Multiculturalism and language learning – a TV Interview

??Multiculturalism and language learning. A TV conversation with David Berner. This will be added as a lesson in the English library at LingQ as soon as we have the transcript.

Good intentions for language learning in the UK.

Kids in Britain should learn languages from the age of 5, according to the Minister of Education. Given the attitude towards languages in Britain, and how languages are usually taught, this propsal, if implemented, would lead to more job opportunities for language teachers, but probably not much of an increase in the number of people who speak foreign languages in that country.

Holistic language learning.

A language needs to be learned as a whole and should not be analyzed or compartmentalized.?? I will expore this in a video which I will publish here later.

First a definition of holism, from Wikipedia

Holism (from ????????? holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave.

The term holism was coined in 1926 by Jan Smuts. Reductionism is sometimes seen as the opposite of holism. Reductionism in science says that a complex system can be explained by reduction to its fundamental parts. For example, the processes of biology are reducible to chemistry and the laws of chemistry are explained by physics.

Social scientist and physician Nicholas A. Christakis explains that “for the last few centuries, the Cartesian project in science has been to break matter down into ever smaller bits, in the pursuit of understanding. And this works, to some extent…but putting things back together in order to understand them is harder, and typically comes later in the development of a scientist or in the development of science.”[1]

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Why do teachers like to tell you what to read?

Motivation is at the heart of language learning and literacy. The interest we have in the subject we are reading is a major motivator for reading, enabling us to struggle with difficult texts and as a result, learn.

Here we are told to read the New Yorker to improve our SAT scores.Why the New Yorker?I have never had any interest in reading the New Yorker.

I was searching the Internet for Czech resources and discovered the Czech program offered at Oxford. It featured a reading list heavy to poetry. I don’t like poetry.

Why not encourage people to read what they like, but just push themselves a little in terms of the difficulty level.