Growing older in the ebb and flow of languages (by Dr. Mela Sarkar)

Turning sixty marks a milestone for many of us. It certainly did for me, not long ago, happening as it did in the home of a close family friend who herself turned 92 earlier this year. I am on a team of friends who are conspiring to help her stay in the home she has lived in, deep in the Ontario countryside, for over fifty years. It’s a bit complicated, but well worth the effort.

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She, He, They – Elle, Il, Iel, Ille (by Kathleen Green)

I’ve been familiar with gender-neutral pronouns in English for some time now. The most popular one – which has now gone mainstream and become recognized in dictionaries – is singular they. It was the American Dialect Society’s word of the year in 2015. “They” is not the only gender-neutral pronoun in usage in English, but it’s the one that has gained popular acceptance and I’m glad that one finally caught on.

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Acquisition, Learning, and Translanguaging (by Melissa Enns)

I’ve recently been giving a lot of thought to ‘acquisition’ versus ‘learning’ of a second (or subsequent) language. In brief, the difference is related to communicative competence versus “explicit rule-based grammar teaching” (Lightbown & Spada, 2013, p. 193). (For more on the distinction, click here). In my mind, acquisition is perhaps the longer-lasting state or the point at which conscious rule-based practice becomes automatic communication, as in Skill Acquisition Theory.

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