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“Occupy” has been named the 2011 Word of the Year.
The word was voted on by the American Dialect Society, which was founded back in 1889 and is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, dialects of other languages, influencing it or influenced by it.
The society is made up of linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, historians, grammarians, academics, editors, writers and independent scholars in the fields of English, foreign languages or other disciplines.
Is Proper English Dying? And Should Us Care? — English is ubiquitous. It has an estimated 1.5 billion speakers. In China alone, 400 million people are currently actively learning English, or nearly a third of the population. So, in a few years, China will have more English-speakers than America. But learning English isn’t the same as knowing English, and knowing English isn’t the same as being able to speak good, or even intelligible English… A superb article from the WSJ on the evolution of of the English language
Should Students Learn India’s Other Languages? Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari suggested that a key to national integration could be learning an Indian language other than Hindi. Mr. Ansari said it rare to find students in Hindi-speaking states who are learning “a south Indian or another non-Hindi language.” He added that limiting the use of English to mediate between languages could also help improve cultural ties between various parts of India. While it is hard to disagree with Mr. Ansari, his statement also raises questions on how useful it actually is to learn multiple Indian languages…
From the New York Times, some great lessons on teaching writing with social media…
March 28, 2011, 3:35 PM
Less Is More: Using Social Media to Inspire Concise Writing
By SHANNON DOYNE and HOLLY EPSTEIN OJALVO
Overview | How can online media like Twitter posts, Facebook status updates and text messages be harnessed to inspire and guide concise writing? In this lesson, students read, respond to and write brief fiction and nonfiction stories, and reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of “writing short.”