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An Opera Singer Shares His Secret to Learning Languages

So much of learning and teaching occurs through language. The more we understand the contours of languages–not just traditional languages…

Society and Schools Must Do More to Value the Intelligence of Everyday Workers

Education professor Mike Rose describes just how wonderfully intelligent and creative everyday people are in their everyday work. He challenges the idea that…

Forget What You Know About “Correct” English. It Never Really Existed. Here’s Why.

Imagine for a moment that what you think you know about things like grammar and correctness of language is actually…

To Think Differently, Try Speaking Differently

Pictures might be worth a thousand words, but words are worth a hundred billion neurons. In this excellent talk, cognitive…

When a Sociolinguist Eavesdrops on a Bus and Gives a Ted Talk

Learning a language is not purely cognitive. Most people can’t just memorize vocabulary and rules of grammar and speak a…

Literacy and Orality Nerds, There’s a Walter Ong Lecture Online

Walter Ong’s work on literacy and orality marked, for me, a turning point in my professional life. I’ve since come…

Why is English So Damn Hard to Learn? There are 3 Secrets to It.

English is really hard to learn. As the number of students who require support learning English continues to increase throughout…

Language Evolved To Ensure Human Beings Cooperated, And We Might Be Screwed

Watch biologist Mark Pagel explain why humans’ capacity for “cumulative cultural adaptation” or social learning is what makes us so…

What’s Your Capacity for Language? See What Chomsky Thinks.

I have re-watched this several times, always intrigued by Chomsky’s notion that what happens internally (within the mind) when one…

Babies Are Like Little Linguistic Statisticians

A thoroughly intriguing talk about the ways babies learn language. Researcher Patricia Kuhl suggests that babies keep track of sounds…

The Strange Tale of Merriam-Webster’s Ghost Word

Merriam-Webster is redefining the role of the dictionary in the 21st century. If you don’t follow them on Twitter, I…

Coates: Some Words Don’t Belong to Everyone

Asked at a book talk by a white college student if she and her friends have the right to use…

The 58 Minute Introduction to Algorithms by an Oxford Mathematician You’ve Been Waiting For

Nothing says nerd like desperately downloading a new BBC show about algorithms to one’s phone just before the subway goes…

Stop Teaching Computer Science. Start “Embedding” It.

I’ve said it before: if we are serious about teaching computer science in K-12 schools, we have to reimagine how…

Watch How President Reagan Introduced A Nation at Risk

You have probably heard of A Nation at Risk–the Reagan-era report from which today’s education reforms come–but have you ever…

What School Integration Felt Like for a 14-Year-Old in 1964

Watch this brief yet powerful story by William Weaver as he recounts what desegregating schools felt like as a teenager…
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