The Language Feed

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Feb 28 14:30:30 UTC 2006

The Language Feed
February 27, 2006

This issue and archives can be read on the web at
Cool site of the week: Overheard in New York
( A little ad-heavy, but a fun waste
of time.

English language to lose its global predominance, February 24
According to a research report, the dominance of English as the world's
top language is beginning to undermine the competitiveness of the UK and
the United States.

Chinese Heritage School fills key language gap
Sentinel, February 23
The Chinese Heritage School at Crossroads South Middle School is one of
only a handful of Cantonese-speaking Chinese schools in the tristate
area, a fact that has drawn students from as far away as Staten Island,
N.Y., and Pennsylvania. Most Chinese schools teach their lessons in
Mandarin, which is the Chinese dialect spoken in most parts of China.
This makes lessons difficult for those who have grown up in
Cantonese-speaking households. Cantonese, the second-largest dialect, is
spoken natively in the areas around the southern Chinese cities of Hong
Kong, Guangzhou and

Bridging the language gap
Chicago Tribune, February 23
As a new Mexican immigrant, Bertha Garcia was as nervous as her two
children before she enrolled them at Elgin's Highland Elementary School.
But worries about not speaking English or understanding the U.S.
educational system faded with a smile and handshake from Carlos Trujillo.,1,2299469.story?coll=chi-newslocalnearwest-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

Linguists work to rebuild Pequot language
Norwich Bulletin, February 23
In 1638, speaking the Pequot language was an offense that could be
punished by beatings, being sold into slavery or death. The Treaty of
Hartford, which ended the Pequot War, included clauses that all but
eliminated the Pequot language and culture. Now, 368 years later, the
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is promoting its language and hopes its
younger members can use it to pass on their culture.

For Finnish language authority, curling is word of the week
NewsRoom Finland, February 23
The Language Planning Department of the Research Institute for the
Languages of Finland has been receiving an endless stream of questions
pertaining to the word curling thanks to the success of the Finnish
national team at the Turin Olympic Games. A Finnish translation of
curling, a word derived from the Scots language, has eluded the foremost
authority on the Finnish language.

English is EU's most European language
Europolitix, February 21
English is Europes most widely used language and spoken by more than
half of European citizens, including those in EU hopefuls Bulgaria,
Romania, Croatia and Turkey. Brussels pollsters asked 29,000 people from
the EU 25 and the four countries with membership ambitions about language.

Learning language on Web a snap
The Washington Times, February 25
I am intrigued by what might be called cottage-industry globalization,
perhaps because I just ran into an example. Globalization has two
aspects. One is the rapid shifting of high-tech work -- software
development, circuit design -- to India and China. The other is the use
of technology to outsource nontechnical jobs.

Learning a new language
The Age, February 26
David Finnerty is far more interested in how many of his students start
the Premier's Reading Challenge rather than finish. Why? Because as
principal of the state's most multicultural school, Cleeland Secondary
College in Dandenong, he knows just how big a step reading English is
for many of his charges.

Language teachers see hardship
JoongAng Daily, February 27
Foreign language teachers of European languages such as French, German
and Spanish are having difficulty in securing jobs at high schools as
increasing numbers of students choose to study Asian languages as their
second foreign language.

Tests should focus on results, not language
The Daily Review, February 27
A five-year study of K-12 English-language learners completed last month
found that students taught primarily in English didn't necessarily
outperform their peers who received bilingual instruction. That may come
as a surprising result to the 61 percent of California voters who passed
Proposition 227, which mandated English immersion.

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