British vs. American English
Even though it’s all the same language, the differences between British and American English are many. While there are times we can decipher what each other are saying, sometimes words have completely different meanings depending which side of the Atlantic you call home. Today’s infographic takes a look at several of these differences. My Canadian friends say they’re totally confused, as they sometimes use a hybrid of both the British and American usages. [VIA]
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Tags: British, english, infographic, language, reference, world culture, world language
50 Awesome Facts About Languages
We all speak at least one, and some of us know dozens — even if you’re not aware of it! Language, and communication in general, is a key to learning, living, and working in the world. Today’s infographic gives several fun facts you may not have considered about the languages we know and speak. [VIA]
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Tags: culture, foreign language, infographic, language, reading, reference, social studies, world cultures, world history, world language, writing
The Hardest Languages to Learn
The Foreign Service Institute of the US State Department compiles data about the amount of time it takes a native English speaker to learn various world languages. This infographic compiles their results and ranks several languages from the easiest to the hardest to pick up. [VIA]
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Tags: english, infographic, language, lifelong learning, US State Department, world language
21 Ways to Say Hello
As the world “shrinks” and the global community grows, we see lots of overlap in cultures and language. The need to communicate with folks who do not speak the same language is something we could encounter every day. How great is that initial, friendly ice-breaking “hello”? Today’s infographic gives you 21 ways to say “hello” in 21 different languages. Hujambo, everyone! [VIA]
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Tags: culture, education, infographic, language, reference, travel, world language
Emotions without English Equivalents
It seems today that there is a word for everything — and if there isn’t yet, someone will make one up! Did you know, however, that there are 19 emotions that are recognized in other cultures that we have no words for in English? Today’s infographic places these emotions on a spectrum with those that we are already familiar with. It is an interesting study into the nuances not only of language and culture, but also of emotion to see the subtle differences that can arise from basic emotions and feelings that we all recognize. Sometimes it makes me a little jealous of Mr. Spock!! [VIA]
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Tags: behavior, education, emotion, english, feeling, foreign language, general, infographic, language, psychology, speech, world cultures, world language
The Perfect Cup of Coffee
OK, I freely admit it — I’m addicted to coffee! Usually I can get by with a freshly brewed cup with a little cream, but sometimes I get a little adventurous. I see the names all the time — Caffe Americano, Mocha Breve, Caffe Au Lait — but oftentimes don’t know just what they are or hoe to make them. Today’s infographic is a great guide to several espresso drinks to help you feel like an expert next time you go to the counter. Who’s up for grabbing a Caffe Affogato with me? [VIA]
Tags: coffee, cultural studies, drink, food, infographic, reference, social studies, world cultures, world language
The World As 100 People
For most of us, it’s almost impossible to wrap our minds around and comprehend numbers in the billions, millions, and even hundreds of thousands. The number 100 is much easier for us to grasp, however. Today’s infographic takes the population of the world and reduces it from about 7 billion to 100. Keeping the proportions identical, see how many people out of this 100 are of a certain religion, speak a certain language, have clean drinking water, and whether or not the split between male and females in the world is close to 50-50. [VIA]
Tags: anthropology, education, geography, history, infographic, population, social studies, sociology, world language
The Culturally Authentic Picture Lexicon (CAPL) is a great site to use in classes to help students find pictures that are both authentic and appropriate from other cultures and countries. All the photographs held in the database were taken by natives of the culture and are organized by language and also by region. You can either browse or search the CAPL to find great photos from around the world.
One of the great benefits of the CAPL in education is that it can be used by teachers outside of simply being another repository for photos. Each picture is cataloged by language and region and contains both an English description and foreign language translation. This is an excellent way to infuse your world language curriculum into searching and project creation.
Another way many educators use the CAPL is to have students use the photos as writing prompts in world history and cultures classes, to recreate the images in art classes, to identify plants and animals in science, or to address cultural differences in Social Studies classes. The CAPL is a perfect accompaniment to a Project-Based Learning environment with endless cross-curricular possibilities.
Last, but not least, check out the Pictolang Tab on CAPL as well. This will take you to a sister site where students can play four different games that use the CAPL’s photos:
- Visual Word Trainer – Turns the photos into flash cards so students can practice or learn vocabulary
- Picture Match Game – Given 8 images, students choose the photo that matches the word or phrase caption and are given immediate feedback.
- Word Match Game – Students see one image and find the appropriate caption or vocabulary word from 8 choices, again with immediate feedback
- Analyst Game – Students are given one image and then match the corresponding culture from 8 choices.
I highly recommend giving CAPL a try for both your world language classes, as well as social studies can history classes where you are looking for fun, exciting ways to incorporate real world images and examples for students that infuse and are steeped in modern culture.
Tags: art, education, ESL, general, interactive, language, multimedia, PBL, photos, reading, reference, social studies, teacher tools, tech integration, web 2.0, world language, writing
All About Valentine’s Day
Regarded as the day of love, we usually celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic cards, gifts, and gestures to celebrate our relationships. But how did this day get started, and how impressed would your Valentine be if you were able to say “I love you” in French, Hawaiian, or even Klingon this year?
Tags: history, holidays, infographic, trivia, world language
Finding resources for World Languages online that are fully interactive, a bit immersive, and not geared solely to ESL students can be a little difficult. If you are having the same difficulty, you might be interested in Digital Dialects.
Digital Dialects offers several flash-based interactive games to help you learn some of the basics of a language. Whether you want to use them in class or on your own to get a taste of a foreign language these games are all fast and fun. Offering 60 languages to choose from, Digital Dialects has games for learning the languages’ numbers, colors, days of the week, and basic vocabulary. Some are more extensive than others, so all modules may not be available for all languages.
Digital Dialects is a great tool to have to give students who might need a little more reinforcement in their studies, or even for you to get a little flavor of the language before delving deeper into your personal studies through another program.
Tags: education, ESL, games, interactive, multimedia, teacher tools, tech integration, world language