UESCenglishQUEST is part of the resources provided by the staff of the extension project Making the teaching of English more dynamic at UESC. You are welcome to interact with us. Join us! Esse blog faz parte do projeto de extensão Dinamizando o ensino da língua inglesa na UESC. Sintam-se à vontade para interagir com os recursos oferecidos aqui. Juntem-se a nós!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Language Acquisition in Babies

Dear UESCenglishQUEST users,

Patricia Kuhl is co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington. She's internationally recognized for her research on early language and brain development, and studies that show how young children learn. Kuhl’s work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the brain. It has implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for developmental disabilities involving language, and for research on computer understanding of speech.

In the following video, Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another -- by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world. Patricia Kuhl studies how we learn language as babies, looking at the ways our brains form around language acquisition.

Patricia Kuhl: The Linguistic genius of babies (with Portuguese subtitles)


"Babies all over the world are what I like to describe as ‘citizens of the world.’ They can discriminate all the sounds of all languages, no matter what country we’re testing and what language we’re using.” (Patricia Kuhl)

*All the information for this blogpost was taken directly from TED.com.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Benefits of Bilingualism

Dear UESCenglishQUEST users,

Aside from the practical benefits of speaking two languages, did you know that it also makes you smarter? Now of course this is all relative to the individual, but it has been scientifically studied and noted that being bilingual has the ability to improve cognitive skills unrelated to language. These findings have been summarized in a recent article from The New York Times titled, "Why Bilinguals Are Smarter." In addition, individuals with a higher degree of bilingualism were found to be more resistant than others to the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. 

In the past, researchers, educators, and policy makers have viewed bilingualism as an interference in the learning process, because it was thought that one language obstructed the other; thus hindering a person's academic and intellectual development. Today, the benefits of bilingualism have been studied at various levels of human development, from infancy to adulthood, and the results have been promising. Learning a new language may be difficult at times, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

The Benefits of Bilingualism

Do you know what "communicative approach" is? / Você sabe o que é "abordagem comunicativa"?

In your opinion, what is the most important thing in a lesson plan? / Na sua opinião, qual é a coisa mais importante em um plano de aula?

In your opinion, what is the main characteris­tic of an effective teacher? / Em sua opinião, qual é a principal característica de um bom professor?

Tip 100 is coming... What do you want to read about? / A dica 100 está chegando... Sobre o que você quer ler?

What is your favorite TV series? / Qual é seu seriado favorito?

What is your assessment of Lula’s government so far? / Qual é a sua avaliação do governo Lula até o presente momento?

What do you think about the Copenhagen Conference? / O que você pensa sobre a Conferência de Copenhague?

Did you like the new layout? / Você gostou do novo layout?