forking paths

enjoying and exploring the language

found property (2)

Topic: Language

The Telegraph: British languages ‘in danger of dying out within a generation
These are languages you may have not heard about… Out of the gutter
On slang’s way into the language Mama Lisa’s World of Nursery Rhymes
An interesting website for (big) children only

The New Yorker: Word
On the language of hip-hop

The Guardian: Bivio – Europe’s greatest linguistic curiosity
How many languages are spoken in some parts of Switzerland? Certainly more than one…

Intelligent Life: OMG, ETC
Acronyms are everywhere

The Economist Debates: Does language shape how we think
Follow the debate to learn more, voice your opinions and even vote

[Sources and inspirations: virtual linguist, The Browser, Langology]


British Council UK Culture: Language (dialects and accents)
BBC Podcasts: Outlook – How a popular Greenland band uses music to encourage teenagers not to take their lives MP3
The New York Times: Backstory (Michael Shear) MP3
NPR: All Things Considered – Prepaid Debit Cards MP3 (transcript)
BBC Comedy: YouTube Channel

Learning English

BBC Learning English: Beaches to reopen after shark attacks (text, audio and activities)
British Council Word Games: Recycling (vocabulary game)
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: Clothes (tag cloud, links to topics)
Test your vocabulary (Cambridge): Cambridge English Readers Level Test


Filed under: About the language, English, Learning the language, Linguistics

found property (1)

BBC Podcast
Netrimony – Online dating in India – BBC (MP3)

Arranged marriages:
Reality of arranged marriage
Is Arranged Marriage Really Any Worse Than Craigslist?
Pros and cons

Other interesting stuff on marriage:
Divorce rate across occupations
Marriage decline

Other stuff (not about marriage this time)
Found in translation
Tips on humour

Filed under: Culture, English, Learning the language

introduction to telc

With this post I want to launch one of the series of texts aiming at helping English learners prepare to telc examinations.
Those unfamiliar with these examinations can go and read more on telc website. How is it different from Cambridge exams (apart from the fact that telc GmbH is a German organisation)? Cambridge exams are more academic and require a more sistemic approach to vocabulary and grammar. Telc represents a school in English Language Teaching (ELT) that is focused mainly on real-life tasks (task approach) and it is in solving those tasks that the knowledge of the language manifests itself.
That is probably one of the reasons why there are almost no materials for English learners that would help them to prepare to the exam. There are only mock exam papers available for free on telc website and a remark that “every general language course prepares for the exam”. That is probably true, but teachers and students have become spoilt by the abundance of materials for Cambridge exams and start to complain about the lack of dedicated books, tests etc.
In this series I want to show that neither teachers nor learners really need dedicated books or mock exams or tests etc. as everything they need is right in front of them in almost every textbook or on the Internet.

Filed under: English, Exams

language links (part 1)

I’d like to start with a bunch of links to websites where you can find interesting content for language learning. I’m not linking to well-known addresses, but places that are worth visiting yet are not present in the mainstream.

1. Antimoon
The website exists thanks to a bunch of Poles who present an original path to language learning. It is both controversial and eye-opening as many of language learners will find out. It does not provide you with much content for language learning per se, but gives you food for thought and a handful of learning techniques. You can also find in-depth dictionary reviews, introduction to pronunciation (together with a possibity to buy software that will help you master this aspect of language) and testimonials of people who have chosen similar path.
What I personally like about this website is the emphasis they put on pronunciation when learning English. I believe that while you undoubtedly need to learn all aspects of the language, pronunciation is often neglected or overly simplified by non-native teachers. Learners do not have to sound British, Australian or American, but word stress and sentence stress is vital if they want to be understood without much trouble.
Follow-up read: Accent and perception (via @LabSpaces)

2. Best of British
This website was founded by a Brit who emigrated to the US and wished to make the difference between British and American versions of English better understood. He even published a book (now unavailable). A great source of vocab, although a bit outdated now.
What I like about this website are the different categories and personal comments of the author. Plus a bit of slang.
Follow-up read: The Economist’s debate

Filed under: English, Learning the language, Linguistics, , ,

number one

Well, here it is. Number one. In the future and probably less regularly than I would like to, I am going to put here my personal projects and research into topics of my interest. Anyone is welcome to contribute by sending links and commenting on the stuff I will write here.

Possible topics: languages, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, ELT, new technologies, GTD, ZTD, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, travelling, Chinese, English, Polish, learning and teaching techniques, photography

Filed under: Uncategorized


in the bushes

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