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Che Interessante!

  • How do different parts of the world name the colors of the rainbow? Did you ever think about how your brain is able to understand that the sky and jeans (though different shades) are both variations of blue?  In Italian, we know that "azzurro" and "blu" are entirely different words--but what about teal blue?  Reddish-orange?  Vermilion?  Where did these words come from and do all languages invent new words for various shades?
     
  • How do languages add new words?  Language is not static-- that is, it is constantly evolving and changing.  Most changes in language evolve naturally as new words and expressions are adopted, but some languages actually evolve intentionally.
     
  • Thinking of studying abroad?  If you're on the fence as to whether or not you'd like to study abroad in college, read this article on the transformative nature of study abroad experiences.
     
  • Are onomatopoeiae the same in Italian?  Check out this adorable and addicting Italian music video that teaches animal sounds.
     
  • Why are the words Mom and Dad so similar in many different languages?  Linguists have noted a remarkable simliarity in the terms used to refer to mothers and fathers across many different languages and language families.  The key lies in a baby's verbal development!
     
  • Do animals use language? The four defining characteristics of language are discreteness, grammar, productivity, and displacement.  Which animals demonstrate these characteristics?
     
  • Is sign language a language?  Research shows that sign language is processed as a linguistic system; the brain treats it like a spoken language.  What does this mean for Italian hand gestures?

                                                                    

Introducing my 5th graders to l'alfabeto italiano!

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