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Infants Capable of Complex Language Processing

A new study published in Cognition suggests that infants may have more advanced linguistic understanding than previously believed. Conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the study looks at how children aged 11-12 months old processed multi-word sequences—phrases like “clap your hands,” for instance. The…

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Studying Abroad Improves Fluency and Lexis ‘Rapidly’

Study abroad programs are a mainstay of university language departments all over the world—and for good reason, too. Studying abroad—even for a relatively short period of time—can allow students to significantly improve their fluency and vocabulary, according to a new study published in Applied Linguistics that investigates the ways in which language learners can build…

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Celebrating Multilingual Learner Identity through Personal Narrative Instruction

The social isolation and countless hours of silent, independent assignments young linguistically diverse scholars have endured during the past year of online learning have left scores in dire need of lessons that affirm their identities while advancing their academic communication skills. In hopes of engaging acolytes in dual language or English language development coursework, empathetic…

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Cervantes Counters Spanish Sexism

On International Women’s Day last month, Spain’s Instituto Cervantes and publisher Penguin Random House launched the Guide to Non-Sexist Communication (Guía de comunicación no sexista) in Spanish, designed to help prevent discrimination against women and promote equal treatment. It is a set of guidelines and practical suggestions to help achieve balance in the language and…

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Translanguaging as a Transformative Force in Literacy

Translanguaging is a 21st-century way of thinking about language and the language practices of emergent bilinguals that takes a perspective of strength and is critical to designing effective and equitable instruction. Translanguaging creates a space for the bilingual person to bring their entire linguistic repertoire, the whole child, into the classroom. Although translanguaging is often…

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Learn a New Language to Boost Brain Activity

A new study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, shows that studying a new language boosts brain activity, which then reduces as language skills improve, so, if you want to keep your brain in top shape, the best advice is to keep adding to your linguistic repertoire. “In the first few months, you can quantitatively…

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Setting a New Federal Agenda on English Learner Education

With the beginning of a new presidential administration earlier this year, some language activists and thinkers believe 2021 could be a pivotal year for education policy surrounding English learners (ELs). New America, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on innovation in public policy, recently published its own agenda for increasing the federal government’s provisions for…

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Navajo Goes Extraterrestrial

The first scientific focus of NASA’s Perseverance rover is a rock named “Máaz” – the Navajo word for “Mars.” The rover’s team, in collaboration with the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, has been naming features of scientific interest with words in the Navajo language. Surface missions assign nicknames to landmarks to…