Monthly Archives: September 2009

Language acquisition

According to a study at UCLA, reported on EurekaAlert!, young children acquiring language benefit most from conversations. Reading them stories and talking to them are also helpful, but two-sided conversations have much stronger effects on their language development. A study of language use in 275 families looked at the affects of conversation, adult monologueing, reading […]

Language acquisition, Linguistics 4 Comments

Gossip and language

According to recent research, gossip makes up about 80% of human language interactions, and it is possibly one of the things that separates humans from other animals. Researchers suggest that language developed mainly to share social information, i.e. gossip, and has enabled humans to build larger and more complex societies than other creatures. Animals such […]

Language 7 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of part of a news report in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 8 Comments


Recently while reading Douglas Coupland novel Gum Thief I came across a used of bus(ing) that I hadn’t heard before – one of the characters talks about “busing” tables, which sounded a bit strange to me. I’m familiar with the word busboy, but haven’t been quite sure what a busboy did. Now I’ve discovered that […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 19 Comments


Yesterday I finally finished the British Sign Language (BSL) course I’ve been working on for the past year – if other things didn’t keep distracting me I would have finished it sooner. The course consists of just seven unit but manages to fit quite a lot in them, including numbers, colours, time, money, describing people, […]

Language, Language learning, Sign language 4 Comments
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