Archive for January, 2010

Language quiz

I came across this recently thanks to a tweet from @multilingualrec – a quiz that tests how many languages you can identify. If you think you’re good at languages, see how many of these you can get in 7 minutes! I got 16 – how did you do? http://www.sporcle.com/games/ZapRowsdower/foreign_language


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If ever there was a reason to speak more than one language, this has got to be a good one. Researchers at Bangor University in Wales are looking for people who speak both Welsh and English as well as monolinguals to see what benefits being bilingual brings. Professor Virginia Gathercole says “The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people’s abilities to pay close attention to aspects of tasks relevant to good performance…Some researchers have also found that bilingualism could also play a role in guarding against the decline in our brain’s abilities with ageing.”

The researchers will be looking at over 700 people between the ages of 2 and 80, but still need some over 60s to take part – and you’ll get £10 for taking part. If you’re interested then contact Ms. Leah Jones, leah.jones@bangor.ac.uk, 01248 388892, or Ms. Emma Hughes, emma.hughes@bangor.ac.uk , 01248 383820, for further information.

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There has been a lot of controversy lately over Ed Balls’ announcement that all children should be given the opportunity to learn Mandarin, the world’s most popular language. Critics called it a gimmick, saying that there wouldn’t be enough teachers and that the government should instead concentrate on addressing the lack of mainstream language learning. (more…)

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