamanan de la CMDT, et de l’ODIPAC. Il fût aussi membre du comité de rédaction de la revue culturelle Jamana et directeur de publication du journal « Les Echos ». Barry a été directeur de « Jamablon », le centre de cultures maliennes de la Coopérative Jamana… Membre fondateur du groupe d’études et de réflexion pour la promotion des langues nationales (Benbakan dungew) créé en 1975, Barry a publié de nombreux articles dans des revues spécialisées sur le bamanan en France, en Norvège, au Japon et au Mali.
Rédacteur en chef de la revue Sankoré Jama de l’institut des sciences humaines, Barry a enseigné la langue et la littérature bamanan à l’Institut national des Arts de 1979 à 1987.
Traducteur de l’hymne nationale du Mali et du chant national des pionniers en bamanan en 1980, co-traducteur de l’international en bamanan en 1981, auteur de l’hymne aux langues nationales en 1981, il était membre du jury du baccalauréat français pour l’épreuve de langue bamanan à Paris en 1985 et 1986.
Après la victoire du mouvement démocratique, précisément en avril 1991, Abdoulaye Barry sera nommé directeur de la DNAFLA. Poste qu’il occupera jusqu’à sa mort le 22 septembre 1991.
L’itinéraire de Barry est aussi celui des combattants pour la démocratie au Mali. Et l’histoire retiendra son apport exceptionnel dans l’avènement du 26 mars 1991. Mais déjà, il importe de savoir que Abdoulaye Barry a été parmi les initiateurs de l’appel au peuple malien, de la « lettre ouverte au président de la République », du comité de suivi de la lettre ouverte, un des premiers responsables de la création de l’Adéma-Association et de l’Adéma-Parti africain pour la solidarité et la justice.
Présent sur tous les fronts de la lutte démocratique depuis sa tendre jeunesse, Barry aura essayé partout, de mettre ses actes en conformités avec ses idéaux.
Paix à son âme !
- See more at: http://maliactu.net/mali-abdoulaye-barry-un-geant-de-la-culture/#sthash.pBn0c3vC.dpuf
Bien qu'elle soit toujours vivante, la langue basque ne se transmet et ne s'emploie plus suffisamment. C'est un constat mais pas une fatalité pour la Commission extra-municipale de la langue basque à Biarritz qui, pour enrayer ce déclin et prouver combien l'euskara a en lui de nombreuses ressources pour perdurer, a lancé, en 2011, les journées de la langue basque, baptisées Mintzalasai (littéralement, parler sans complexe). Durant une semaine, du 22 au 28 septembre, le basque va se pratiquer ou se découvrir sous toutes ses formes grâce à l'implication d'acteurs de la ville qui ont la volonté commune de le faire vivre au quotidien.
Pour cette troisième édition, vingt-cinq associations biarrotes ont répondu présent pour concocter un programme innovant. « Le but de cette semaine culturelle est de rendre le basque plus visible à Biarritz et de le mettre à la portée de tous, explique Eneko Gorri, chargé de la langue à la Ville de Biarritz. Nous avons allié audace et inventivité dans le but d'explorer de nouveaux domaines, comme l'œnologie, la communication ou le graffi- ti. »
Une thématique par jour
Pendant sept jours, les quelque 70 activités proposées (la plupart gratuites) vont s'attacher à faire pratiquer, apprendre, connaître, défendre, valoriser et se réapproprier la langue basque.
Chaque journée se déclinera autour d'une identité forte. Ainsi, lundi 22, au lycée hôtelier, la thématique sera « cours de cuisine et dégustation de vins ». De 18 à 21 heures, trois ateliers seront proposés aux participants (1). Les deux premiers permettront de cuisiner en compagnie de Ramuntxo Berria, chef cuisinier à Olatua à Saint-Jean-de-Luz, ou de Txomin Agirre du Sin à Biarritz, le troisième de concocter des tapas avec Iñaki Albistur du Kalostrape à Bayonne. De 18 h 30 à 21 heures, l'œnologue Jenofa Irubetagoyena fera découvrir des vins basques. Le tout, évidemment en basque.
Mardi, de 18 à 20 heures à la Maison des associations, deux conférences seront données (4 euros l'entrée pour chacune). L'une sur la conduite de réunions en euskara, l'autre sur la communication associative en euskara. « L'idée est de donner des outils pratiques pour ne plus tenir éloignée la langue basque des réunions », précise Eneko Gorri.
Mercredi sera dédié aux enfants. Dès midi, Uda Leku, le centre de loisirs biarrot bascophone, fera portes ouvertes. De 14 à 16 heures, sur le campus de Surfrider, six ateliers (gratuits) autour de l'éveil au goût et à la gastronomie seront proposés. De 16 à 18 heures, à l'Atabal, les enfants pourront goûter et assister à un spectacle de magie (2 euros).
Conférences et rencontres
Jeudi, à 18 heures à la médiathèque, Kike Amonarriz animera une conférence sur « les bascophones au XXIe siècle » (entrée libre). À 21 heures, au cinéma Le Royal, sera projeté un documentaire réalisé par l'association Garabide « qui est allée voir ce qui se fait ailleurs pour mieux comprendre ce qui se joue ici » (3 euros).
Vendredi, à Denekin dès 18 heures, on pourra participer à un cours de langues parlées dans le quartier Pétricot. On pourra aussi voir l'exposition Déjouer Babel. À 18 h 30, au gaztetxe Mizanbu, démonstration et tournoi de pelote commentés par un bertsulari.
Enfin le week-end sera placé sous le signe de la culture et de l'amusement (lire ci-contre).
La première année, Mintzalasai avait attiré 2 000 personnes, 3 000 l'an passé. Cette troisième édition devrait battre un nouveau record. C'est en tout cas en ce sens que ce programme grand public a été bâti.
(1) Chaque atelier cuisine le lundi est fixé à 15 €. L'entrée pour la soirée cabaret, samedi, est à 5 €, 20 avec le repas. Inscriptions sur email@example.com
On Saturday the Moroccan Cultural and Handicraft week opened in Eminönü, and was covered on Wednesday. The glorious colors and goods for sale are described there. When I went to the opening on Monday, it was the atmosphere, smack bang next to the Spice Market, that struck me; this exhibition is perfect in keeping with the atmosphere of Eminönü. One lady asked us: "Where is this exhibition from?" Hearing the answer "Morocco" she quizzed, "Is it foreign then?" Her confusion is understandable. At first glance, the goods could be from a Turkish region. Yet, they so obviously are not.
The exhibition gives a feeling of familiarity mixed with something quite exotic. The athletic G'naouas dancers, with their enthusiastic drumming, flips and spins, draw in huge crowds. And then there is the more sedate orchestra, playing what sounds like Turkish ilahi (hymns); it isn't until you pay attention to the words, and realize that they are singing in Arabic that it dawns on you that this is something quite different. The entire experience is new, yet familiar, fascinating, yet comforting.
On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to accompany some visitors from Morocco to Bağcılar, to the Engelliler Sarayı (Palace for the Disabled).
This was my fourth visit to Bağcılar Engelliler Sarayı. The name is not inaccurate. This is truly a palace dedicated to the benefit of the disabled. It consists of five stories, with wide corridors, silent lifts that are spacious and efficient, stairs with railings that have braille inscriptions on them so that the visually impaired can find their way round the building, and classrooms everywhere. And the magnificently stylish decorations on the wall have all been hand-painted to underline the palatial theme of this very functional building.
There is a kitchen designed for people in wheelchairs; here they can learn how to cook, for themselves or in a professional kitchen. There is a
classroom set up as a barbershop and another as a hairdresser's, not only teaching the students professional skills, but also providing them with the opportunity to be pampered and given a new hairstyle. There is a spacious cinema, with a large empty area in the front for wheelchairs. Here the students can put on theater performances or they can watch films. There are computers with special programs that help the visually impaired to learn to type, with audio prompts, and printers that print out the articles in braille.
There is a room dedicated to growing mushrooms, there are art rooms, music rooms, a woodwork shop and a sports hall, with special equipment designed to be used by ablebodied people and people confined to wheelchairs. Whatever comes to your imagination, it is here. And it is not only the physically or mentally disabled who can benefit from the Engeliler Sarayı. Classes are offered to the parents of disabled children as well, giving them much needed respite.
We were taken into the classroom in which students, ranging in age from 7-70, are taught techniques for overcoming the cruel disability of stammering. We were shown a video of a student on the first day of his class; every time he got hung up on a word he stamped his foot. The foot stamps drowned out his words. We were shown another video; this one was of the same boy, taken three weeks later; now he spoke fluently, although carefully. We were told that three months later his speech was no different from any other person's.
In the palace there is a room that is referred to as the "black room;" here, children with ADS or autism are treated. The black walls have a calming effect, as do the soft lights and special equipment, all designed to soothe the senses. This room is paired with the "white room," which has, not surprisingly, white walls and more vibrant colors. The "white room" is used to treat autistic children who are introverted, with the colors and textures that stimulate all five senses. These two rooms are unique in Turkey, with very few similar examples throughout the world.
In another classroom we were treated to a concert from a group of seven young men, some in wheel chairs, some with learning difficulties, and some who were visually impaired. They sang a song that had been written by the singer, Zafer. It told us how the palace had torn down the walls for these young people, bringing them into society, opening doors for them to walk through; now when they went out onto the street they could hold their heads up high. The Turkish speakers were moved by the words; the Moroccan visitors were moved by the visible emotion of the performance. Indeed, it was the Moroccan guests who started the standing ovation, but there was not a dry eye in the place.
This time, it was the Moroccan visitors who had the experience of something new, yet familiar, different yet known. The familiarity of being accepted, without question of language or nationality. In each classroom we entered, children and young adults came over eager to talk to us. As we walked by they enthusiastically waved at us. Unperturbed by the lack of language skills they asked questions like: "How are you? This is my painting. Do you like it?"
The love and affection shown to us by the young people here was unquestioning; it was complete acceptance. The warmth, hospitality and love that thrives in this palace makes it a place where I want to return, again and again. Here one gets the feeling that it does not matter where you came from or how you came here. What is important is that you came.
From the exotic sounds and sights of Morocco to the warm embrace of Bağcılar Engelliler Sarayı, these two days have filled me with memories that will remain. I left a bit of my heart at the exhibition, watching the people listen to the music, negotiate prices with someone who spoke a different language and take in the atmosphere. But another bit of my heart is, and always will be, in Bağcılar.
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For universities, including Saint Louis University, developing a name for an academic department that incorporates all the elements of the department can be difficult, especially if that department is home to all the language and cultural courses on a campus. The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at SLU showcased its new name this fall—a name it hopes is a good representation of all its programs and offerings.
The department was previously known as the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. The new name, department members hope, will provide deeper clarity of the department’s mission and goals and be a better representation of the language, literature and culture classes that expand beyond the modern and classical languages. While other campuses choose to divide the language aspect of their curriculum into different sections, SLU holds one department that is home to a variety of languages with different roots. Languages include Italian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, German, French, Classics, and Chinese. The department hopes the new name covers the diversity of each language and the culture it is connected to, which is what the faculty cherishes most about its division of academics.
Dr. Angela Smart, department chair, is proud to reveal the name change that has been in the works for the past 10 to 15-years. “It’s difficult to find a common ground within all the programs offered. Our name puts all the languages and cultures under one umbrella. It better embodies what the department does, which is unite all the languages, literatures and cultures,” she said.
Originally, certain aspects of the department were not reflected in the title, like the faculty’s approach to educating students in a different language. This approach involves integrating culture into the classroom and connecting it back to the language. By understanding that language is an expression of a culture, the students are better able to grasp the value of the foreign language they are learning and how to connect with it in a more meaningful way, the department says. By adding “Literatures and Cultures” into the title, the department better markets this unique aspect of its curriculum.
“Studying languages and cultures is a transformative experience. It leads a student to think more about who he or she is. Both studying a language and studying abroad allows a student to decode the cultural differences of a country,” said Smart, who is also a professor of French.
The name change follows the example of universities around the country who are taking the step to exemplify their aspects of their departments. The University of Massachusetts Amherst and Stanford University are two examples of universities nationwide that are rebranding their language departments.
Smart believes the name change will also refresh the general knowledge of the department’s programs and the diversity of the classes offered.
“Our faculty is like a little U.N.! There are people from all different cultures, which makes for a vibrant faculty. All are actively engaged in both research and a dynamic learning approach,” she said.
The department also offers opportunities to expand knowledge on cultures and languages outside of the classroom. The French program offers activities such as teaching traditional Parisian ballroom dancing, and the Italian program offers a weekly “Tavola Italiana” (Italian Table) for students to practice the language skills they acquire in class.
Smart explained that the faculty provides unique opportunities to incorporate elements from each program into individual classes. Courses offered this semester include a class on Israeli culture and one on World War I, both of which involve many of the cultures individually offered in the department.
Also fresh to the department is the name change of the Language Learning Center to the Language Resource Center. The LRC, now located in Morissey Hall, along with the rest of the department’s labs and faculty, is a place for students to work on group projects, rent cultural movies or work with tutors. Smart hopes the LRC will provide a study environment for students taking the classes in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
The department is also home to two M.A. programs, French and Spanish, and offers Latin American Studies and Classical Humanities Studies majors. The department, in addition to the changes it has already made, is also working to incorporate a Chinese minor into the curriculum.