Tag Archives: english

Writer describes the ways humans are fueling ‘The Sixth Extinction’

“I see myself as a translator who translates science into a language that someone like me, a literature major, can understand,” said New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert during a recent talk on campus. “Science tends to be written in a very different language, one that non-scientists can’t relate to, a language that isn’t even English.” (more…)

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Interview with Baban Mohamed: ‘Code-switching’, a research project on Kurdish community in Austria

Baban Mohamed received his Master’s degree in English and American Studies (General/Applied Linguistics) from the University of Salzburg in Austria. He has B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Sulaimania (the Kurdistan Region of Iraq). Since 2005 Baban is living and studying in the beautiful Mozart’s City of Music, Salzburg. His research interests cover the areas of bilingual/ bicultural acquisition, child code-switching and sociolinguistics.

Q. Very recently you published research work titled: ‘Code-switching: A Case Study of Kurdish-German Pre-school Bilingual Children’ as part of European University Studies. Before going deep into your research, my first question to you: What is Bilingualism’?

Baban Mohamed: The book is a sociolinguistic research within the field of child bilingualism about the language and culture development of immigrant pre-school children, the case study of Kurdish community in Austria. The book addresses accounts of how children develop the functions and roles of different languages and how they manage to keep the language systems apart or switch from one to the other – not arbitrarily or due to a lack of competence as sometimes has been suggested but purposefully and with functions in mind.  (more…)

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Microsoft introduces the 4Afrika Scholarship program

Part of the 4Afrika Initiative, the program will offer mentorship, training, university-level education and employment opportunities to aspiring African youth.

LAGOS, Nigeria — Aug. 12, 2013 — In recognition of International Youth Day, Microsoft Corp. Monday introduced the 4Afrika Scholarship program, as part of its 4Afrika Initiative, through which it will provide mentorship, leadership and technical training, certification, university-level education, and employment opportunities for promising African students. Mentorship will be provided by Microsoft employees from around the world, and employment opportunities will include internships and both part-time and full-time jobs within Microsoft, as well as with the company’s more than 10,000 partners across Africa.

Through the company’s 4Afrika Initiative and YouthSpark program, Microsoft has committed to helping millions of Africans get critical skills for entrepreneurship and employability. The 4Afrika Scholarship program is one way the company intends to meet that goal, by helping ensure that promising youth have access to the education, resources and skills they need to succeed, regardless of their financial situations. To help redress gender disparity in higher education in Africa, the company is actively encouraging young women to apply. (more…)

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Nettles — it’s what’s for dinner!

UCLA scholar, culinary historian champions foraged foods in new book

Today, delicacies like capers, arugula and fennel are at home at Dean & Deluca, Whole Foods and fancy restaurants, but they haven’t always lived the high life.

These and other darlings of the foodie set started out as peasants’ fodder, foraged from rocky outcroppings, empty fields and roadsides, according to a new book by a UCLA professor.

Luigi Ballerini revisits this distant past in “A Feast of Weeds: A Literary Guide to Foraging and Cooking Wild Edible Plants” (University of California Press), which celebrates the foraged foods that are currently enjoying a renaissance in Italy and elsewhere. (more…)

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Common Reader Author Visits

Katherine Boo talks of hope and struggle in Annawadi, India

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Katherine Boo found that despite having to struggle daily to survive, the people who live in Annawadi, India, also share the common hopes, dreams and aspirations of people everywhere in seeking to better themselves and their children.

Boo, the author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, shared her experiences as a journalist reporting from the Mumbai slum during a 2012 University of Delaware First Year Common Reader program presentation held Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Mitchell Hall. (more…)

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Breaking a Genocide’s Silence: Rwandan Storytelling Exhibit Centerpiece of New National Archives

ANN ARBOR — One of the casualties of the 1994 Rwandan genocide was the culture’s storytelling tradition. Resurrecting it has been the mission of a project called Stories for Hope for the past four years.

Now 99 narratives—conversations between youths and elders—will go on exhibit at the newly built Rwandan National Archives, which were decimated during the violence. On Oct. 12, the archives open again for the first time in nearly two decades. (more…)

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Questions for Geoff Pullum: The ‘Grammar Gotcha’ and Political Speech

A long campaign season with genuine gaffes and alleged misstatements began its culmination with the first presidential debate. Like many citizens, linguist Geoff Pullum, a visiting professor at Brown, was watching.

Grammarian Geoff Pullum is the Gerard Visiting Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University and professor of general linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a frequent blogger on language and politics on Language Log and Lingua Franca.

In a conversation with David Orenstein, he cited several specious analyses of word choice and syntax that have been used unfairly against candidates. The often ill-informed critiques stand in stark contrast to the way people are typically inclined to overcome the misstatements of others as they extract understanding from clumsy speech. Pullum will be listening closely to the presidential and vice presidential debates. (more…)

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Reading the Classics: It’s More than Just for Fun

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Reading a classic novel such as “Pride and Prejudice” can be entertaining, but, according to new research by a Michigan State University professor, it also can provide many other benefits beyond that.

Natalie Phillips, an MSU assistant professor of English, and her team placed study participants in an MRI machine and monitored their brain flow while reading the works of Jane Austen. (more…)

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