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Learning languages with Muzzy, the clock-eating fuzzy alien

“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!” If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back in 1989 (six episode playlist). The shows were both translated in to French, German (playlist), Spanish (and the Spanish vocabulary builder), and Italian (Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back).
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 28, 2014 - 32 comments

Early Indo-European Online

Learn how to read Sanskrit, Hittite, Avestan, Old Persian, Classical Greek, Latin, Koine Greek, Gothic, Classical Armenian, Tocharian, Old Irish, Old English, Old Norse, Old Church Slavonic, Old French, Old Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Albanian in ten lessons apiece.
posted by Iridic on Jan 27, 2014 - 26 comments

Bears. And etymology!

An animated history of the word "bear"
posted by moxie_milquetoast on Jun 7, 2013 - 27 comments

Move Your Kids to Russia and Toss Them Into School

Move Your Kids to Russia and Toss Them Into School Clifford Levy and Julie Dressner moved their 3 kids from Park Slope to Russia. Instead of putting their kids in an international school, they decided to let the kids learn Russian in a Russian school. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Sep 17, 2011 - 42 comments

Learning Resources (things to make you look like you are working)

The first time I met ERIC, I fell in love. Maybe you will, too. The Education Resources Information Center is a project of the US Department of Education. Some of you may especially be interested in the wide variety of language learning materials, journal articles, and more, that go way beyond even the public domain Foreign Services Institute offerings, from Aymara for Spanish speakers (English, too) to Uzbek study for Peace Corps volunteers. There is also non-language stuff of all kinds like World Myths and Legends in Art and teaching (or learning) buckyballs. Best results when using advanced search for their full-text links only.
posted by whatzit on Aug 17, 2010 - 11 comments

Hindi Urdu Flagship Program

The Hindi Urdu Flagship Program at the University of Texas, Austin has a number of freely available online resources on Hindi and Urdu, including vocabulary exercises for beginners, video interviews with native speakers discussing various aspects of their language, a Hindi-language podcast on various topics and the ways one can discuss them in Hindi, and several downloadable books in PDF format. [more inside]
posted by skoosh on May 31, 2010 - 18 comments

Goodbye, "Leih Hou Ma," Hello "Ni Hao Ma!"

"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 22, 2009 - 56 comments

Please Call Me Hararie

Japanese Element Symbols is an introduction for non-Japanese to the Japanese language through Kanji symbols, its alphabet, elements of Japan's culture, and what to expect on the culinary front.
posted by netbros on Aug 6, 2009 - 12 comments

English as a Shouted Language

"Conquer English to Make China Stronger!" is the philosophy of Li Yang, founder of the Crazy English school (and style) of language, described by some as "English as a Shouted Language" for its main method of shouting English words in public to overcome shyness. Li Yang has achieved Elvis-like popularity in China, not just through his public lectures but also through the sales of books, media, teaching materials, and a memoir titled "I am Crazy, I Succeed". Li Yang's unorthodox methods - which include encouraging students to "lose face" and cope with embarrassment on the way to success - have earned him fame and fortune, including headlining the 5th Beijing Foreign Language Festival and being the main English teacher for China's Olympic volunteers. Li Yang's secret to success: "... to have them continuously paying—that’s the conclusion I’ve reached."
posted by divabat on Dec 31, 2008 - 10 comments

Wordchamp: hover over a foreign-language word and get its definition

Wordchamp lets you view foreign-language web pages with definitions in your language as mouseovers (registration-only). [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 5, 2008 - 10 comments

Theory of science communication

Belief and knowledge - a primer on science communication
posted by Gyan on Feb 26, 2007 - 43 comments

The end of cursive?

The end of cursive? When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters. "Cursive -- that is so low on the priority list, we really could care less. We are much more concerned that these kids pass their SOLs [standardized tests]."
posted by stbalbach on Oct 11, 2006 - 243 comments

Learning and Loving it

Next step: English Video helping kids learn roman script
posted by kozad on Aug 20, 2006 - 5 comments

Meet the newspeak, same as the oldspeak

When taking lessons in English from the BBC, be sure to follow up with remedial "playground-speak"
posted by Mr. Six on Jun 12, 2006 - 198 comments

Naughty!

There are 7 words you can't say in kindergarden. Caution: contains foul language and political thought.
posted by growabrain on Jul 16, 2005 - 41 comments

Welcome back, state's rights.

Welcome back, state's rights. As if Dubya's comments following his "ethnic" Cabinet appointments wasn't enough retrograde logic -- roughly: if blacks and hispanics (would only?) work hard and make the right choices in life -- he's now using language that has been used to mask agendas based on race from before the Civil War through the fight against integration. And it looks like that fight ain't over, if you read "states rights" in today's context to mean the right to spend public funds on getting (primarily) white kids out of (primarily) black schools.
posted by subpixel on Jan 6, 2001 - 13 comments

I challenge you to help me learn Tok Pisin

I challenge you to help me learn Tok Pisin
Mi laik i harim Tok Pisin. Olgeta manmeri i tokim long Tok Pisin long Papua Niugini. Mi laik i lukim na stap long PNG! That was some poor Tok Pisin. Tok Pisin is a Melanesia pidgin language extensively used in Papua New Guinea. Help me learn more! Post links for Tok Pisin language learning here!
posted by rschram on Oct 24, 2000 - 2 comments

First it was safety scissors. Now we can all sleep safer knowing we are safe from dangerous words. Weren't schools rewarding honor students at some point, or is my memory bad? (via obscurestore)
posted by mrmorgan on Mar 14, 2000 - 4 comments

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