The interesting research found at https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-observe-epigenetic-memories-passed-down-for-14-generations-most-animal
This research can also be interesting when looking at US demographic groups and how they feel about their participation in the American culture.
Jesse points out, “Speech perception is a really difficult task — and recognizing who the speaker is can help with it. One thing this research shows is that we’re not done as adults with learning, we are constantly learning about the new speakers we meet. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to recognize from listening alone what a speaker says and who they are, as does recognizing faces from static features.”
She adds, “We already know that as we get older, seeing a speaker becomes more important for recognizing what they are saying. Based on our study though, we think that seeing a speaker may also become more important for recognizing who is talking to us, which then may have an indirect effect on speech perception, as well.”
More at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180418144738.htm
Find the publication at https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2018/04/18/how-the-brain-learns-a-second-language-is-focus-of-vanderbilt-study/
“Half of the world is functionally bilingual, yet high levels of proficiency of foreign languages is lacking,” said Booth, who holds the Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development. “Currently there are no programs that tailor second-language instruction to the nature of the first language.”
Booth believes that by understanding how similarities and differences between languages affect learning, instructional practices for learning a second language can be improved.
“The study’s results also will inform methods for improving second language learning by determining the ideal amount of variability in the kinds of words presented,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to match the profile of the individual learner to the best instructional approach for that person.”
Interesting findings: Bilinguals Single Out Second Language While Reading. Good stuff to share with your teacher colleagues! More at https://www.languagemagazine.com/2018/04/10/bilinguals-single-out-second-language-while-reading/#%2EWs07PaG5zmI%2Elinkedin
“We went in thinking second-language readers may not be able to predict the way monolinguals do,” she added. “But when we take into account that some bilinguals are very skilled at negotiating the environmental and linguistic pressures that are exerted on them, we can see that their ability and brain activity in their second language mimics that of monolinguals. In other words, some bilinguals can comprehend in their second language just as well as monolinguals do.”
As language professionals, we are aware that authentic communication creates language proficiency. Now, we have research to confirm this fact. It is for first language acquisition but I think it can be applied to additional languages as well. More at http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2018/02/14/mit-brain-study
Interesting findings about bilingual children that we all should learn about can be found at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-solution-bilingual-children.html