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How the language you speak changes your view of the world - Science - News

How the language you speak changes your view of the world - Science - News
Bilinguals get all the perks. Better job prospects, a cognitive boost and even protection against dementia. Now new research shows that they can also view the world in different ways depending on the specific language they are operating in. The past 15 years have witnessed an overwhelming amount of research on the bilingual mind, with the majority of the evidence pointing to the tangible advantages of using more than one language. Just as regular exercise gives your body some biological benefits, mentally controlling two or more languages gives your brain cognitive benefits. Germans know where they’re going In research we recently published in Psychological Science, we studied German-English bilinguals and monolinguals to find out how different language patterns affected how they reacted in experiments. When you give a scene like that to a monolingual German speaker they will tend to describe the action but also the goal of the action. Switch languages, change perspective Related:  Reading ComprehensionLanguage

Map: How much holiday you get depends on where you live Easter may be approaching, but for most people that doesn’t mean a long holiday, and for many it doesn’t even mean a long weekend. But as this colourful map shows, if you’re in the UK you should probably be thankful for the amount of holiday you are legally entitled to. There are lots of caveats, as the map doesn’t include national holidays, specific allowances for factory workers in India and Pakistan for example, or additional entitlements based on years worked. More: 19 maps from which we’ll let you draw your own conclusions Easter may be approaching, but for most people that doesn’t mean a long holiday, and for many it doesn’t even mean a long weekend. But as this colourful map shows, if you’re in the UK you should probably be thankful for the amount of holiday you are legally entitled to. There are lots of caveats, as the map doesn’t include national holidays, specific allowances for factory workers in India and Pakistan for example, or additional entitlements based on years worked.

Do you know the difference between a Holocaust and a holocaust? The Armenians do - Comment And Ross is right. And I think I know the background to this slippage in nomenclature. When I worked in the Middle East for The Times – long before Murdoch emasculated the paper – we found that whenever we referred to the Persian Gulf, Arab states would refuse to let the paper go on sale in Dubai or Cairo. But whenever we called it the Arabian Gulf, the paper was not allowed into Iran. So we went for “The Gulf”. READ MOREWar with Isis: Theresa May tinkers while Iraq and Syria burn We’d always had a faintly similar problem with Northern Ireland. I tended to take a harsher view of countries whose titles began with the words “the People’s Democratic Republic of” – mainly because they invariably belonged to their dictators rather than their people, and were neither popular nor democratic. Then we had to acknowledge Father Time. Loading gallery World News in Pictures 1 of 50 Armenian men were sometimes taken to their execution in railway goods wagons. An image from 1915.

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change 3. Is there anything I can do? Fly less, drive less, waste less. You can reduce your own carbon footprint in lots of simple ways, and most of them will save you money. You can plug leaks in your home insulation to save power, install a smart thermostat, switch to more efficient light bulbs, turn off the lights in any room where you are not using them, drive fewer miles by consolidating trips or taking public transit, waste less food, and eat less meat. Perhaps the biggest single thing individuals can do on their own is to take fewer airplane trips; just one or two fewer plane rides per year can save as much in emissions as all the other actions combined. If you want to offset your emissions, you can buy certificates, with the money going to projects that protect forests, capture greenhouse gases and so forth. In the end, though, experts do not believe the needed transformation in the energy system can happen without strong state and national policies.

Gramsci and hegemony | Understanding power for social change | IDS at Sussex University The idea of a ‘third face of power’, or ‘invisible power’ has its roots partly, in Marxist thinking about the pervasive power of ideology, values and beliefs in reproducing class relations and concealing contradictions (Heywood, 1994: 100). Marx recognised that economic exploitation was not the only driver behind capitalism, and that the system was reinforced by a dominance of ruling class ideas and values – leading to Engels’s famous concern that ‘false consciousness’ would keep the working class from recognising and rejecting their oppression (Heywood, 1994: 85). False consciousness, in relation to invisible power, is itself a ‘theory of power’ in the Marxist tradition. The Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, imprisoned for much of his life by Mussolini, took these idea further in his Prison Notebooks with his widely influential notions of ‘hegemony’ and the ‘manufacture of consent’ (Gramsci 1971). The idea of power as ‘hegemony’ has also influenced debates about civil society.

7 billion people and you: What's your number? Sources: All population data are based on estimates by the UN Population Division and all calculations provided by the UN Population Fund. The remaining data are from other sections of the UN, the Global Footprint Network and the International Telecommunications Union. Want to find out more? Visit the UN Population Fund's detailed population calculator, 7 billion and me. Notes on the data: Only birth dates after 1910 can be accommodated and only countries with populations of more than 100,000 people are included. Three country groupings - developed, developing and least developed - featured in the conclusions are those referenced by the UN for assessing the Millennium Development Goals. Read the answers to frequently asked questions here.

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report': Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing - Comment Or, as the lads who torture on our behalf call it, “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Let’s take a closer look at that. “Enhanced” is a word of improvement. It suggests something better, more learned, even less costly. For example, “enhanced medicine” would presumably involve a more streamlined way of improving your health. So the “interrogators” have special skills – which implies training, learnt work, application, the product of brains. And then we learn that this is all part of a “programme”. Dick “Dark Side” Cheney used the word “programme” when he condemned the US Senate report on CIA torture. READ MORE: CIA conduct driven by pressure to link Iraq to al-QaedaDemands grow for judicial inquiry into UK roleCaroline Lucas: This new Bill will not keep us safe Loading gallery CIA torture report: Who knew what? 1 of 6 The good Mr Brennan told us that “we fell short when it came to holding some officers [sic] accountable”. They no longer tell us they are in a dispute with someone.

“Learning to teach listening: students’ and teachers’ perceptions” summary of Chiara Bruzzano’s talk This is the second summary from the TESOL Italy 2016 talks that I saw. The first one was Henry Widdowson’s plenary ‘ELF and TESOL: a change of subject?’, and you can read it here. Chiara’s talk starts off with a short video. Two people are having breakfast and chatting away. A third one arrives and joins the chat. The language sounds vaguely familiar, but doesn’t seem to be making much sense. And this is exactly how English might sound to our students’ ears. Low English proficiency of students in ItalyEnglish is becoming more and more important in everyday lifeIt’s the Cinderella skillStudents’ perceptions need to be taken into account for curriculum developmentMost of the time listening is tested rather than taught in class The two most common theories which inform how we teach listening are bottom-up and top-down processing. The rest of the talk is informed by a research Chiara carried out. First, we should stop just testing listening, and focus on teaching it. DOs DON’Ts Like this:

Gender and Queer Theory « The Virtual Theorist Any guide to gender simply has to contain at least a gesture towards both feminism and queer theory. Most introductory guides devote at least a chapter to each; as such, I have divided this into two parts: Gender and Feminism and Gender and Queer Theory. They should, however, be considered partner pieces. Many of the theorists referred to in these sections straddle both camps; many that do not will nevertheless work within the framework of the other. Like feminism, queer approaches are a broad church that comes in two waves (although, unlike feminism, it is not described in those terms) with lesbian/gay studies coming first and queer theory with the 1990s. The dividing up of all sexual acts – indeed all persons – under the ‘opposite’ categories of ‘homo’ and ‘hetero’ is not a natural given but a historical process, still incomplete today and ultimately impossible but characterized by potent contradictions and explosive effects. Identity politics obviously had ramifications for gender.

Why Finland loves saunas Image copyright Getty Images The only Finnish word to make it into everyday English is "sauna". But what it is, and how much it means to Finns, is often misunderstood - and it's definitely not about flirtation or sex. In a dimly lit wood-panelled room, naked men sit in silence, sweating. There is a hissing noise. Within seconds a wave of moist heat creeps up around your ankles and over your legs before enveloping your whole body. This bathing ritual has been performed across Finland for thousands of years, ever since the first settlers dug a ditch in the ground and heated a pile of stones. Each sauna is considered to have its own character and its own distinctive loyly. For those working in the fields in harsh conditions, the sauna provided welcome relief to wash and soothe aching muscles. These warm wooden rooms could be used at lower temperatures too, and were at the heart of the major events of a Finn's life. Don't imagine, though, that the sauna is purely a place for fun and games.

Bilingualism offers 'huge advantages', claims Cambridge University head Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, sees bilingualism is an important asset. Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian Arriving at his Cardiff primary school aged five, the future vice-chancellor of Cambridge University had just one English phrase. Coached the previous evening by his Polish emigree parents, young Leszek Borysiewicz quickly tried out "Please can I go to the toilet?" At 63, the memory of that initial confusion remains, but so does the recollection of the dedication shown by teachers who taught the young Polish-speaker English, spending extra time after school or simply taking him for a walk and naming objects – grass, tree, stream. Now, installed in one of the world's most influential academic posts after a career in medical research, Professor Borysiewicz is adamant that full bilingualism such as he acquired, far from being a problem, is an important asset, both for the individuals concerned and for the country where they grow up.