Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: The puzzle of language learning: From child's play to ‘linguaphobia’
Author: Alison Wray
Institution: Cardiff University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: A new education policy for England, announced in Spring 2007, aims to introduce the learning of a foreign language to all children from the age of 8 by the year 2010. But there was a similar initiative in the 1960s and it didn't work then, so why should it now? This presentation explores the reasons underlying the belief that children can ‘naturally’ learn another language if they begin young enough, and considers reasons why classroom learning may not always tap into whatever natural language learning skills children have. Drawing on a range of previously published research and my own recent empirical studies, I suggest that, unless we are careful, our primary-age children will be flung into an adult-style learning approach, which they are too immature to handle. How, then, can young children's learning potential be exploited most effectively? The role of multiword sequences as a form of lexis is considered, making reference to my model of formulaic language processing e.g. Wray 2002. Consideration is given to how memorising useful wordstrings may assist children in developing a view of language knowledge that promotes effective learning.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Teaching Vol. 41, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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