Written By: aaminahm on June 17, 2012 No Comment

As a follow up to my recent post “a fish out of water” I want to provide some
context for my experience in Boston by pointing out that I walked the Black Heritage
Trail through the Beacon Hill district today. This trail begins at the monument
for the 54th regiment who fought the Civil War for no […]

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Written By: aaminahm on June 16, 2012 No Comment

Last night I found myself feeling unsettled as I walked a long with a small group of junior research associates that I met this week at the Digital Media and Learning hub’s Summer Institute in Cambridge, MA. Having grown up in the Bay Area and having spent some time in the south I have experienced […]

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Written By: markkaiser on May 23, 2012 2 Comments
Pimsleur advertisement

I ran across this ad for the Pimsleur language learning audio materials on an electronic Japanese dictionary (denshijisho.org). As  a Language Center administrator, I interact with dozens of language professors, lecturers, and graduate student instructors here at Berkeley as well as at other institutions. I can’t remember ever hearing any disparaging remarks about Dr. […]

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Written By: daveski on April 30, 2012 4 Comments
Sure of inquiry, less sure of knowledge in the age of new media

This past Friday and Saturday in Sutardja Dai Hall (the home of CITRIS, near North Gate), the Berkeley Center for New Media hosted a symposium, “Digital Inquiry: Forms of Knowledge in the Age of New Media”.

True to the plural form in its title, speakers gave many visions of knowledge online […]

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Written By: daveski on April 26, 2012 No Comment
“RobinFest” at UC Berkeley on May 4th

This post from LinguistList has just announced a major celebration of Professor Robin Lakoff‘s work:

In recognition of Robin Tolmach Lakoff’s many contributions to linguistics, a day-long symposium in her honor will be held on the University of California, Berkeley, campus Friday, May 4, 2012. Robin’s former students and colleagues […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 18, 2012 No Comment
The Toongate Controversy

The news of the arrest of Ambikesh Mohapatra, professor of physical chemistry and kinetics at Jadavpur University (West Bengal, India) spread like wildfire across the nation over the last week. People rallied together, on the streets and on social networking sites, to protest what has been popularly called a “fascist” […]

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Written By: daveski on April 17, 2012 No Comment
Engaged scholarship, a bridge between language classrooms and the city?

Last Friday, as several Berkeley folks were busy discussing innovations in language and literacy education at AERA in Vancouver, and others were re-visioning the present and future of multilingual subjects and societies at the Multilingual, 2.0? symposium in Tucscon, I had these topics in mind as I joined dozens of […]

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Written By: daveski on April 6, 2012 No Comment

It’s common practice to publish blog posts after a significant event–to question, re-interpret, and basically put a new spin on what happened and what was said. For today’s BLC lecture by H. Douglas Brown, Faculty Emeritus from San Francisco State University’s M.A.-TESOL program, I thought I would give this blog format […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 5, 2012 4 Comments
A weighty issue: The Hindustan Times edition

Should Kareena Kapoor lose weight?” screamed a headline on my Hindustan Times app. For those of you unfamiliar with Bollywood cinema, Ms. Kareena Kapoor is a top actress, and hails from one of the most famous and powerful film khandaans (families). I’m not a fan of hers: but I had to read the article. […]

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Written By: daveski on April 4, 2012 2 Comments

Thanks to Steven L on Facebook for bringing this to my attention: Matt Meyer at ReignDesign narrates his presentation “Love Hotels and Unicode” from a recent tech “unconference” in Shanghai. After reviewing some of the convergences that led to a single standard for representing many of the world’s scripts and […]

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Written By: Youki on March 29, 2012 20 Comments

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/03/29/piers-morgan-only-in-america-banned-words.cnn

Piers Morgan examines 50 words that are banned on New York school tests.  Here’s the full list:

Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Bodily functions
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Celebrities
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 18, 2012 2 Comments

While I am generally averse to reading articles that begin by telling us about how we are all living in “an increasingly globalized world,” I thought this article I caught in the Sunday New York Times might be of interest to members of the FIT community:

…there is ample evidence that in a bilingual’s brain […]

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Written By: daveski on March 7, 2012 2 Comments

As I began to write last time, waiting for my connecting flight back to California from the February 22-24 4th International Workshop on Linguistic Landscape, I had departed for this gathering in Addis Ababa with two conceptual questions and one applied question in mind. First, for the linguistic landscape workshop participants–a […]

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Written By: daveski on March 1, 2012 No Comment

My mind is awash with thoughts from last week’s linguistic landscape workshop in Ethiopia’s capital city—thoughts from the last two days of informal visits to the campus of Addis Ababa University, from a group excursion 300km through the countryside to the Debre Libanos Monastery and the Blue Nile Gorge, […]

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Written By: daveski on February 11, 2012 9 Comments

A few days ago I had the pleasure of talking with several friends & colleagues in languages at Berkeley about classroom applications of the 2007 Modern Language Association Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages’ report, “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World“. Specifically, we heard from Claire Kramsch about […]

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Written By: markkaiser on February 1, 2012 1 Comment
High school libraries

While transporting my high school son to debate tournaments at various Bay-area high schools, I have found myself parked in high school libraries for hours at end, waiting my turn to judge one of the many events. It is striking the difference one finds between libraries in top-ranked high schools (e.g. Lowell […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 26, 2012 No Comment
An accent on English

My father recently recounted an anecdote from his post-graduate years at the University of Moscow in the mid-1960s. He and his friend-we’ll call him Dr. Ramanna-were chatting amongst themselves on a cold, wintry day, surrounded by a slew of Russian colleagues. One Russian gentleman seated nearby inquired: What languages were […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 25, 2012 No Comment
“Chai Tea” and other oddities

“What is Chai Tea?” I wondered, flabbergasted: “It makes no sense! Chai=tea. Tea tea? And it’s supposed to be Indian?”

Now, I take pride in knowing my teas: I come from a land where tea is the preferred beverage, ubiquitous in the national beverage-scape. Tea was incorporated into my breakfast routine […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 16, 2011 1 Comment
English Vinglish

In a recent post, I wrote about a circular from the Department of Official Language, part of the Indian Home Ministry, encouraging the use of popular English words in place of difficult Hindi terms in official Hindi communications. The Wall Street Journal‘s India blog carries the same news posted a few hours ago, […]

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Written By: seo on December 6, 2011 3 Comments

Long time, no see, FiTizens!

We’ve hit December and with that comes the start of the usual reflections upon the year that has just been. On the language side of things, this usually means lists of words that somehow manage to encapsulate or convey the events and general feeling of the year. The past week here […]

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