Sunday, January 31, 2016

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

  • "This is a list of bloggers, magazines and groups happy to review self-pub ELT ebooks."

    tags: blogs books groups magazines marketing promotion publication reviews self-publication

  • "In many ways writing and creating your own book is the easy part of self-publishing. The really difficult part comes when you start trying to sell it. This is especially difficult for many writers. We are writers not marketing specialists ...." (Peachey, 2015).

    tags: books marketing promotion sales

  • Message Number 1455: "from Chapter 2 – The Essentials of Assessment, in the book, Assessment Essentials: Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education, second edition, by Trudy W. Banta, Catherine A. Palomba. Published by Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Brand, One Montgomery Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, CA 94104-4594."

    tags: assessment continuous departments faculties formative institutions planning summative assessment

    • Although regional accrediting bodies now ask their members to have written assessment plans at the institution level, emphasis in the plans should be on the process and discussion that produce and implement the plan rather than on the document itself
    • Ideally assessment is a component of strategic planning for an institution or department and is part of any new program from the outset
    • Since assessment requires multiple methods, it is not usually necessary to implement every method immediately or even every year. A comprehensive assessment plan should have a schedule for implementing each data-gathering method at least once over a period of three to five years
    • Hersh, R.H., and Keeling, R.P. (2013

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

From _The Conversation_: Debunking ... myths about raising bilingual children

Debunking common myths about raising bilingual children

Mark Antoniou, Western Sydney University

By the age of two, children are typically able to say a few hundred words. My son, Alexander, was able to understand almost everything in both languages – Greek and English – but he could say only six words.

Our concerns grew as we watched younger kids overtake his speaking ability. Like many parents, we questioned if we were doing something wrong (even experts can’t escape the fear and guilt that comes with being a parent).

A number of enduring myths surround bilingualism, such as that it causes language delays and cognitive impairments.

However, research shows that raising a child bilingually does not cause language learning difficulties. Any lag in language development is temporary, so parents shouldn’t worry!

Here are some more common myths debunked:

Raising your child bilingually can cause a delay in development

Not true. In fact there are numerous advantages, such as improved executive function (mental planning), metalinguistic awareness (the ability to think about language as abstract units), mental flexibility (processing information adaptively) and creative thinking.

Bilingual children will generally meet developmental milestones within the normal range of language development, but may in some cases be towards the tail end (which was exactly the case with Alexander).

Bilingual children lag behind their peers and won’t catch up

This is a contentious issue, as there is considerable variability within bilingual children. Some children will not show any lag at all.

It has been suggested that a temporary lag may stem from having to accommodate two language systems within the same brain, but these children will catch up within a few months (note that this is not the same as a language delay).

But more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms that are responsible.

My child will confuse the two languages

False. Although there is some controversy concerning when the languages become separated.
It was long thought that the two languages are fused at first and begin to separate when the child is around five. Recent evidence suggests that the languages may separate a lot earlier than was previously thought.

For example, bilingual children as young as 10-15 months babble differently depending on who they are interacting with (for example, English babbling sounds to the mother, and French babbling sounds to the father).

This suggests that babies are sensitive to who they are talking to from a very young age. This is probably a precursor of code-switching (when bilinguals use two languages within the same utterance).

Five tips for parents raising a child bilingually

  1. Be encouraging and patient as you would with any infant, and be aware that a bilingual child faces a tougher task than one learning only a single language.
  2. It is very important that both languages serve a functional purpose. Language is, after all, a tool for communication. If the child does not need to use the other language, they will probably stop using it. So, it is important to consistently place the child in situations that necessitate the use of both languages, and ideally with a variety of speakers. Doing so will develop robust speech categories in each language and ensure that they learn to process speech efficiently - which will aid both listening and talking.
  3. Many parents worry about the issue of balance, meaning whether a child knows both languages equally well. In the past, it was thought that in order to be truly bilingual you needed to have an equal command of both languages. I conducted a series of studies on very proficient bilinguals and observed time and again that even fluent bilinguals have a dominant language. So, there is little point stressing about a child not having a perfectly equal command of each language because the truth is almost no one does.
  4. Parents commonly become concerned when bilingual children mix their languages. Do not worry. This is a normal part of bilingual language development and not a sign of confusion. Even proficient bilinguals mix their languages.
  5. If you are concerned about your child’s language development, you should have your child assessed by a doctor and, if necessary, a speech-language pathologist. Bilingual children may present with language delays, just like any other children. If your child has a language delay, early intervention may be required to help them learn their languages.
The Conversation
Mark Antoniou, ARC Research Fellow, MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

[Republished with permission (]
The Conversation

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Diigo bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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