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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Media: NYT: Films: Spellbound

Submitter: Karen Chung

Submitter Email: karchung@ntu.edu.tw
Media Body: There's a review in the April 30, 2003 online edition of the New
York Times on the new movie "Spellbound"; in the same issue there is
also a feature on the kind of real-life spelling-bees that inspired
the movie:

(1) Move Review: 'Spellbound': Tense. The Children Are Tense. Tense.
by A. O. Sco


(2) Kids Versus Dictionaries (and Each Other)
By Sylviane Gold


I especially enjoyed this anecdote (from (2)):

...Usually, their partner is a parent. Gale DeGideo looks
dolefully at the camera and laments that in working with her daughter,
April, she encounters so many words she can't pronounce. On the phone
from Ambler, Pa., Ms. DeGideo recalled being so mired in
tongue-twisting arcana that she didn't recognize the word "episode,"
turning it into "eePIZZodee." April figured it out anyway, and they
laughed for 20 minutes.

Karen Steffen Chung
National Taiwan University

Issue Number: 14.1248
Date Posted: May 04, 2003

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