Sociocultural Factors in Second Language Acquisition


Quality of Words, Not Quantity, Is Crucial to Language Skills, Study Finds




Now, a growing body of research is challenging the notion that merely exposing poor children to more language is enough to overcome the deficits they face. The quality of the communication between children and their parents and caregivers, the researchers say, is of much greater importance than the number of words a child hears.

A study presented on Thursday at a White House conference on “bridging the word gap” found that among 2-year-olds from low-income families, quality interactions involving words — the use of shared symbols (“Look, a dog!”); rituals (“Want a bottle after your bath?”); and conversational fluency (“Yes, that is a bus!”) — were a far better predictor of language skills at age 3 than any other factor, including the quantity of words a child heard.


Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek is the lead author of a study that points to the importance of high-quality communication with young children.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“It’s not just about shoving words in,” said Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University and lead author of the study. “It’s about having these fluid conversations around shared rituals and objects, like pretending to have morning coffee together or using the banana as a phone. That is the stuff from which language is made.”



Co-Teaching Tips


Originally posted on My Educational Technology Blog: A Place of Resources and Tools for Educators:

Always good to revisit since good co-teaching does not just happen… link:

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17 Little ways to annoy a Scandinavian person


Funny list for all readers with issues that apply to most Europeans…

Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe



Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe

Originally posted on Etymologikon™:

Lexical Distance Network Among the Major Languages of Europe

This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe.

The size of each circle represents the number of speakers for that language. Circles of the same color belong to the same language group. All the groups except for Finno-Ugric (in yellow) are in turn members of the Indo-European language family.

English is a member of the Germanic group (blue) within the Indo-European family. But thanks to 1066, William of Normandy, and all that, about 75% of the modern English vocabulary comes from French and Latin (ie the Romance languages, in orange) rather than Germanic sources. As a result, English (a Germanic language) and French (a Romance language) are actually closer to each other in lexical terms than Romanian (a Romance language) and French.

So why is English still considered a Germanic language? Two reasons. First, the most frequently used 80%…

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For your Culturally Responsive School


such a neat idea:  Photos of Grandmas Around the World, With Their Signature Dishes

ESL Tips for Mainstream Teachers


From Jessica Mitchell:


  • Are they culturally meaningful?
    • for example: are they building on the background knowledge and interests of the student’s culture or are they framed around American cultural ideas?  This is often difficult to do because culture is not something that we consciously think about.  You will have to do a little research or simply talk to your students about their home culture to learn more and then design instruction around their cultural background.
      • Football or Futbol?  You may use football or going trick or treating as a child as a way to connect the information for your students, but do your ELL students have an understanding of these things?  Maybe not.
  • Are they linguistically meaningful?
    • Are you asking too much of a student who does not speak any English?  Or are you asking too little of a student who has a developed a more comprehensive understanding of the language?
    • Be sure that at all times your ELL students are challenged just above their capabilities.  Think of it as “i” (their ability/current level)  i+1.  Go just a step above.
    • This is where we use simplified language and shorter versions of assessments as well as visual and graphic organizing aids.
I hope this is helpful and as always please ask me any questions you have.  I don’t know what it is you are confused about or want to learn more about with ELL so please OFFER SUGGESTIONS FOR MY TIPS!!!
Thanks guys and have a great rest of the week!


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