“Thanks to a generation of massive amounts of standardized testing, our students conceive education primarily as a tool for determining a ranking. The Obama administration’s policy is even called Race to the Top. We have the most read columnist in the country telling us how important it is to raise “standards” so our students don’t fall behind.
For our students’ entire lives we have communicated that the reason to learn things is not to fulfill curiosities, but to see where you stack up relative to others. Grades are no longer a proxy for learning, but a lap time determining how well they’re doing at achieving a secure financial future. Under this system, a “B” is genuine cause for distress. A “C” is a disaster that points towards a ruined life.
At the same time, we have made it increasingly difficult to pay for a genuine education. The burden of loans threatens to strangle adult lives before they really begin. It is now impossible to work your way through college. Concerns over even paying for college are also at an all-time high. We communicate that a college degree is more important than ever and then make it more difficult to achieve.
Students look at the larger culture and see not a ladder of opportunity, but a treadmill of obligation. No wonder they’re distressed.”
LANGUAGE LEARNING MASTERPOST
For all of those who want to learn a language but don’t know where to start, need extra help as you learn it, or if you’re just bored. These are the resources I’ve gathered over the last few months (feel free to add to it!)
General sites with grammar/sounds/pronunciation for a wide variety of languages
- My Languages
- BBC Language
- How to Learn Any Language
- Effective Language Learning
- The Polyglot Project
More specific sites, targeted at one language
- German here and here
- Spanish here and here
- French here here and here
- Italian here and here
- Japanese here
- Chinese here and here
- Korean here and here
- Vietnamese here
For all ya’ll auditory learners
-also, foreign language mixes on 8tracks
- some german ones
- a few spanish ones
- some french mixes
- some italian mixes
- some russian mixes
- some mandarin mixes
- some japanese mixes
Interactive language-exchanging sites where you can make friends and meet natives wOWie
Tips, advice, and motivation to give you that extra push
- 5 Tips to Get You Started
- a blog on language-hacking tips
- have some motivational videos that provide language courses (Speak from Day 1 and Pimsleur Approach)
- 6 ways to roll your r
- another language blog
For those interested in linguistics, here are 15 interesting articles on the field
i’ve found quite a few resources for irish gaelic, a really beautiful but complex language that you can challenge yourself to learn
- linguistic facts about the language and some study tips
- here’s an online radio
- pronunciation and a youtube channel
- Irish Language Today
If i find more content, I’ll edit this and add it right away. Good luck and have fun!
Some of this stuff and more found here in my resources post :D
Resources are da best because then you can’t use it as an excuse not to learn a language :3
The Burger Line-up!
4/18 Hosting BodyFridays @ Crime Scene
4/19 Performing @ Bedstuy House Party
4/25 Performing @ CherryBomb/The Flat
Come nuzzle up wit ya gurl 💕 Photo by @bnphactory (at APRIL)
Le Clavier : The Keyboard
Here’s some info and vocab stuff about French keyboards. Attention! ‘French’ in this case means ‘from France’; the keyboard is different in other Francophone countries.
First, the keyboard isn’t QWERTY it’s AZERTY and that makes it a bit weird to use at the beginning (especially the A). Second, almost all the symbols are in a different place. Here, look:
This is mostly annoying for the comma, which is where the US M is located.
Third, you have to press shift+[symbol] to get any number and shift+; to get a period/full stop. Other symbols, too, but these are the most inconvenient.
& une esperluette
# un dièse
' une apostrophe
- un trait d’union
— un tiret
_ un tiret bas, underscore
@ une arobase
( les parenthèses (f)
% un (signe) pour-cent
! un point d’exclamation
/ une barre oblique
? un point d’interrogation
* un astérisque
\ une barre oblique inverse
. un point
, une virgule
: un deux-points
; un point-virgule
Giving a website: (yes I realize you will probably never need to say ‘http://’)
h t t p deux-points barre oblique barre oblique trois w point tumblr point com
Giving your email address:
a m a t e u r underscore l a n g u a g e r arobase mon trait d’union tumblr point com
Humans can survive weeks without food, but only days without water — in some conditions, only hours. It may sound clichéd, but it’s no hyperbole: Water is life. So what happens when private companies control the spigot? Evidence from water privatization projects around the world paints a pretty clear picture — public health is at stake.
In the run-up to its annual spring meeting this month, the World Bank Group, which offers loans, advice and other resources to developing countries, held four days of dialogues in Washington, D.C. Civil society groups from around the world and World Bank Group staff convened to discuss many topics. Water was high on the list.
It’s hard to think of a more important topic. We face a global water crisis, made worse by the warming temperatures of climate change. A quarter of the world’s people don’t have sufficient access to clean drinking water, and more people die every year from waterborne illnesses — such as cholera and typhoid fever — than from all forms of violence, including war, combined. Every hour, the United Nations estimates, 240 babies die from unsafe water.
The World Bank Group pushes privatization as a key solution to the water crisis. It is the largest funder of water management in the developing world, with loans and financing channeled through the group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Since the 1980s, the IFC has been promoting these water projects as part of a broader set of privatization policies, with loans and financing tied to enacting austerity measures designed to shrink the state, from the telecom industry to water utilities.
But international advocacy and civil society groups point to the pockmarked record of private-sector water projects and are calling on the World Bank Group to end support for private water.
In the decades since the IFC’s initial push, we have seen the results of water privatization: It doesn’t work. Water is not like telecommunications or transportation. You could tolerate crappy phone service, but have faulty pipes connecting to your municipal water and you’re in real trouble. Water is exceptional.