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Why is there a silent 'w' in TWO? language acquisition languages May 22, 2021

Don’t you think it’s weird that the English word ‘two’ has a silent ‘W’ in it? Especially when all the other numbers that start with a ‘tw’ we pronounce the ‘w’ – twenty, twice, twelve!...

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Have you heard of translanguaging and wondered what it really means? languages linguistics Apr 20, 2021

Translanguaging is an increasingly popular buzzword in education, but what does it really entail? How can monolingual teachers make use of their pupils' multilingual repertoires?

I think it's understandable that teachers who speak one language (perhaps...

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Should parents stop speaking their language to their children when they start school, to help them focus on English? child development language acquisition languages Apr 13, 2021

You've been speaking your home language (e.g. Lithuanian) together since they were born. Your little one is about to start school. Should you switch to the majority language, such as English in the UK? That sounds logical, right, and would surely help...

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Are children who mix their languages confused? Let's explore this child development language acquisition languages linguistics Feb 17, 2021

There is so much confusion around mixing languages, and it worries me that parents and children are often left feeling ashamed of this very natural, normal, and creative by-product of bilingualism.

Mixing languages is a stage in the process of language...

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Pancake day around the world languages Feb 16, 2021

Who doesn’t love a pancake? Whether you’re a savoury or sweet pancake-lover, ‘Pancake Day’ is celebrated around the world in many iterations. The tradition has roots in Christianity and enjoying a final indulgence before Lent...

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Multilingual is Normal Book babel books language acquisition languages resources Sep 23, 2020

We did it! We published the Multilingual is Normal book, an anthology of sixty voices, talking about talking, in just one month from launch on 10th July to publication day on 10th August 2020!

This was my first foray into book publishing, and I learned...

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The Gift of Languages language acquisition languages linguistics Jan 13, 2020

As I write this in a café whilst on a post-Christmas holiday in Paris, I’m listening to my three children play with the words on the menu – making observations about how café is the same in English, and crêpes has a...

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International Day of Multilingualism languages Mar 25, 2019

Some days you just get up, get dressed and just about keep things ticking over. Other days you get up and organise the first ever International Day of Multilingualism in collaboration with world-renowned academics and language professionals.

It's...

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Vive la révolution! languages Feb 28, 2019

Language learning in schools has hit an all-time low, with a decrease of 30-50% in GCSE languages take-up in some parts of the UK since 2013. It was really quite depressing to read these stats from the BBC News analysis today.

Having mulled it over,...

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But first, Arabic. languages Aug 25, 2018

So here's a thought: when has Britain ever been anything other than multilingual to the max? Our ancestors spoke Old Norse, and then Old German, and then French for six hundred years... and English has remnants of all of these languages and more in its...

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